Can Firefox Stick to its Open Source Roots?

Some fear huge profits from search deal make Mozilla a Google proxy
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2007 3:54 PM CST
Mozilla Corporation CEO Mitchell Baker.   (Mozilla Corporation)
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(Newser) – The image of the Mozilla Foundation is that of Internet underdog—an open source, non-profit network of developers whose Firefox browser has nabbed 15-20% of the market from Microsoft's Internet Explorer. But as the New York Times reports, a Google tie-in deal has enriched the foundation's for-profit Mozilla Corporation subsidiary to the tune of $74 million in total assets, making it more like a typical Silicon Valley startup.

The contradictions are part of being what one analyst calls “the first corporate open-source project," and prompt speculation on tech sites like Slashdot that Mozilla is merely a proxy for Google in its war against Microsoft. Net expert and Columbia law professor Tim Wu says despite this, the alliance makes sense: “We’re living in a cold war between open and closed systems, and Google is happy to lend support to entities that it sees as allies."