Google and Mozilla have renewed their search partnership. Google will end up paying Mozilla about $300 million per year to be the default search engine for the Firefox web browser. This seems odd because Google’s own web browser, Google Chrome, is growing at a rapid pace. CrunchFund partner, MG Siegler, wrote a blog post speculating that the reason why Google is funding a competitor is because of antitrust issues. However, Chrome engineer Peter Kasting said that “Google is funding a partner.”
“People never seem to understand why Google builds Chrome no matter how many times I try to pound it into their heads,” stated Kasting says. “It’s very simple: the primary goal of Chrome is to make the web advance as much and as quickly as possible.”
“It’s completely irrelevant to this goal whether Chrome actually gains tons of users or whether instead the web advances because the other browser vendors step up their game and produce far better browsers. Either way the web gets better. Job done,” he added.
The way Google sees it is that Google is not concerned about competition with Chrome. By funding Mozilla, they are helping keep Firefox alive. “Firefox is an important product because it can be a different product with different design decisions and serve different users well.”
Regardless, I like Google’s style. Keep your friends close, but your enemies even closer. No matter how you spin the story, the end goal is to have more people use your own products over everybody else’s.