As you should be aware, Yahoo and Firefox cut a deal last Wednesday.
So without further ado, lets get to taking a look at what this deal may mean, and the facts the stakeholders in this game may be holding under the microscope. First we’ll be taking a look at the browser game between Firefox and Chrome. After that, I’d like to take a look at how your data privacy has played a role in this key decision and what that means for you and these companies as time progresses.
In terms of the browser game:
Most people understand web-browsing now is MUCH different than it once was. Current browsers support anything from simple HTML to full out Web-based applications. For the vast majority of web users, the decision to use a particular client to access the web boils down to UI, UX and their knowledge of what they’re using. That is to say, most people don’t give a shit.
So why all this hullabaloo about the Firefox & Yahoo deal? Well… the big deal is that Mozilla has chosen Yahoo as its primary default search engine.
Promoting Choice and Innovation
Today we are announcing a change to our strategy for Firefox search partnerships. We are ending our practice of having a single global default search provider. We are adopting a more local and flexible approach to increase choice and innovation on the Web, with new and expanded search partnerships by country:
- Under a new five-year strategic partnership announced today, Yahoo Search will become the default search experience for Firefox in the U.S.
- Starting in December, Firefox users will be introduced to a new enhanced Yahoo Search experience that features a clean, modern interface that brings the best of the Web front and center.
- Under this partnership, Yahoo will also support Do Not Track (DNT) in Firefox.
- Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, eBay, Amazon, Twitter and Wikipedia will continue to be built-in as alternate search options
As one takes a a good look at the browser scene, one is quickly able to decide that Google’s Chrome is winning (personally, I don’t know why). Firefox beat Chrome to the scene by six years. Publicly released in 2002, Firefox was built off of Netscape as an attempt to repel scope and feature creep. I personally started using Firefox around the time it first arrived onto the public scene. I loved it and, quite frankly, still do. I remember the times when Firefox was pushing these MASSIVE stickers you could get and they wanted you to tag them all over local infrastructure and take a picture of it. Pretty forward thinking if one is to recognize the EXPLOSION of social media’s “calls to action” and (LOL) selfies! Then came Google’s Chrome(ium) browser in 2008. The browser now integrates search functionality across most of Google’s applications and also allows you to sign into you Google account so that they are able to track your every click…uh hmm…more on that later. As for now, all you really need to understand is that Google’s Chrome is KILLING IT.
Essentially, Chrome holds a massive amount of market share. Likely influenced by Google’s savvy strategy to integrate not just its applications, and user accounts, but adds and even the browser itself into its Android operating systems.
I’ve read a number of articles that argue that the only reason Google signed on to to be Firefox’s search in the first place was so that they could eventually undercut Firefox with their own browser. My opinion is that this is bullshit… I imagine Google was just REALLY interested in getting their search engine out into as many production environments as they could. So, how does that set the stage for the “New Deal” with Yahoo and Firefox?
The word of the year is Privacy. Anyone working in the tech industry understands that “privacy” is one of those words that is a bit of a misnomer. No educated person should think their data is private, unless they flat-out have no online presence. Your data is everywhere. Get over it, and trust that those who own it, are appropriately safeguarding it (or get the FUCK OUT). If you take a look at the quote above, you’ll notice that Firefox has stuck to its guns with Data Privacy. Something that Google seems to have forgotten… “Do no harm”…. uhuh. Data Privacy is the REAL strategic move I’m seeing out of the Yahoo & Mozilla deal. Mozilla wants to stick to its original model to keep its browser open and set for access to the web without a bunch of shit tracking people the whole time, in order to do that, they need a default search that aligns with their privacy goals. In the past, Google’s search was just fine. It offered the results one needed without any compromise to data privacy except maybe an add here or there. Google’s search now seems like it’s been watching you while you sleep; this is exactly where Yahoo comes into the picture. Yahoo has committed to allowing users to easily “opt-out” of any search recognition. This aligns terribly well with Firefox’s goals to keep user data private and their product intended strictly for browsing the web; versus some massive portal that corporations can use to track each and every mouse click…
I’m a huge proponent of this deal and hope that Mozilla’s browser market influence, mixed with Yahoo’s search will bring back the era of “straight-up browsing”. Only time will tell.