Bing as the default search in Firefox: Microsoft wants to bid

Microsoft wants the open source Firefox browser to ship with Bing as the default search in the future. According to information from “The Information”, Microsoft wants to bid for the standard search engine place this year. So far, Google has been preset as the default search, which costs the search engine giant quite a bit: According to Bloomberg, Google now pays more than 450 million US dollars a year – the annual payments are the main source of income for Firefox developer Mozilla. In 2021, Google money accounted for 83% of Mozilla’s total revenue.

Google is not only Mozilla’s largest financial backer, but also its biggest competitor: For years, Google Chrome has been contesting Mozilla’s Firefox for more and more market share. Chrome is now used on 66 percent of all desktops worldwide, Firefox only on 5.6 percent of computers (figures from Statcounter, April 2023).

Microsoft’s search engine Bing is also a small light compared to Google: Google currently has a market share on the desktop of 87 percent based on page views, Bing only 7 percent. With the integration of an AI chatbot à la ChatGPT, Microsoft now wants to wrest market share from its rival.

The possible deal with Microsoft is risky for Mozilla: After all, people who are technically inexperienced expect Google to be the default search engine, may be disappointed with the search results after installing Firefox – and then possibly switch to Chrome. And that, although the default search engine can of course be changed with a few clicks.

Back in 2014, Mozilla sold Firefox’s default search engine spot to a company other than Google: as of November 2014, the default search was called Yahoo. The deal was originally supposed to run until 2019, but Mozilla switched back to Google in November 2017. Apparently, Mozilla had made use of a right of termination at the time, since Yahoo was bought by the US provider Verizon and merged with AOL to form a new company called Oath.


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