Mozilla gets three more years of Google money

Mozilla just got three more years of freedom, paid for by Google.

Mozilla's Mitchell Baker somewhat nonchalantly noted on Tuesday that Google and Mozilla have renewed their vows for another three years. She should have ordered serious fireworks.

Why? Because Google's beneficence has allowed Mozilla a tremendous amount of leeway in figuring out a way to sell Mozilla's open-source vision without selling out.

So, Mitchell can explain...

Another important element is the financial resources Mozilla enjoys. We've just renewed our agreement with Google for an additional three years. This agreement now ends in November of 2011 rather than November of 2008, so we have stability in income. We're also learning more all the time about how to use Mozilla's financial resources to help contributors through infrastructure, new programs, and new types of support from employees.

...but this dramatically understates just how important those Google dollars (up to $60 million at last count) are to Mozilla's freedom to operate on its chosen terms. John Lilly, Mozilla's CEO, now has three more years to figure out how to make Mozilla both disruptive and highly profitable so that it can continue to fund more disruptions.

Thank you, Google.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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