Mozilla's 2006 revenue: $66.8 million

Google continues to be the financial mainstay of the open-source Web browser project, responsible for 85 percent of revenue.

Mozilla, the group behind the open-source Firefox Web browser, disclosed its 2006 revenue Monday night: $66,840,850.

That's a 26 percent bump up from the $52.9 million that Mozilla garnered in 2005 . And with 2006 expenses slicing off only $19.8 million, Mozilla has a tidy sum left at its disposal, even if it's no Microsoft.

Mozilla backs the development of both the Firefox Web browser and the Thunderbird e-mail client. Mozilla

"The highlight is that Mozilla remains financially healthy: we're able to hire more people, build more products, help other projects, and bring more possibilities for participation in the Internet to millions of people," foundation Chairman Mitchell Baker said in a blog posting. The foundation released the results in conjunction with its 2006 tax form.

As in 2005, about 85 percent of the revenue came from Google, according to a related frequently asked questions page. Google is the default option in the Firefox search bar, and a Firefox-branded Google page is the default home page for Firefox.

However, the Google contract expires in November 2008, Mozilla said, at which point the foundation could extend the deal or look for other partners. "We have significant retained earnings, which allows us a good degree of flexibility," the foundation said on the FAQ.

The foundation funded the work of about 90 people by the end of 2006. "In 2007 we expect our expenses to be significantly higher as we have continued to hire and fund more people and develop additional programs," she said.

The revenue was for both the Mozilla Foundation and its sort-of for-profit subsidiary, Mozilla Corp. (Yes, it's confusing, and it's not going away: the Mozilla Foundation just set up another subsidiary to focus on its Thunderbird e-mail software.)

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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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