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Mozilla reveals 2008 revenue: $79 million

The revenue growth rate tapered off to 5 percent from 12 percent the year earlier. A search deal with Google still supplies the bulk of the Firefox backer's money.

The Mozilla Foundation's revenue grew 5 percent to $79 million in 2008, with its Firefox search-ad deal with Google still the biggest benefactor, the organization said Thursday.

The figure is notable for an open-source effort, but the growth tapered off significantly. For 2007, by comparison, the Mozilla Foundation reported $75 million in revenue, a 12 percent increase over 2006.

Mozilla Chairman Mitchell Baker revealed the latest Mozilla figures on her blog Thursday.

Update: for further details and commentary from Baker, check this follow-up interview.

Firefox has won over about a quarter of the world's users of Web browsers, taking most of that share from Microsoft's still dominant Internet Explorer. The browser faces new challenges, though, in the form of newcomer Google Chrome and Microsoft's resurgent effort to improve Internet Explorer. On Wednesday, Microsoft showed off some elements of the forthcoming IE 9, and Thursday, Google released the source code underlying its Chrome OS, a browser-based operating system for lower-end computers.

Google supplies "the bulk" of the Mozilla Foundation's revenue through a deal that currently lasts through 2011, the foundation said. Under that deal, people performing searches through Firefox using the default Google search engine see and sometimes click on search ads at Google; Google and Mozilla share the resulting revenue. In 2007, Google supplied 89 percent of Mozilla's revenue.

Google isn't the only revenue source, though. Here's how Mozilla described its sources in an FAQ:

"The majority of this revenue is generated from the search functionality in Mozilla Firefox from partners such as Google, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay, and others. Mozilla takes in additional revenue from donations, online affiliate programs, the Mozilla Store, and income on our invested assets. In 2008, we expanded our Firefox partnerships with new firms such as Yandex (Russia Search), Canonical (Ubuntu), and Nokia (Mobile).