Firefox in Russia dumps Google for Yandex

After soliciting feedback and setting up a business partnership with Yandex, Mozilla opts for a new default search partner.

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Russian-language Firefox users will see a new default search provider soon: Google rival Yandex.

Mozilla currently has Google set to be the default search engine in Russian Firefox, but it concluded that Yandex was the better choice, according to a blog post by Mozilla General Counsel Harvey Anderson on Friday.

"Over the past few months, we have listened to feedback, talked with our localizers, studied the trends of our Firefox Yandex builds, and reviewed the Yandex user experience. All this activity led us to the conclusion that our Russian users really wanted direct access to the Yandex search services in official Firefox RU builds," Anderson said.

"As a result, we're planning on setting Yandex as the default search provider for the Firefox 3.1 Russian locale builds," he said. Version 3.1 is due in coming weeks, after a third beta version is released and tested.

Mozilla gets the vast majority of its revenue through a partnership under which Google shares revenue from search ads. In 2007, that was $66 million of Mozilla's $75 million total revenue.

Details on the change can be seen in the Mozilla bug tracker, which specifically refers to "the new business arrangement between Mozilla and Yandex in Russia."