Well, now we know what paid for all those programmers cranking out the overhauled Firefox Quantum browser: a major infusion of new money. From a report: Mozilla, the nonprofit behind the open-source web browser, saw its 2016 revenue increase 24 percent to an all-time high of $520 , it said Friday. Expenses grew too, but not as much, from $361 to $337 , so the organization’s war chest is significantly bigger now. Mozilla, which now has about 1,200 employees, releases prior-year financial results in conjunction with tax filings. Most of Mozilla’s money comes from partnerships with search engines like Google, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Baidu and Yandex. When you search through Firefox’s address bar, those search engines show search ads alongside results and a portion of the revenue to Mozilla. Mozilla in 2014 signed a major five-year deal with Yahoo the default search engine in the US, but canceled it only three years in and moved back to Google instead in November. Mozilla’s mission — to keep the open and a place where you aren’t in the thrall of tech giants — may seem abstract. But Mozilla succeeded in breaking the lock Microsoft’s Explorer had on the web a decade ago, and now it’s fighting the same battle again against Google’s Chrome.


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