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Mozilla Builds a Special Bing'ed Firefox For Microsoft

This new Firefox features Bing as its default search engine instead of Google. According to Mozilla, the browser is an extension of the "partnership" the company announced with Microsoft in 2010.

For Mozilla, the "Firefox with Bing" browser is certainly a good idea, as it is an opportunity to diversify its revenue and become at least a bit more independent of Google's search revenues. However, from Microsoft's perspective, this is a remarkable move because it is featuring the Firefox download from its own website. However, in its battle against Google, Microsoft may have concluded that a partnership with Mozilla cannot do much damage at this point, and may even help its Bing unit to divert some advertising revenues from Google toward Bing.

StatCounter market share data indicates that Firefox will post its ninth consecutive month of market share loss for October and end the period with about 26.4 percent share. IE also suffered heavy losses this month, despite a newly launched marketing campaign, and cross the finish line with about 40.2 percent. Google has picked up more than 1.3 points of share and will be listed with a share of about 24.9 percent. If the current trend continues, Mozilla will lose its position as second most popular browser in November. In South America, Chrome has become the dominating browser with daily market shares in excess of 40 percent this month, according to StatCounter.

Teaming up with Mozilla may be a good idea for Microsoft at this point, as every other strategy to fend off Chrome has failed so far. If Microsoft keeps losing market share at the current pace and if Chrome keeps gaining share at the same time, Google may surpass IE share as early as June 2012.