As 2011 comes to an end I pondered on my last story of the year.  I wanted to avoid looking back as we should always look forward.  However I also wanted to avoid the trap of speculating on next years tech, and I am very anti-rumour.  There are enough sites out there churning out the latest tech stories from un-named sources, or those familiar with the product !

Instead I leave you with a question..... What do those lovely people at the Mozilla Foundation (Firefox, etc) do with all the donations?

I've been a long-term Firefox user, but I have blogged recently about my dilemma with Chrome and Firefox.

Firefox is part of the Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit organisation, responsible for the distribution of a number of products (Firefox and Thunderbird being the most popular).  Development is in the hands of the community and thousands of people contribute their small part, voluntarily.

Clearly there are some financial requirements to run an organization and most Firefox users will be aware that funds are generated through donations.  You may donate whatever you wish but $25 seems to be their suggested starting point.  You may even sign up to monthly donations.

Now consider corporate donations -- last year Google donated around $100 million to the Foundation; this year Google have agreed to pay just under $300 million!  For their donation Google get to be the default search engine used in Firefox.

It does make one wonder why the Mozilla Foundation needs more money?  With a three-fold increase in their income do they really need my $25? How will they use ther new wealth?  Looking at their last published annual report for 2010 they have no debts and had a healthy balance at the end of the year.

Also, why are Google so keen to continue to support Firefox financially?  Their own Chrome browser now commands 33% of the browser market share (and increasing), whereas Firefox is 38% and continuing to fall.

I'm still a Firefox fan, but researching their finances did surprise me a little.

site by DAJ