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16 November 2012, 11:00

With increased revenue, Mozilla sets its sights on mobile

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The Mozilla Foundation and the associated Mozilla Corporation have published their State of Mozilla summary for 2011, which includes the financials of the organisation and all of its subsidiaries. Mozilla, which makes money from advertising referrals in the Firefox browser, increased its revenue to $163.5 million in 2011 – up almost 33 per cent from the previous year.

A large part of Mozilla's revenue comes from Google, a company it is now in direct competition with on two fronts – desktop browsers, and, through Firefox OS, mobile operating systems. Nevertheless, the search revenue deal between them was renewed for three years at the end of 2011 with both entities stating that they share many common goals.

In a statement on her blog, Mitchell Baker, Chair of the Mozilla Foundation, said that the organisation has its sights firmly set on the mobile space for 2013. The goal is to duplicate the organisation's success with Firefox on the desktop on mobile phones and tablets. "We’re building these products now. We have the financial resources to support these efforts," Baker said. The product in question is Firefox OS, which Mozilla's developers have been working on for the better part of a year. Since Mozilla has had difficulty in bringing full versions of Firefox to iOS, Windows Phone and Windows 8 on tablets, it is now building its own ecosystem based on web technologies including HTML5 and JavaScript.

To make it easier for contributors to experiment with Firefox OS and Boot to Gecko (B2G), the Mozilla developers recently announced the Firefox OS Simulator. This Firefox add-on works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and allows users to boot an instance of Firefox OS directly in their browser. The add-on automatically keeps the installed version of the OS up to date and also helps developers test applications they have developed for the platform with minimal effort. Firefox OS is currently scheduled to be released early in 2013.

Along with Firefox OS, Mozilla is also focusing on the desktop version of its browser, Firefox for other mobile operating systems, and its Webmaker programme, which encourages web users to also become web creators. Despite the large emphasis on mobile development, the desktop version of Firefox continues to be very important to Mozilla: "Firefox will always be the part of the Mozilla mission that people can see, feel and touch."

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