For the past three years, Mozilla has been living high on the hog, thanks to a search deal with Google that paid $300 million a year for the past three years.
That Google deal expired in November. As the clock ticked down, Mozilla announced a new five-year (U.S.-only) search partnership with Yahoo
but pointedly resisted specifying its terms. A look at Mozilla's balance sheet raises questions about its long-term prospects
, especially as it tries to move aggressively into the mobile sector with its own Firefox OS.
It hasn't been a great year for Mozilla. In March, Firefox Vice President Johnathan Nightingale publicly threw in the towel
on a long and expensive development effort to build a touch-capable Firefox for the Windows 8 Metro interface. That same month, co-founder Brendan Eich became CEO but lasted less than two weeks before resigning over a controversial political donation
A couple of tidbits worth noting: In the immediate aftermath of the Google deal's expiration, Mozilla has added a solicitation for contributions on its landing page.
There's nothing wrong with that move, but the timing suggests that the Yahoo deal isn't as lucrative as Mozilla needs to fund its big dreams, especially after the unexpected announcement two weeks ago of its intentions to resume development of Firefox for iOS