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Official "Firefox With Bing" Released 274

Posted by samzenpus
from the looking-with-new-eyes dept.
MrSeb writes "Mozilla is now distributing a version of Firefox that uses Bing as the default search provider instead of Google. Rest assured that this is a joint project, though: the creatively-named Firefox with Bing website is run by Microsoft, and both Mozilla and MS are clear that this is a joint venture. Now, don't get too excited — the default version of Firefox available from Mozilla.com is still backed by Google, and there's no mention of an alternative, Bingy download anywhere on the site — but it's worth noting that Mozilla has been testing Bing's capabilities using Test Pilot over the last couple of months, and the release of Firefox with Bing indicates that Mozilla is now confident in Bing's ability to provide a top-notch service to Firefox users. Mozilla might be readying a large-scale switch to Bing when its current contract with Google expires in November."
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Official "Firefox With Bing" Released

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  • I don't get the whole point of this version.

    Is it some mix of Anti-Google, so "we must go to Bing, which somehow is related to former Yahoo Search?"

    What about the third party providers, ones who could use the traffic metrics? Ask.com comes to mind. Or StartPage that (supposedly) doesn't record your ip address. Or DuckDuckGo. Or something.

    Why are there only like 12 players in all of Tech?

  • I'd much rather see a version of Firefox that used DuckDuckGo by default (http://ddg.gg)

  • by gyepi (891047) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @06:25PM (#37849728) Homepage
    .. or that MicroSoft wrote a decent check to Mozilla to start distributing Firefox with Bing as well.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      As opposed to Google which is the main source of revenue for Mozilla. The point is that diversification is good, it was always somewhat of a risk to be getting that large a portion of total revenue from a competitor.

  • by Muerte2 (121747) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @06:34PM (#37849798) Homepage

    My guess is this is a shot across the bow of Google. Letting Google know that it's pretty easy for them to switch the default search traffic to Bing is just good business. I'm sure Microsoft is going to be bidding pretty heavily to get Firefox's search user base.

    In the end it's just going to keep Google honest and make sure they pay a fair price for the search traffic Firefox sends them. I think Google pays something like $60 or $70 million a year for all the Firefox user searches. That's chump change to someone like Google. I suspect after this, the next contract renewal might be a higher number.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by phonewebcam (446772)

      Yeah? Even now Chrome has overtaken FF in the UK [reuters.com] with the writing clearly on the wall for the rest of the world?

      • by Muerte2 (121747)

        I think we're settling in to a browser renaissance here. With all the major browsers being mostly equivalent feature wise people will just choose what works best for them. I suspect we'll have a three way race for browser usage between Chrome, IE, and Firefox. I suspect the market share will level out, and there won't be a CLEAR winner like there was when IE6 dominated.

        Even if Chrome gets market share Firefox will still have its place, and still be relevant.

      • by arose (644256)
        Please explain how the UK is any more representative of "the rest of the world" than, say, Germany [statcounter.com].
        • What?
          Haven't you seen my atlas?

          Pink from sunrise to sunset, old boy...

        • by jrumney (197329)
          How long did it take your astroturfing department to find a country that showed IE rising and Chrome falling? I can't find ANY other country that shows that - UK's trend of Chrome rising and all other browsers falling seems typical. There is a lot of variation between absolute marketshare, but the general trend of Chrome rising and all other browsers falling (except Opera, which has a loyal but tiny userbase, even in its native Norway) are quite similar with the exception of Germany.
          • by Mia'cova (691309)

            Why does everyone have to immediately call troll these days? Germany is a good counter-example for the claim that the world follows what happens in the UK. I'd also generally consider Germany to be more of a trend-setter than the UK. And if you believe that, it's a clear example of how one small country does NOT typically set the trend for the world as the stats for Germany don't look like anything we're seeing globally.

            In all, calm down. He made some good points if you actually follow the train of thought

          • by arose (644256)

            You went trough all the countries, then followed up with how Opera has a tiny user base even in Norway... yet somehow completely missed Russia [statcounter.com]. Point is, the global trend isn't global, the different countries have their own distinct trends, that the UK is similar to the average doesn't mean much. Brazil seems to be absolutely in love with Chrome. In India Chrome is neck to neck with Firefox and both are going up in favour of IE. Chrome is gaining in Europe overall, but slowly with IE and Firefox battling fo

    • by Dhalka226 (559740)

      In the end it's just going to keep Google honest and make sure they pay a fair price for the search traffic Firefox sends them.

      Maybe. Or maybe it's going to piss them off when somebody they have had a business relationship with for years goes "hey, just because we have a deal and you give us tens of millions of dollars and like 90% of our revenue, we'll still find ways to make pretty much the same deal with somebody else at the same time."

      If somebody had grabbed the source, changed the default and offere

    • by westlake (615356)

      In the end it's just going to keep Google honest and make sure they pay a fair price for the search traffic Firefox sends them. I think Google pays something like $60 or $70 million a year for all the Firefox user searches. That's chump change to someone like Google

      It may be chump change for Google, but it is life and death for the Moz Foundation.

      95% of its annual income,

  • Phew! I had seriously doubted that Microsoft had a hand in this.
  • by Richy_T (111409) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @06:36PM (#37849818) Homepage

    Mozilla and MS are clear that this is a joint venture

    RIP Mozilla

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      This sort of thing should just be called "pulling a Novell".

    • by PRMan (959735)
      I would rather it be RIP IE. We can dream...
    • by leonbev (111395)

      Or, they could be competing with Netflix for the "Worst technology business decision of 2011" award.

      I heard that they have a statue this year!

  • I must admit I haven't really used Bing much until I read this article. Just as a test today I set my default search engine to Bing and it's surprisingly decent! It's a very decent alternative to Google now. Seeing as Microsoft loses money [searchenginewatch.com] on search I don't mind using it either.

    With Google being as big as it is, and having it's finger in EVERYTHING, makes me nervous. Having a viable alternative just serves to keep them honest.

  • by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @06:41PM (#37849860)

    I love google as a company. I love android, I love gmail, and I love google calendar. I use and heavily rely on all three.

    However google's search engine as of recent is very disappointing, largely as a result of a few so called "fixes."

    Google recently did away with the ability to add + before a word to prevent from using synonyms for that word, so when you want to do a literal search for anything, you MUST surround it in quotes. Very annoying.

    I've been finding that as of late, google appears to be omitting some kewords from my search. The page summary doesn't include some of the words, and worse is that when you go to the page, and hit ctrl-f, you can't even find one of the omitted keyword! Frustrating as hell.

    The most annoying, is when you type a search term with google instant, and sometimes when you arrow back to inline edit your search while instant is coming up, or if you accidentally move the mouse over one of the search suggestions, it removes your original search and replaces it with one of the search suggestions, causing you to have to re-type the whole thing! And turning off google instant isn't a reliable solution, because when you lose the cookie, or move to a computer that doesn't have one, you have to go and turn it off again.

    I've been using bing lately and thankfully it doesn't suffer from these problems. I'd like to go back to google, but until they can solve these problems I'll be using bing for a while.

    • Google recently did away with the ability to add + before a word to prevent from using synonyms for that word, so when you want to do a literal search for anything, you MUST surround it in quotes. Very annoying.

      Um, so you're very annoyed by the fact that you have to type two characters ("") instead of one (+)?

      Anyway, what makes moving away from Google surprisingly hard is that it really does learn from your search history (and probably all the other stuff that Google gathers on you) - in my case, at least, it consistently gives me better results, but only if I'm logged in. It probably helps that my primary email is GMail and my primary IM is GTalk, and, more recently, my primary social network is G+ - and I don't

      • Um, so you're very annoyed by the fact that you have to type two characters ("") instead of one (+)?

        Having to type double the characters is a pretty huge degradation in usability. Google seems also to be getting increasingly suspicious of human input, which will require more and more coded notation to override...until the search box simply isn't there one day.

      • Um, so you're very annoyed by the fact that you have to type two characters ("") instead of one (+)?

        Yes. I don't care when I know that I need the literal modifier when I'm initially typing the query. I DO care when I typed a reasonable query and Google does some dumb interpretation of it. With quotes, I now have to either switch to my mouse twice to insert the pair, or use a lot of arrow keys to move across the word. Either way is more annoying than using a single +.

        I also don't like overloading the String operator with Literal functionality.

        I'll grant that fuzzy-search-default is a benefit to average

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I just changed my home page from google to duckduckgo. It's been set to google for over a decade, but this shit with removing the + operator was the last straw. Some of the other stuff (like the black bar and the preview and moving the cache link to the stupid preview thing) was basically cosmetic, but doing away with the plus operator decreases the functionality of their core product. This has really created a lot of extra, stupid work for me (super frustrated that it was all because of the google+ crap).

    • by evilviper (135110)

      You wouldn't believe how much I agree with you about Google's features being a seriously irritating downgrade. But switching to bing is like driving around in a dump truck because your car rattles a little bit...

      I discovered Google early, and jumped on it instantly, converting everyone I knew. Google seriously raised the bar from the cespool of lousy search engines, and I'll be forever greatful for that.

      However, google undeniably values quantity over quality, so they've serious deprioritized the sites you

    • by msobkow (48369)

      I'm giving Bing a try for a while myself. It seems to do a better job of finding Canadian government sites and documents, but Google is better for finding tech references and API documentation.

      But what really surprise me is how much more readable the results of Bing Translate are than Google Translate. Bing is lightyears ahead on this one. Score one for Microsoft.

  • and the release of Firefox with Bing indicates that Mozilla is now confident in Bing's ability to provide a top-notch service to Firefox users.

    I think it clearly indicates that they are willing to take Microsoft's money to distribute a product with different defaults, I don't think its all that clear that it means anything more.

  • Becoming the default search engine on a secondary version of another browser with a declining market share. Is MS trying to implode or are they just clueless?

    • Becoming the default search engine on a secondary version of another browser with a declining market share. Is MS trying to implode or are they just clueless?

      Maybe MS is smart about the future, and TFS is wrong about the direction this points. Maybe its not about the future of Mozilla -- dumping Google -- but instead about the future of Microsoft's browser. Maybe after testing the water with "Firefox with Bing", MS just adopts that in place of IE. Given the plethora of devices with browser, Microsoft's wani

  • release of Firefox with Bing indicates that Mozilla is now confident in Bing's ability to provide a top-notch service to Firefox users.

    Users can set whatever search engine they want, this has nothing to do with "Bing's abilities". The biggest income of browser developers comes from search sites paying to be default. In this case, Microsoft payed more than Google.

  • i've used mozilla stuff since 2002. i used mozilla then pheonix then firefox. i was around for the good and the bad but this tears it. seriously, it seems like 2011 is the year of bat shit crazy decisions over at mozilla. nay, 2011 is the year of bat shit crazy decisions at mozilla. all mozilla has done lately is follow everything chrome does and now this! what is this, google envy?

    the people steering mozilla need a swift kick in the pants because they are acting like a drunken bard out on sunset boul

  • by Lanteran (1883836) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @08:38PM (#37850904) Homepage Journal

    Firefox is suffering from a decline in market share, over fixable technical issues, massive memory leaks, and you spend your time making firefox with bing? Not to mention that the last few releases have been nothing but cheap knock offs of chrome. I want my browser back!

    • What kind of massive development effort do you think it takes for Mozilla to set the default search provider to Bing that it will literally take away from fixing "massive" memory leaks and "technical issues"? Should they just say to hell with it and take whatever scraps Google offers them and lay off half their developers because Google doesn't want to pay them much for the next contract?

      You must live in some kind of utopian version of reality to think that they shouldn't have to run their organization like

      • by Lanteran (1883836)

        Your experiences do not speak for everyone's. I do use Firefox 7, and occasionally test aurora (nightly). I have not had memory leaks until 6, now it takes over a gig of ram to display 5 tabs after a few days. It's also grown crashier, and the general quality is declining. I too, have used firefox since before it was called firefox, and I can say without a doubt that you're wrong. Either that, or you're not running a *nix based OS, where the memory leaks seem more prevalent.

        As for the bing thing, I think it

    • The reason many Slashdot-readers might dislike Firefox usually has absolutely nothing to do with why normal people switch. Do you honestly think that memory leaks would make the average Joe switch to something else? No, it's because:

      1) Chrome gets a LOT of advertising. It's on Google's front page, ads on web pages, included as "bonuses" for some software installs (like those pointless toolbars), etc.

      2) Chrome has a simpler UI than Firefox somewhat. It's not "Traditional", but what do most people who are wil

  • If Microsoft did this and made a corporate friendly version, we'd be all over it. Give us something like FrontMotion and a lot of people would be happy. This is just the Bing crew paying Mozilla to produce a Bing enabled version.
  • So, this is the FF 'permanent fix' for Google Instant?

    If so.. I give it a 7/10 - worth trying to protect users from the utter crap that is Instant.

    I can't say I like M$, I can't say I've really used Bing, but I could really get to hating google if this continues.

    If google don't stop messing with their front page they are going to lose a lot more people.

    I would not be surprised if Bing took over from Google as the default. If google continues on this path.. I might even welcome it.

  • ...always looking for another dog to tie bricks to the head of...

  • You know why they're doing this, right? For years, the only thing that has really made Mozilla Corp. any money is their Google partnership. In fact, they got a little greedy over the years because of it, and have really whored Firefox out with lots of changes primarily to lure in people, and rushed out versions to look competitive with other browsers (sometimes even dropping features just to meet unnecessarily rushed release dates), to the point that they turned it into the same bloated mess which was the

  • So I guess they bumped the version number up because of this major change.

  • This raises the question: when do we get an "open" open-source* search engine?

    *one we have the source-code to, so we know that our search results are genuine; and also one we can rely on for not sharing our thoughts with other parties.

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