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Is Firefox’s fate up in the air?

 mozilla-firefoxChrome has officially surpassed Firefox as the number two browser and ignited speculation that Mozilla’s application isn’t long for this world. Not only has it lost its prestigious second billing to Google, but a highly profitable deal with the company has also ended.

Google and Mozilla struck a deal back in 2008 that dictated Google would be the default search engine for the Firefox browser. In return, Google paid royally—somewhere between 84- to 86-percent of Mozilla’s revenue for 2009 and 2010.

But the partnership has expired without any indication it will be renewed, which is a scary thought for Firefox as its former paycheck is not ousting it in market share. What’s been so debilitating for Firefox is mobile, where Google’s Chrome and iOS’ Safari have a foothold.

Mozilla has been relatively stagnant when it comes to mobile, doing little more than recently announcing it’s working on a smartphone-friendly OS. Also hurting Firefox was the fact that add-ons were being installed without user permission and its rampant release schedule has been a headache for some IT departments.

Despite any of these complications, Mozilla has a dedicated user base and remains committed to making the Internet easy, safe, and efficient. And these are things that keep consumers coming back for more. Now the question remains how long Firefox will be able to compete based on good faith. Mozilla needs to move into the next phase, where it’s able to go head-to-head with challengers when it comes to mobile and Web apps. Being a good browser isn’t enough anymore, and without a Google partnership, Mozilla is bound to struggle.