I suspect few are aware that besides funding the Chrome browser, Google has been the primary supporter of the Firefox browser by paying the Mozilla Foundation for searches originating within the Firefox search box.
Both parties seem to have benefited well from this arrangement, yet the Foundation has always run the risk of having “all ones eggs in one basket“. In a blog posting the Mozilla Foundation states new sponsorship opportunites will come from its Directory Tiles “start page”, the default view when a user opens Firefox unless they’ve explicitly stated a start page.
Diversifying the Foundation’s funding sources can only be a good thing as long as the advertising isn’t too intrusive. Given the browser’s open source nature, Mozilla will most likely have to provide a way for users to turn advertising off completely, otherwise Firefox browser “forks”, i.e. derivative versions, may gain traction.