In what will possibly be the most powerful understatement of the year, Mozilla's Chief Executive, John Lilly, has acknowledged that the organisation's relationship with the search engine giant has become "complicated" since Google launched Chrome back in September.
Lilly said, in an interview to Computerworld, that the organisation had a "fine and reasonable relationship" with Google but added that he would "be lying if I said that things weren't more complicated than they used to be."
This comes a week after Google had quietly replace Mozilla Firefox by its own Chrome browser in its Google software pack 24 hours after it brought Chrome out of beta.
But Lilly downplayed Google's move saying that "The Web matters to all of us, and I think Google is as good as it can be".
He also defended Mozilla's own chances adding ""We collaborate with Google, we talk to them and we have a fine and reasonable relationship. But we'll compete. This is, after all, user driven"
Mozilla derives most of its revenues from Google with nearly 90 cents in every dollar of Mozilla's revenues for 2007 coming from the search engine giant with the agreement between the two companies expiring in 2011.
Google Chrome launched only 3 months ago and has already garnered more than 10 million users; although this is less than the number of Firefox 3.0 downloads within the first 48 hours of its official release.
Firefox has around 140 million users four years after it was released and used Google as its default search since the beginning.
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Firefox has 20 percent of the global browser marketshare for now. But how long will they be able to keep on at this level remains to be seen. Next year, mobile browsing will be the big theme and Mozilla, unlike the rest of the competition, has yet to release a proper mobile browser. Is it already too late?