Building off the partnership that kicked off last year, Mozilla and Microsoft have just announced the existence of another joint venture with the rollout of the Firefox with Bing browser. As the name suggests, the new version of Mozilla’s popular browser uses Microsoft Bing as its search engine of choice in the search box and AwesomeBar. In addition, it sets the default home page to Bing.com.
Mozilla officially announced Firefox with Bing in a short blog post. Microsoft’s Bing team did the same, noting that they were “excited to make it even easier for members of the Mozilla Firefox community to use Bing.” Bing fans previously had the option to use Microsoft’s search engine by default through the Bing Search for Firefox add-on. Adjusting Firefox’s configuration settings was another option as well, but the all-inclusive download that is now available is seen as much more of a user-friendly alternative.
Firefox with Bing does not mark the first time that Microsoft has teamed up with Mozilla. When Firefox 4 debuted in October 2010, it came equipped with a variety of search box options to give users alternatives to Google. Microsoft’s Bing search engine was just one of the options, with Yahoo, eBay, Wikipedia, and Amazon product search also thrown into the mix. Bing had just over one year on the market at the time, and Microsoft saw the opportunity as a way to get expand its search engine’s presence.
Microsoft can only hope that the introduction of Firefox with Bing will help to increase the popularity of its search engine. Since its launch in the summer of 2009, Bing has generated $5.5 billion in losses for Microsoft, and recent reports show that it now loses the company an average of one billion dollars per quarter. Bing is currently the default search engine on Microsoft’s Windows Phone and RIM’s BlackBerry phones, as well as the Internet Explorer browser. Even Internet Explorer’s status as the most widely used browser in the world has not helped to boost Bing’s market share to a respectable level, however, as it sits behind Google, Yahoo, and China’s Baidu search engine with just 4 percent of the global market.
Firefox with Bing can be downloaded by visiting firefoxwithbing.com. Users with Firefox already downloaded can get the enhanced browser by installing the aforementioned Bing Search for Firefox add-on.
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