We are not rivals
Google spokesman Peter Kasting has had a bit of a rant about why his outfit has invested shedloads of cash in its apparently rival Mozilla.
He said that since Google wrote a cheque to put its search engine in the Mozilla browser people have been wondering why. After all its own Chrome is doing rather well. Kasting said that people never seem to understand why Google builds Chrome no matter how many times he tries to pound it into their heads.
“It's very simple: the primary goal of Chrome is to make the web advance as much and as quickly as possible. That's it. It's completely irrelevant to this goal whether Chrome actually gains tons of users or whether instead the web advances because the other browser vendors step up their game and produce far better browsers. Either way the web gets better,” he said. Kasting believes Google would be willing to fund Mozilla because the outfit is committed to the betterment of the web, and they're spending their resources to make a great, open-source web browser.
Firefox is an important product because it can be a different product with different design decisions and serve different users well, he added.
“Mozilla's commitment to advancing the web is why I was hired at Google explicitly to work on Firefox before we built Chrome: Google was interested enough in seeing Firefox succeed to commit engineering resources to it, and we only shifted to building Chrome when we thought we might be able to cause even greater increases in the rate at which the web advanced,” Kasting said.
Chrome doesn't need to be a Microsoft Office, a direct money-maker, nor does it even need to directly feed users to Google. "Just making the web more capable is enough," he said.