On November 15, Mozilla debuted its next-generation Firefox browser. Dubbed Firefox Quantum, it features several major changes, including the use of Google as the default search engine instead of Yahoo.
For more than three years, Yahoo has been the default search engine for Firefox users. When you used the browser’s built-in search tool, it would automatically perform the search on Yahoo. Granted, users could specify their preferred search engine in the browser’s settings. By default, however, Firefox would use Yahoo.
This is because Mozilla signed a deal with Yahoo in 2014, requiring Firefox to use Yahoo as the default browser. As explained by Gizmodo, Mozilla was criticized for using Yahoo as the default Firefox browser. Some users claimed that Mozilla was simply trying to generate revenue instead of looking out for the best interests of Firefox users.
Well, it appears that Mozilla has listened because the new Firefox Quantum browser uses Google instead of Yahoo. When speaking about the change, Mozilla’s Denelle Dixon said Firefox Quantum uses Google to improve user experience and performance. However, the browser also comes equipped with more than 60 other search engines.
Of course, this isn’t the only change Mozilla made to its new Firefox browser. According to the company’s own website, Firefox Quantum is twice as fast as previous versions of the browser. It’s also reportedly 30 percent lighter than its Chrome counterpart, allowing users to conserve their computing resources.
Firefox has had its fair share of ups and down in the web browser market. Usage peaked in Q3 2009, during which approximately 32 percent of internet users preferred Mozilla’s browser over its competitors. Around this same time, though, Google released its Chrome browser, resulting in the gradual decline of Firefox.
As of September 2017, Mozilla’s Firefox browser is now well behind Chrome. Statistics show that between 5.96 percent and 13.6 percent of global internet users use Firefox as a desktop browser. In comparison, Chrome accounts for more than 50 percent of all web browser usage.
Perhaps Firefox Quantum will help Mozilla regain some of this market share. Being that it’s faster, lighter and equipped with Google as the default search engine, it’s sure to have a positive impact.