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Mozilla delivers Binged-up Firefox browser

Seeing the web through Microsoft's eyes

Mozilla has released a customised version of Firefox that defaults to Microsoft's Bing.

The customised Firefox, released yesterday, sets Bing as your default search engine in the search box. AwesomeBar will also set Bing.com as your home page. If Bing on Firefox is your thing, you can download it here. Existing Firefoxers can change by installing the Bing Search for Firefox Add-on.

In a brief announcement here, Mozilla said a Bing-flavoured version of its browser extends the partnership with Microsoft announced last year.

That Microsoft deal, announced in October 2010, saw Mozilla add Bing to a list of search-engine options in the pull-down menu. This allows you to switch from the traditional default, Google.

Before that users could manually add Bing to the menu.

Microsoft welcomed Wednesday's Bing update to Firefox, saying: "Now Firefox users who are Bing enthusiasts can use Firefox with Bing to use the web the way they want without having to take extra steps to navigate or customise their settings to Bing."

Under its 2010 deal with Microsoft, Mozilla signed a financial agreement with the software giant to share revenue based on traffic sent from Firefox to Bing.

Details were not released back then or this week. The Mozilla post announcing the Binged Firefox browser makes no mention of financials.

Mozilla has been slowly separating itself from Google for about a year.

Google traditionally supplied almost all of Mozilla's revenue under a 2004 agreement between the two. Mozilla's received a slice of the search dollars pulled in by Firefox. This saw Google account for as much as 91 per cent of Mozilla's revenue; that deal was set to expire this year.

Since that deal was signed, though, Google launched its Chrome browser.

One of Mozilla's top men in the past pointed to the opportunity for Firefox, which has around a quarter of the browser market, to assist non-Google internet search options.

Mozilla director and Firefox desktop browser marketing manager Asa Dotzler has said: "Maybe there is some opportunity for Mozilla to help feature or highlight emerging search organisations or features in a way we're not doing today. This is definitely something we're thinking about."

Announcing last year's partnership with Microsoft, and the first addition of Bing to Firefox, Mozilla said:

Bing ... offers a user experience that we think users will find valuable, and with its significant rise in popularity over the last year, we will also be including Bing as a general search option for English language users.

Mozilla on Wednesday drew attention to the existence of nearly 20 customised versions of Firefox distributed globally by partners who include Twitter, Yahoo! and United Internet. ®

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