I have a question in the wake of the Brendan Eich business. I’ve never installed the Firefox browser on my laptop; Internet Explorer handles my browsing needs just fine, thanks. I have an older desktop that’s still in service, but IE bogs down so we use Google Chrome instead. I do have Firefox installed on my work computer; I have a couple of programs that require it, and my experience is that it is modestly more robust that IE on our crappy government networks.
But my question is, how do Mozilla and Google make money on free stuff? Google supposedly makes money on targeted advertising and on selling consumer data for marketing purposes. But while I regularly use Google for internet shopping, I have never – not once that I can recall – clicked on an embedded Google “targeted” advertisement and bought something.
And Mozilla? They’re not even a search engine! The only product they make that I know about is Firefox. I assume they have an option to track my browsing history, but the user can opt out of that (as I have done at work).
So while I’ll be happy to help punish Mozilla for gross moral turpitude, I don’t actually understand the path a dollar takes from my wallet to Mozilla.
Any explanation would be appreciated.