It might be worthwhile for Google just to keep Microsoft from buying that promotion for Bing. Because if anyone’s willing to throw massive piles of money at gaining marketshare that isn’t worth anywhere near what they spent to gain it, it’s Microsoft. Given the history between Firefox and Internet Explorer, though, it would be pretty entertaining if Microsoft made such a deal, effectively sponsoring Firefox’s continued development.
I’m a bit sad for Firefox. It used to be the fast, powerful, progressive browser that finally broke IE’s era of stagnant dominance and saved web developers’ sanity. Now, it’s a bloated, slow, unstable monster that’s often a pain in this web developer’s ass.
It’s losing marketshare to Chrome for very good reasons. There’s no place for it in mobile, where most of the growth and action is happening in the industry, and most of their other recent attempts at new platforms and products have fizzled out.
I’m not sure Firefox can be saved. It might continue for a long time as a fringe browser choice, like Opera, but I don’t see how its marketshare will ever increase again.
[It certainly lost a lot of ground with my circle of developers. They went from using it as their only browser, to also using it alongside of others. Trust me to know these guys, that’s two miles of bad road. Ya know? Onward!]