Mitchell Baker, Chairman of Mozilla, has revealed that the company's open source Firefox web browser earned a hefty $52.9 million during 2005 on his weblog
This shows a significant growth over the revenues from 2003 and 2004, where the company earned $2.4m and 5.8m respectively. This is merely down to the massively increased popularity for Firefox, which stood at 14% of the total browser market in December 2006.
The majority of the revenue increase came from the relationships that Mozilla has established with the big search engines, where it gets paid for traffic that it sends to search engines via the browser's built-in search feature.
Baker goes on to state that the company spent $8.2m, with the majority of this expense being put back into the open source community that helps to develop add-ons for Firefox, Thunderbird and other open source Mozilla products. Finally, he said that the unspent revenue will act as a reserve fund that will give the Foundation long term stability and flexibility.
We expect the figures for 2006 to be higher, as the browser's market share has continued to increase during the last year, but Baker hasn't disclosed those figures yet.