Mozilla is testing Microsoft Bing as Firefox’s default search engine

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Mozilla is conducting a study to test user responses to changing the default Firefox search engine to Microsoft Bing.

Like all browsers, Mozilla Firefox automatically configures a browser on a default search engine to perform searches through the address bar.

For example, Google is the default search engine for Chrome, Brave, and Firefox, unsurprisingly, Bing is the default search engine for Microsoft Edge.

While it’s no surprise that Chrome uses Google Search, it’s not as obvious why Mozilla would do it as well.

Indeed, Google and Mozilla have signed an agreement according to which Google pays between 400 and 450 million dollars per year until 2023 for Firefox to use Google search as the default search engine.

With this deal being the biggest revenue generator for Mozilla, it’s surprising that they’ve now started experimenting with Bing as the default search engine for a small subset of users.

Test Bing as your default search engine

As first reported by Ghacks, a new SUMO search experience launched on September 6, 2021, will set Bing as the default search engine for 1% of all Firefox Desktop users.

“As of September 6, 2021, 1% of the Desktop user base will experience Bing as the default search engine. The study will last until early 2022, and will likely end by the end of January, ”the description of the SUMO study reads.

To check if you are registered in this study or in others, you can type about: studies in the Firefox address bar and press Enter. The browser will display a screen with all the studies to which your browser is registered.

Firefox about: studies screen
Firefox about: studies screen

Firefox users whose default search engine is changed can use the following steps to switch to a different one.

It’s not clear why Mozilla is performing this test, given that Google accounts for the bulk of their revenue stream.

With Google’s current contract expiring in fifteen months, Mozilla may be considering making a deal with Microsoft instead.

BleepingComputer has contacted Mozilla with questions about the study but has not received a response yet.


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