getting the browser for free is value
if you miss out value in the chain (ads, protection against statutory action, etc) then hard to map
- users - the first group that you would consider. Those are actual users that need the browser to access the internet to do their work or spend time in a nice manner. Those are people like you and me, who want to have the browser for free and are ready to pay for it with their data.
- advertisers - those are the companies that pay for the search traffic, sell their ads, and actually fund the browser development. They care only about the traffic.
I have to admit that Mozilla does a pretty decent job. It managed to build a culture of 'Free' as in 'Freedom' and is able to use it as a nice selling point. This selling point provides one group of users with real value.
But when the popularity is jeopardized, Mozilla cannot really make choices:
Unfortunately, Mozilla alone cannot change the industry on DRM at this point. In the past Firefox has changed the industry, and we intend to do so again. Today, however, we cannot cause the change we want regarding DRM. The other major browser vendors — Google, Microsoft and Apple — have already implemented the new system. In addition, the old system will be retired shortly. As a result, the new implementation of DRM will soon become the only way browsers can provide access to DRM-controlled content.
- preinstalled browsers on mobile devices
- apps hiding the internet and search