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Could open source abandon the Google train?

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As arguably the world's largest open-source company, Google has a big stake in maintaining its place at the heart of the open-source ecosystem. Recent events, however, suggest that Google can't rest on its laurels if it wants to secure the hearts and minds of open-source developers.

Make no mistake: Google needs those developers. Android, Chrome (and Chrome OS), and other Google initiatives depend upon fostering vibrant open-source communities that can help it to surpass Microsoft and Apple.

Such communities may be ready to cut the Google umbilical cord, however, which should be worrying to Google.

There have been rumblings that Mozilla would look to Google alternatives for the default search engine within Firefox, despite Mozilla pulling in 91 percent of its revenues from its Google partnership. Mozilla employee Asa Dotzler, though not speaking for the foundation, says that he'd welcome a switch from Google given its rising dominance over the Web.

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