I was reading this interesting article by someone on buntfu called “Ubuntu and Mozilla: The inevitable alliance“. There isn’t a way to comment on the actual article, there is no author links/names and it is in a sense simply idle speculation.
But right down there are the bottom of the page is some interesting misconceptions about the nature of Google, Canonical and Mozilla. The old chesnut that confuses Ubuntu with Canonical, the former is a foundation which was never used and the later is a privately held business in the Isle of Man (UK) which controls the entire business and community. Mozilla is a Corporation and a Foundation (in multiple parts) and Google is a share held corporation with a responsibility to it’s share holders only.
It’s possible that Canonical could be sold to Google, but Mark would either want serious control or some sort of section that allows design and implementation of features to roll through. I think the job of Ubuntu isn’t finished yet and I don’t think Mark is ready to simply sell for cash (more? what ever for?) or give up control.
The combination of Mozilla and Ubuntu? Well both have really weird trademark policies that cause grief, which plenty of delicate discussion was needed to resolve. So I suppose they’re common in that sense, but otherwise? Mozilla focuses so much of it’s efforts on the Windows platform that their Linux releases seem more like the personal project of a handful of people, or at least that’s my perception given how much faster Windows Firefox via wine is compared to native Ubuntu Firefox.
I can see the commonality, I just think it’d take a bit of shifting in the industry to end up with the two in a closer relationship. People are already mooting moving to Chromium as the default web browser in Ubuntu and there are plenty of other web browsers in the repository that are moving to webkit and away from gekko.
To sum, I think all these organisations are very different beasts with different primary goals, I can see closer relationships, but merging or buying would seem unlikely at this time.