Google has replaced Firefox with Chrome as the default browser in the Google Pack, the search company's application bundle for Windows.
Though Firefox is still available as an option within the pack, it is no longer selected by default. Instead, Chrome is automatically ticked, meaning that anybody who clicks the download button without bothering to check the apps will be foregoing Mozilla's browser.
It's an interesting turnaround in the relationship between the two companies, though Google was keen to point out in its statement that it has been a staunch advocate of
the open-source alternative.
"Google contributed significantly to Firefox's popularity by promoting it on the homepage, including the browser in a software bundle and encouraging publishers to promote Firefox. Google's official alternative to Internet Explorer is now Chrome."
Indeed, Google remains Mozilla's largest financial supporter. The company recently revealed that 88% of its 2007 revenue came from Google. The search giant pays for assigning Google as the default search engine in Firefox. That deal has been extended to 2011, though given how aggressively Google is now marketing Chrome, Mozilla must have some concerns past that date.
Google says the decision to drop Firefox as the default was made to coincide with Chrome coming out of beta, and currently only affects English language versions of the pack.