Josh Catone over at SitePoint reports that Firefox has decided to drop Google as their default search option for Yandex. This will effect all the versions they release for the Russian market. According to Mozilla General Counsel Harvey Anderson, the reason behind the change was a study of Russian user behavior conducted by Mozilla that concluded that Russian users wanted direct access to Yandex more than Google.
This is quite a blow for Google in the Russian market, where they are trying to gain ground against the market leader, Yandex who currently holds 46.8% market share against their 33%.
Firefox itself has been gaining popularity in Russia, where the browser landscape has been traditionally dominated by Internet Explorer and Opera. The latter holds their largest market share worldwide in Russia with 17.4% for Opera and 7.1% for Opera Mini. Firefox now holds 20% market share, leaving IE with only 50% coverage in Russia.
Hat tip to Andrey Petrov for the graph