Spotted on the Google homepage today, using the IE browser, was this blazing advertisement for Firefox:

(click image for full screenshot)

While Google has advertised Firefox on its homepage before, it was a co-promotion of Firefox with the Google Toolbar. This current advertisement is for Firefox alone. But what does "Optimized for Google" mean??! The Firefox 2.0 browser already comes with Google as its default search, but this advertisement implies there are more default Google services integrated into Firefox. Is it just Google Toolbar, or does it include other things?

Update: OK I wasn't the first to blog this. So I removed the 'breaking news' bit :-) I guess Fox News doesn't have to worry just yet.... (ref Jeremy's comment #1).

Update 2: Some interesting reactions already in the comments. Emre Sokullu says this validates R/WW's previous GoogleOS coverage - i.e. Google is taking steps against the upcoming Vista rollout, by promoting Firefox. Also John Milan notes:

"I can't imagine how its any different than Netscape of old. They started with great internet mindshare, but never could overcome Microsoft's OS advantage."

Finally, as Emre also pointed out, it's noteworthy that Google never puts advertisements on its homepage. Leaving aside the close relationship between the two organizations, this definitely counts as an advertisement...