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Firefox Search In Ubuntu 10.04 Changed To Google 224

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the we-call-that-flip-flopping dept.
kai_hiwatari writes "Sometime back Canonical decided to change the default search in Firefox that comes Ubuntu 10.04 to Yahoo! from Google. In a surprising turn-around, Canonical have decided to a ditch Yahoo! for Google. Rick Spencer from Canonical announced that Google will now be the default Firefox search in Ubuntu 10.04, not Yahoo! as was previously decided."
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Firefox Search In Ubuntu 10.04 Changed To Google

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  • Good for them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iammani (1392285) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:47AM (#31777200)
    I dont think any one would want Yahoo as default search
    • by Pojut (1027544)

      I sure wouldn't. Why were they going to go with yahoo in the first place?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Money? Google must have offered them more to come back then they were originally paying Canonical.

        • Re:Good for them (Score:4, Insightful)

          by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:40PM (#31778062) Journal

          Exactly. Why is this news? Canonical calculated that they get better commissions from Google than Yahoo at this point. It leads me to believe that Google increased their payout for Canonical and they switched back from Yahoo.

          /thread

          • by poetmatt (793785)

            Basically. That and yahoo's search quality/layout used to be crap. I don't know if it is anymore because I don't even use it.

          • Re:Good for them (Score:4, Interesting)

            by shaitand (626655) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @03:14PM (#31780522) Journal

            Has anyone considered the possibility they were boycotting Google after they caved to gov censorship in China and now support them again now that they have moved out?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Alternatively, they could have realized that the PR hit they would take with geek & power user audience from going with Yahoo would cost them more than any direct revenue they'd get from that. And they do need geeks to do evangelizing, and to some extent tech support (forums etc) for them.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by pbhj (607776)

              To attempt to turn Yahoo down and go with a worse offer from Google? Surely Yahoo will never look at them again and Google will have cut their offer from the original that was considered not good enough. I can't really see your interpretation being right.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by AvitarX (172628)

          If I had to guess it would be that people were ditching yahoo! and changing their homepage etc.

          So even though yahoo! was paying more, people fleeing the default lead to a lot of zeros getting averaged in for canonical.

    • Re:Good for them (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Krneki (1192201) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:31PM (#31777902)

      I dont think any one would want Yahoo as default search

      Who gives a shit about what users wants anyway?

      Look at Microsoft or Apple, they tell you what you need.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:49AM (#31777244)

    I think I'll have to Google that one.

  • Unfortunately (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dsavi (1540343)
    Unfortunately, apparently nobody outside of Canonical actually knows why they switched back. Wasn't it that Yahoo! offered them money? Then the only conclusion I can come to is that Google outbid them.
    • Re:Unfortunately (Score:5, Informative)

      by I confirm I'm not a (720413) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:55AM (#31777378) Journal

      Fortunately one Canonical employee is prepared to share what they know with us: from TFA:
      Rick Spencer, who announced the change back to Google, said that Canonical have decided to change back to Google after deciding that Google Search will be more familiar to a lot of users upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04...

      Of course, you may choose not to believe that. But Canonical are providing an explanation.

      • Re:Unfortunately (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sounder40 (243087) * on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:04PM (#31777500)

        Fortunately one Canonical employee is prepared to share what they know with us: from TFA:
          Rick Spencer, who announced the change back to Google, said that Canonical have decided to change back to Google after deciding that Google Search will be more familiar to a lot of users upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04...

        Of course, you may choose not to believe that. But Canonical are providing an explanation.

        If "familiarity" was the issue, then why move the fsck'ing window buttons to the upper left? I don't buy that as an argument.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by segedunum (883035)

          If "familiarity" was the issue, then why move the fsck'ing window buttons to the upper left? I don't buy that as an argument.

          Heh. Hey, if we copy off the Mac and make it look like a Mac, but, you know, don't go the whole hog and clone the whole Mac UI, because that would be, you know, silly, then maybe something......will happen? Clearly, they've got bitten by the bug that if they clone Mac OS X then that will solve all of their problems. Also, why bother to change the search to Yahoo if familiarity was ev

        • by Nerdfest (867930)
          I think all of this (the window button, the search engine, the colours) is to grab some media attention.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Bert64 (520050)

          The window buttons on the top left is nothing new...
          AmigaOS had the close button on the top left, as has MacOS (and still does)..
          Windows 3.1 also had the the menu (providing the close option) in the top left...
          Unix window managers like SGI 4DWm were similar... I have a feeling CDE did the same too.

          Ubuntu also offer an easy way to change back to the old behavior, something microsoft never offered when they changed the interface radically for windows 95..

          • I think the fact is that Gnome has *always* had buttons on the right, despite any other desktop environments/window managers/operating systems. And Ubuntu has always standardized on Gnome. Why screw with it?? You're just upsetting users.

          • by gbjbaanb (229885)

            to be fair, even Windows has the exit button on the top left, you just have to double-click on it to make it work (which, in itself could be considered a good safety feature from accidentally single-clicking.)(Unfortunately single-clicking has a bug that makes it display some lines of text)

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Requiem18th (742389)

          I have a theory I posted in that legendary bug report, I'll just paste it down here:

          I think Mark first rationale for the change was actually right and
          overriding. He needs to clear the right corner to put something there
          and he needs to do it 6 months in advance.

          I can already sort of guess what it will be. Forget Esfera, it will be
          some sort of live facebook chat/twitter feed/location broadcaster/ad
          displayer, possibly.

          The functionality is there, the calendar panel applet can stay open on
          top of the windows alre

        • by DrXym (126579)
          If "familiarity" was the issue, then why move the fsck'ing window buttons to the upper left? I don't buy that as an argument.

          Thankfully Ubuntu seem to have garnished a clue in respect to the position of the close button. Some themes put it in the left hand corner, some in the right and people have a choice to pick what they like. Most importantly the close button is always in the corner and not not shoved over by the absence or not of maximize & minimize buttons.

        • Whatever they are saying about "familiarity" is just crap. Nobody will buy it. Its simply about money - Google outbid Yahoo.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mftb (1522365)

          The window button movement has been justified as a mouse movement reducer - when the clickable elements of the menu bar are on the left and the window buttons are on the right, you have to move the mouse further to go from one to the other. Personally, I barely ever touch my mouse so it doesn't really concern me either way, but I can respect that decision as a genuine attempt to reduce the user's wasted interface time.

        • For all the Mac users switching. It's obvious with the new Windows 7 release being so popular that Canonical expects to see more converts from Mac this time around. Sheesh.
    • It could have been feedback from Ubuntu fans. I missed the switch to Yahoo - but if I had seen it, I would have weighed in with my disapproval. I haven't used Yahoo more than a few times in my life, for a reason. There is nothing I need, want, or like on Yahoo.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dan828 (753380)
        Really it's a non-issue. A couple of clicks and you're using the search engine of your choice anyways. I downloaded the ubuntu 10.4 beta the other day just to play with, and was mildly surprised that Yahoo came up as the default search engine. I spent all of 5 seconds thinking it must be some financial/political thing that I hadn't heard about, then changed it to Google. Most people savvy enough to use Linux can figure out how to change the settings in Firefox to what they want. People that don't know
        • if you change the pull down by the search bar at the top, it changes your home page. I was a bit surprised I didn't have to go into any preferences menus for it.

      • I stopped using Yahoo when signing up for a mail account meant you were distributed to spammer lists before you could opt out via the options screen. I remember around early 2001 or so, when signing up a friend for an account, went to the options to opt out of the marketing emails, but already had spam in the Inbox. I finally got around to converting everything to an address on my own domain and mail server, haven't looked back since.
    • I believe that simply Google offered them more money than Yahoo.

      It took some time for the corporate gears to grind the information "Free software picks a Bing-based competitor instead of us... we must be doing something wrong. They made the switch for money. How much were we paying them again?"

  • by blahbooboo (839709) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:51AM (#31777296)
    If you're running Linux as your desktop OS, I suspect you have the necessary knowledge & skills to change the default search engine in your web browser
    • by mqduck (232646)

      True enough... But isn't the goal of Ubuntu to be a GNU/Linux distro for everyone? That may not be the *reality*, but Ubuntu is an example of a project where of where we should try to avoid "anyone who's knowledgeable enough to..." kinds of arguments.

    • If you're running Linux as your desktop OS..

      Considering the distribution we're talking about (it's not Gentoo), you just said the equivalent of "If you're running a desktop personal computer, I suspect you have the necessary knowledge and skills..."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Compaqt (1758360)

      Well, Ubuntu claims to want to be "Linux for Human Beings".

      Although, on the other hand, the switch to Yahoo gives just about the same user experience as Google for the average user. You type a search query, it gives you results, in the same green and blue colors, even.

      I doubt many average users would even care to change, but if they did, the UI to change it to Google is right there out in front, and only takes a single click.

      Definitely not like the moving of the window controls, which does in fact change th

      • Yeah.. I used to be very used to top left clicking for closing from Amiga Workbench and Mac OS.. took a while to adjust to using the other side.. good thing you can close most windows with control w and usually whole apps with ctrl-q anyway.. though I don't know the shortcuts to switch in and out of maximised window views in Ubuntu, but if you're doing those things you're likely going to be using the mouse for moving the window around anyway.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jimcooncat (605197)

      I disagree. I set up computers for people that have had no or little previous exposure to computers, and I set them up with Linux because it's easier for them to learn. Though I'm now moving to Debian, some of my first victims -- I meant users -- were first exposed to default Ubuntu and Xubuntu installs. You know what? They were able to email, browse the web, and play games with very little help from me.

      For something like changing the default search engine, they would give me a call and I'd ssh/vnc into the

    • by shaitand (626655)

      Why would you assume that? Provided you are using compatible hardware Linux is probably the most user friendly desktop OS available.

    • Even if your not a linux user, it's just a one liner in the terminal to get it back to the right search engine. *ducks*
  • A good sign? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:52AM (#31777304)

    The switch to Yahoo was due to a revenue sharing deal. The switch back to Google was (reportedly) to stick users with a more "familiar" default.

    So it sounds like Canonical is putting users first, which strikes me as a very good policy in the long-term, if they want to grow the user base.

    • by QBasicer (781745)
      Pretty hard to put users first if you've gone broke.
  • But why? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:53AM (#31777324) Journal

    Perhaps "the brains" over at Canonical decided to finally listen to the open source community that provides the backbone of their business.

  • There's not really anything else to say about it.
  • it's just a bloody search engine. How is this newsworthy (even for /.)?
  • If you're geek enough to be running a Linux distro in the first place, chances are you've always eyed the default settings -- particularly on something as critical as search -- very carefully, and made your adjustments promptly after your install. Ubuntu-using Google fans have no doubt been changing their default back to Google regularly, just as the Yahoo fans will now change their defaults.

    Hopefully, Canonical got a lot of money from Google for this.

    Hopefully, they've already cashed the check...

  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:55AM (#31777370)

    Stuff like this erodes my faith in humanity. No, not that companies make these little placement deals. It's that these little placement deals actually matter because the overwhelming majority of users are too dumb or apathetic to figure out that the search engines and their ordering are easily configurable -- using a handy, point-and-drool GUI interface, no less.

    I can't say I didn't see it coming. Around 1996, when I had AOL users complaining that the articles on my website were "cut off at the bottom of the screen", and I had to explain scrollbars to them, I should have found another career, preferably one that involved frequent use of explosives and heavy earthmoving equipment.

    • If people only choose from the top 10 or so results from any search engine, and they make fairly generic searches, search engine choice shouldn't matter to much. For popular things, they all return approximately the same thing (in my experience, not in the same order, but they're mostly all there on the front page). People who are persnickety and make special searches a lot likely have a favored engine and will change the settings to match their needs. Most people want to configure their computer to do t
    • Re: Saw it coming (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TaoPhoenix (980487)

      Did you see it coming enough to make a couple of good stock calls? In hindsight it would have only taken about 4:
      Buy MS in 1994 just before Win95.
      Buy Yahoo and Google in 1995.
      Buy Apple around 1999.
      Sell Yahoo in 2001 just before the crash.
      Sell MS around 2002 just after Win XP
      Sell Apple = pending TBD.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by guyminuslife (1349809)

        Buy Google in 1995?

        "[Google] was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 4, 1998, with its initial public offering to follow on August 19, 2004."

        He must have really seen it coming.

        Also, by "the crash" are you referring to the dot-com bust? 'Cause I think you might want to sell in 2000, not 2001.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by barzok (26681)

        Buy Yahoo and Google in 1995.

        Buying stock in a company 2 years before it was created, and 9 years before its IPO, would be one hell of an achievement.

    • I use the 10.04 beta, and did when it used Yahoo as the default as well. Canonical actually made it so if you changed your default search engine in the search box on the upper right, it would actually change the home page back to a Google search rather than a Yahoo one as well.

      I'm quite sure both of these are simply escalating revenue sharing deals, but nobody can make the argument that Canonical was trying to force us over to Yahoo.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Around 1996, when I had AOL users complaining that the articles on my website were "cut off at the bottom of the screen", and I had to explain scrollbars to them, I should have found another career, preferably one that involved frequent use of explosives and heavy earthmoving equipment.

      Why bother changing careers?

    • If you're so easily irritated i for one am glad your career has nothing to do with explosives or heavy equipment ;)
  • by daranz (914716) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:10PM (#31777592)

    I recommend that at install time, the user is presented with a window containing randomly ordered buttons for 6 of the top web search engines on the market today. By selecting one of the buttons, the user makes that search engine the default. This should keep everything fair and everyone happy.

    (now we just need to find 6 search engines that people actually use)

  • Only one? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thyamine (531612) <[moc.snogardfo] [ta] [enimayht]> on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:15PM (#31777652) Homepage Journal
    Maybe I'm the only one, but I never use the search box. I just have Google as my home page, so I'm just a new tab away from my preferred search anyways. And with Chrome I don't even need to wait for the page to load now.
  • Has Yahoo EVER been the preferred search engine? By ANYONE?

    As far as I can recall the least sucky search choice before Google was Altavista, and before that Lycos.

  • by TejWC (758299) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:46PM (#31778156)

    Do note that the Yahoo change was going to effect Firefox users. Konqueror, Arora and all other browsers users were not affected in the first place.
    Also, if you upgraded from 9.10 to 10.04 and were using Google back in 9.10, Google stayed as your default search engine.

    I think the real reason why Ubuntu went back to Google is because Google has too much branding over the idea of searching the web. Nobody says "just Yahoo! that". Shockingly enough, there are people who are new to the web and do not even know what Yahoo! is but has heard of Google. Remember, Canonical true goal is Linux on the desktop for everybody; even users who are new to computers.

  • Smart move (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:58PM (#31778368) Homepage Journal

    Smart move. Ubuntu has figured out that most Linux users will (correctly) follow this line of thought:
      1. Yahoo == Bing
      2. Bing == Microsoft
      3. If Ubuntu search == Yahoo, then Ubuntu == sucks

    • by yelvington (8169)

      But wouldn't it be sweet if Microsoft were paying Ubuntu for every copy of Linux distributed? And then we all just changed the search back to Google anyway? I know I'd like it.

  • Or they got that thing I sent them.

  • by GoodNicksAreTaken (1140859) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @01:32PM (#31778884)

    ...change the default search in Firefox that comes Ubuntu 10.04 to Yahoo! from Google.

    Apparently I haven't been watching enough Discovery channel as I've never heard of this type of fox procreation before. Does a Firefox come Ubuntu when you Google it or only when you get it to Yahoo?

  • Has anyone else notice that google's search is actually starting to become a bit spammed out? I love most of big G's services, but searching seems to have become somewhat of an abysmal exercise of hunt-and-dig through sites that are massively spamming for key-words. I'm not talking about those like experts-exchange either, but rather the thousands of throwaway-domains that pop up in the top search results (especially for less common searches, like programming stuff), yet other than spammed keywords, have NO

  • In other news, the homepage will be switched to FourSquare.

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