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Ubuntu Moves To Yahoo For Default Firefox Search 370

An anonymous reader writes "Starting in Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx release, Firefox's default search engine will be switched from Google to Yahoo. The switch was made after Canonical 'negotiated a revenue sharing deal with Yahoo.' Google will still be available as a choice. Since Yahoo search is now powered by Microsoft's Bing, this would seem to mean that Microsoft will be paying people for using Ubuntu."
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Ubuntu Moves To Yahoo For Default Firefox Search

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  • by ausoleil ( 322752 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:29AM (#30916190) Homepage

    If someone thinks that Microsoft has changed their stripes, they are being foolish.

    In 1996, John Markoff said, "Rather than merely embrace and extend the Internet, the company's critics now fear, Microsoft intends to engulf it." Bing and putting Bing everywhere, including a major Linux distro is just a continuation of that strategy.

    In other words, this is just more of the same for a company trying to leverage the Internet and in their most grandiose scheme, somehow come to dominate it.

  • Re:Doesn't matter (Score:5, Informative)

    by mejogid ( 1575619 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:31AM (#30916212)
    All they're doing is changing the system defaults - your user profile will remain exactly. It gives them the potential for a positive cash flow and the only cost is that people who need their Google will have to add 2 seconds to their system set-up process. I'm tempted to go Yahoo anyway due to their better privacy policies, and if doing so helps Canonical then that's pretty tempting. It's good to see a couple of underdogs team up like this, even if Yahoo is semi-backed by MS.
  • by ThrowAwaySociety ( 1351793 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:42AM (#30916346)

    "Chrome" has long been the term for the browser's UI...the toolbars, status bars, and such that surround the content.

    Google calling its browser "Chrome(tm)" would be like calling an operating system "Windows(tm)."

  • Re:Worse (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:49AM (#30916426)

    They removed GIMP? I'm not surprised, GIMP is overkill for what most people need or can understand. Give an older person Photoshop on Windows and they'll get confused, they need something more basic.

    No, thiy didn't remove GIMP. The removed GIMP from the default install. It was there in the first place as a sort of show-case of what was available but, being a fairly specialised application, it is now a bit of an anachronism in a basic install.

  • But bing sucks (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:53AM (#30916468)

    With the recent google CEO privacy statement fiasco I actually made a concentrated effort to avoid google search and use bing instead.

    After two weeks I was pretty much ready to sell all my private information to google just to have a working search engine again.

    The search results from bing were irrelevant rubbish (if not just plain wrong) and it was the same thing whether I searched using English terms or those of my native language.

    Bing sucks.

  • by H4x0r Jim Duggan ( 757476 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:58AM (#30916528) Homepage Journal

    I've switched to using

    It's a meta search engine that focusses on privacy by not logging your IP address and your searches. On the technical side, it's nearly as good as the big name search engine I used previously.

    Here's a plugin for GNU IceCat / IceWeasel / Firefox: Ixquick [], or the https version [] (which I haven't tried, but I guess is the same to users).

  • Re:Question (Score:4, Informative)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:05AM (#30916634) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft is no more or less open source than Google.

    Chrome has a substantial Free version without the patented parts. IE doesn't.

  • by Bragador ( 1036480 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:10AM (#30916692)
    Simply use [] since it searches Yahoo! and many search engines. It has no logs, no IP, nothing! In this way, you can use your precious Yahoo! while truly being protected.
  • Re:Worse (Score:4, Informative)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:12AM (#30916716) Homepage


    They whined about how much space GIMP was taking up only to replace it with something that takes nearly the same amount of space if you include mono dependencies.

  • Re:Doesn't matter (Score:3, Informative)

    by Erikderzweite ( 1146485 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:15AM (#30916754)

    It will affect new isnstallations only. Existing profiles won't be updated. So, no unwanted changes unless you're doing a clean install (admins rarely do).

  • by Per Wigren ( 5315 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:38AM (#30917060) Homepage
    They show you ads unless you are running adblock.
  • Re:But bing sucks (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:47AM (#30917174)

    Actually, I find Bing to be superior in one, but critical, area: searching for porn.

  • Re:first post (Score:4, Informative)

    by Crudely_Indecent ( 739699 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:00AM (#30917358) Journal

    Still not quite correct, it should be: Microsoft paying other people who manage an open source operating system to switch their end users default search engine.

    I don't know about you, but I don't get paid by Microsoft to use Bing/Yahoo. It seems that the people who are getting paid are Canonical, not the users. I'm just glad they're providing options.

  • by paulzeye ( 736282 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:44AM (#30918062)
    Not really laziness, it just feels like it is turning into a crappier product so I don't want to use it anymore. Changing the default search engine seems like it would be the lazier route. Sure I have the ability to choose which search provider I use, but I also have the ability to choose which distro I use.
  • Re:Question (Score:5, Informative)

    by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:09PM (#30918480) Homepage Journal

    Funny, but for anyone who wants to really understand the issue, it's much more nuanced and more sensible than that.

    Mozilla told Debian that Debian could not distributed modified versions of Firefox with the Mozilla trademarked names and images. Debian developers habitually patch upstream software in various ways to make it fit into the Debian system better, to fix bugs, etc. One solution would have been for Debian to ship only the exact versions released by Mozilla. Another solution would have been for Debian to get Mozilla to approve each modified version that Debian wanted to release. A pain, but doable.

    However, the discussion highlighted another, deeper problem: If Debian can't modify FF and redistribute the result without infringing on Mozilla's trademarks, that means neither can anyone else. Under Debian's Free Software guidelines, it must be possible for users of Debian to modify and redistribute software at will, [i]without[/i] needing to acquire any additional permissions, or else the software is non-free. That meant that FF is non-free software.

    That's not a huge problem; Debian distributes lots of non-free software. So a solution to the problem might have been to get Mozilla's permission to distribute the modifications, and then put FF in the non-free repository. Per the Debian Social Contract, however, non-free software cannot be essential to the operation of the system. So FF couldn't be the default browser on the system.

    But Debian [i]wanted[/i] FF to be the default browser, and so did Mozilla. It's a fine browser, perhaps even the best around, free, non-free or proprietary. And Debian really didn't have another good option -- Seamonkey is in the same boat, Dillo sucked, Konqueror is tied to KDE, etc.

    Debian's other option, obviously, was to simply ignore their own rules, and ship non-free software as a core system component. That would have been a huge compromise to their principles, and would have opened up all sorts of questions about why *other* non-free software couldn't be in the base system as well. Big can of worms there.

    So, what Debian did was to recognize that it was only the trademarked names and artwork which were non-free. The code was under the MPL, which is a Free Software license. Their best option, then, was to distributed the code without the trademarks. Iceweasel, Icedove, etc. are Free Software, per Debian's guidelines, but they have all the functionality of the Mozilla products, and are fully compatible with them.

    It wasn't a perfect solution, but it was the best available.

  • Re:Question (Score:3, Informative)

    by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:25PM (#30918744) Homepage Journal

    Well Debian goal is to be Pure GNU at all costs even if it effects the end user. That is why they made the Iceweasel name. As they feel because the trademark firefox name makes it unpure.

    More precisely, Debian's goal is that their core system, including the desktop and the default applications, should be Free Software (which is not the same as GNU software).

    Mozilla's enforcement of trademarks on the Firefox name and artwork make the software non-free, in the sense that it is not legal for anyone to modify and redistribute the software at will. Anyone who wants to distribute unmodified copies of FF may do so. Anyone who wants to distribute modified versions must get permission from Mozilla, otherwise they're infringing Mozilla's trademarks.

    Iceweasel does not use any Mozilla trademarks, so anyone can modify and redistribute it to their heart's content, without getting permission from anyone (though they still have to comply with Mozilla's license). So, Iceweasel is Free Software, and can therefore be included in the core Debian system.

    Ubutnu is a bit lax on this and its goal is to be more focused on its users, and less on being Pure... Hence it allows you to install off of apt the "Non-Free" code, after giving a scary lecture to make people who say yes feel like evil criminals.

    "Non-Free" is the wrong term here; what you mean is "Restricted". Restricted software is software that may be illegal to use in some jurisdictions. Non-free software is legal to use, but may be illegal to modify and redistribute. Ubuntu uses non-free software wherever they think it makes sense, and without any end-user warning. Ubuntu uses restricted software where necessary, and gives you the scary warnings because you may, in fact, be breaking the law.

    In contrast, Debian excludes non-free software from the core system (but puts it in the non-free repository, if you want it) and does not distribute restricted software at all.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford