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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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  • first post (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:19AM (#30916090)

    Microsoft paying people to use other Operating Systems? That's about right.

  • Doesn't matter (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rik Sweeney ( 471717 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:19AM (#30916098) Homepage

    It only takes a couple of clicks to change it to a different engine. Hopefully they won't do anything cute and change it back everytime I upgrade (I'm looking at you Microsoft).

  • Question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mewsenews ( 251487 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:26AM (#30916154) Homepage

    Does this affect the Ubuntu - Firefox deal? Debian's version of Firefox is named Iceweasel because Debian legal felt that the Firefox branding was too encumbered to users wishing to redistribute, but Ubuntu reached some sort of compromise that allowed them to keep the Firefox branding.

    Will screwing with Firefox's default search affect Ubuntu's relationship with Firefox? I'm expecting "no" but wondering if anyone is able to explain why.

  • Re:Even More Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:30AM (#30916208) Journal

    And if one uses Bing Cashback, one is being paid by Microsoft to use Ubuntu and giving them money to shop online using it, perhaps to buy a Linux-friendly netbook and the cycle continues.

    Actually, in neither case is Microsoft actually paying anything.

    With Bing Cashback, what users are paid are covered by affiliate commissions send to Microsoft from the participating sites.
    With paying Ubuntu, Yahoo/Microsoft is actually paying Ubuntu a share from ad clicks.

    In both cases Microsoft isn't losing anything. Actually, they're generating more revenue.

  • by v(*_*)vvvv ( 233078 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:34AM (#30916254)

    Products don't magically sell themselves and make their creators wealthy or even put bread on the table - the lesson of open source.

    But if the ultimate goal of the open source movement is to eventually overtake closed source software, this is damning evidence such a scenario will never happen. At the end of the day, closed source is funding much of the open source initiatives. One could say this also includes those of us working closed source jobs by day and open source projects by night.

  • Re:Semantics (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:37AM (#30916278) Homepage

    Or alternately, "selling access to our user base to a corporation". I can guarantee you that's how Yahoo management is thinking about it.

    Frankly, this was not what I signed up for when I used Ubuntu to create a largely MS-free environment at home. If need be, I'll roll my own desktop Linux to keep out of this sort of thing. I'm happy to donate time and cash to worthwhile projects, but not if they're going to turn around and get corporate sponsorship.

  • by paulzeye ( 736282 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:38AM (#30916292)
    I've used Ubuntu for a few years now and always though it was great. Using a clearly inferior search engine as a default is pretty bogus. I guess I'll just go back to using Debian. Can't say I blame them though they need to make money somewhere.
  • Re:Question (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NorbrookC ( 674063 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:39AM (#30916304) Journal

    I doubt it. Firefox has always given users the ability to change the default search engine. While Google was paying Mozilla to make Google the default search on those products, it doesn't necessarily affect other deals made.

    This is interesting, but I don't think it's all that big a problem. Although it's fun to get all paranoid about Microsoft - with some justification - I don't see this as an attempt to "take over" Ubuntu.

  • by n2art2 ( 945661 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:39AM (#30916310) Homepage
    So you mean to tell me that a business has an agenda? And that agenda is to make money? Wow, I need to sit down.
  • Re:Even More Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ephemeriis ( 315124 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:46AM (#30916388)

    In both cases Microsoft isn't losing anything. Actually, they're generating more revenue.

    My company pays me to do a job. That job, hopefully, earns my company money. Generally more money than they're paying me.

    So, they're generating more revenue... But they're still paying me.

  • Re:Question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by socsoc ( 1116769 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:46AM (#30916394)
    I'm confused. I thought it was named Iceweasel because Mozilla told Debian that they couldn't redistribute a non-official binary and use the logo and name it Firefox.
  • Re:first post (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mugurel ( 1424497 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:56AM (#30916506)
    catchy, but incorrect. It should be: Microsoft paying people with other operating systems to use their search engine.
  • Re:Semantics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mejogid ( 1575619 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:58AM (#30916530)

    Or you could make *two clicks* and change it back. This is a significant opportunity for Canonical to become profitable and could potentially see a minor, insignificant revenue increase for MS. If they were dealing directly with MS you could argue they're asking to be screwed, but with Bing/Windows on the one side and Google/Chrome OS/Android on the other Yahoo appears to be the least self-sabotaging search engine at the moment. Particularly with Chrome OS, Google is looking to make the desktop ecosystem on which Canonical depends an irrelevant commodity in the face of a closed, in-the-cloud system.

    If you'd rather use Google then take the two clicks to change it, but don't act as if you're making an ethical stance against corporatism. Google's end goal is you being locked into their webapps, just as MS' end goal is you being locked into their OS and apps.

  • Re:Worse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:02AM (#30916588)
    Gimp was bloated, extremely user unfriendly and is many years overdue for a major usability redesign. If it annoys you THAT MUCH, that it's gone, just install it via aptitude.
  • Re:Worse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:21AM (#30916828) Homepage

    Yet despite all of this: the ordained replacement didn't improve upon any of these alleged failings.

    Sure... replace it with something better, not something inferior.

  • Re:Question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:35AM (#30917012)

    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.

    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. But in terms of Firefox they are ok with using the trademark. Changing the defualt search is a configuration change not changing firefox so I dont think they would have a real issue with it.

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

    by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:42AM (#30917116) Journal

    A change in the default from one of the supported search engines to another of the supported search engines?

    This isn't a material change to Firefox at all. It's a change to one of the many defaults.

    This is actually less invasive than changing the home page to Ubuntu's landing site, or adding all the Ubuntu shortcuts to the bookmarks toolbar. And Firefox has not, to my knowledge, said "boo" about either of those.

  • Re:Doesn't matter (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Steve Max ( 1235710 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:56AM (#30917298) Journal


    Novell makes a cross-licensing deal with Microsoft, one that doesn't affect their users in any way, shape or form and gives benefits to both companies, then everybody and their dog says they won't touch OpenSuse with a 5-meter pole anymore and that only Microsoft shills will ever see a Suse desktop anymore.

    Canonical makes an advertising deal with Yahoo/Microsoft, making ALL their users use a Microsoft product by default, and possibly giving more benefit to Microsoft/Yahoo (in marketshare) than to Canonical (they already got a cut from Google results), then someone saying they won't use or advocate Ubuntu gets modded as flamebait?

    Which way is it? In every respect, this deal is as bad as Novell's; and in some ways, it's worse, because Linux users will be increasing Microsoft's cash reserves, reserves which can be used to buy governments to support a MS-only environment, to run anti-FLOSS FUD, etc. Besides this deal actually changes something for the users, unlike Novell's. And ideologically, it gives more legitimacy to Bing on FLOSS circles, which can be as much of a trojan horse (or better, the beginning of a slippery slope where "just one more" Microsoft product won't matter until we're fucked).

    I can see someone saying neither deal matters that much, and neither impacts their companies' image. But I really can't see someone saying this deal is better for the FLOSS community than Novell's. Could someone who modded the parent as flamebait explain their reasonimg, please?

  • Re:Worse (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:59AM (#30917346)
    Have you considered Gubuntu? It's a flavor of Ubuntu that aims at the more Google oriented crowd by changing the default search engine to Google.

    That simple post sums up SO MUCH of the FOSS/Linux world...
  • Re:Even More Money (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ThePlague ( 30616 ) * on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:20AM (#30917664)

    Which would mean that in this case, MS is making money off of Ubuntu, just like your employers make money off of your labor.

  • Re:Doesn't matter (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Useful Wheat ( 1488675 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:21AM (#30917698)

    The OP has this backwards. The money microsoft is paying for this service doesn't come from thin air. They get paid for each and every search thanks to advertisements. What the OP really should of said is, "Ubuntu users provide revenue to Microsoft."

    That's right, you're now supporting microsoft by choosing to not use windows, or internet explorer.

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

    by moonbender ( 547943 ) < minus pi> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:24AM (#30917744)

    There'll be a lot less Ubuntu users if Canonical doesn't find a way to make money. Besides, there are many, many, many ways to optimise a default Ubuntu install in order to safe users one second. Shaving off a quarter second from the boot time will easily offset the time to change the search engine.

  • Re:Worse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:26AM (#30917780) Journal

    umm, fspot uses mono. Mono is equivalent to having .net dependencies on linux, which creates patent issues and other concerns. Does anyone want that in linux? No.

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

    by jvillain ( 546827 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:45PM (#30919040)

    What they are doing is pushing aside a company that has done huge things to support Linux and open source in general in favour of a company that is all about closed proprietary formats and killing off Linux. How long till they start to take the money to force Silverlight down your throat as well?

    Of course you aren't ever allowed to say any thing wrong about Ubuntu or Canonical after all the times they have virtually claimed to have invented Linux from scratch.

  • by snadrus ( 930168 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @01:47PM (#30919992) Homepage Journal
    nah, if open source ran 90% of the worlds computers, peer possibilities would solve distribution issues. As for improvements, there would be too many incoming patches to manage in most of the current ways.
    And if every corporate IT department managed open source programs, feature requests would be *more* common as users would know they had a good chance of being heard.

FORTRAN is the language of Powerful Computers. -- Steven Feiner