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Firefox Search In Ubuntu 10.04 Changed To Google

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the we-call-that-flip-flopping dept.

Firefox 224

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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Good for them (4, Insightful)

iammani (1392285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777200)

I dont think any one would want Yahoo as default search

Re:Good for them (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777240)

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

Re:Good for them (3, Interesting)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777276)

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

Re:Good for them (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778062)

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

Re:Good for them (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778438)

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 (2, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778258)

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 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31777290)

Click on the first link in TFA, read approximately 1.5 lines of text and you have your answer.

Re:Good for them (4, Informative)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778166)

Click on the first link in TFA, read approximately 1.5 lines of text and you have your answer.

It doesn't cost you anything to elaborate:

"Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, revealed today that it has established a revenue sharing agreement with Yahoo. As part of the deal, the Firefox Web browser that is shipped in Ubuntu will be configured to use Yahoo as the default search engine . . . "

Re:Good for them (1)

valros (1741778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777292)

Finances, they were upping Google's offer and I would say Google has now offered more than yahoo.

Re:Good for them (2, Funny)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778196)

"I've upped my offer. Now, up yours!"

Re:Good for them (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778454)

significantly smart competitive move by google.

Either a: yahoo gets forced to spend more, now or b: google is back as default.

Give us a choice! Let us pick! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31777448)

The first time Firefox is started up, it should display several popular search engines in a random order, and then let the user select the one to use as a default.

It's very much like the approach that Microsoft has been forced to use in Europe, to allow the user to select the default web browser (rather than just defaulting to IE).

Re:Give us a choice! Let us pick! (2, Insightful)

atisss (1661313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777936)

That's a good option. Or create "randomsearch.org" which would redirect to random search engine each time, thus giving users option to feel different engines and later choose one.

Re:Give us a choice! Let us pick! (2, Interesting)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778380)

The first time Firefox is started up, it should display several popular search engines in a random order, and then let the user select the one to use as a default.

Or you could just let people find out for themselves. After all, if they've never heard of Google, let alone any of the other search engines, then they probably have little business being on the net. In my case, I don't bother with FF's search box at all. I just use a local homepage with a simple table of links for a whole bunch of my most-frequented sites, the most prominent of which leads directly to a Google advanced search.

Re:Good for them (4, Insightful)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Good for them (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778140)

And they hold 99% of the desktop market.

This morning, I burped. (0, Offtopic)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777210)

Yesterday, I don't remember burping, but this morning I did. Who knows what could happen tomorrow, in this wacky wacky world.

Re:This morning, I burped. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31778124)

Yesterday, I don't remember burping, but this morning I did. Who knows what could happen tomorrow, in this wacky wacky world.

This morning I woke up, whacked off, and then ate my cum.

Yahoo? What's that? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31777244)

I think I'll have to Google that one.

Re:Yahoo? What's that? (1)

xTantrum (919048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778076)

Who cares about default search engines. What they need to do is figure out how to get firefox scrolling to work properly instead of it freezing up my computer every two seconds. It blows chunks right now on Karmic with FF3.

Re:Yahoo? What's that? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31778268)

Who needs a web browser when you still cant get it to recognize your wifi adapter?

Unfortunately (2, Interesting)

dsavi (1540343) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777270)

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 (4, Informative)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777378)

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 (5, Insightful)

Sounder40 (243087) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:Unfortunately (1)

dsavi (1540343) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777568)

I have to say I agree with you there, it seems like they made the change for the sake of being different. Mac OS X has an excuse, as I believe that the buttons have been on that side since the first GUI they created, correct?

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778352)

Buttons on the left work on the Mac because OS/X windows [oreilly.com] don't have a menu in the window. The menus are on the top of the screen, hence aren't crammed in with the window control buttons.

Also the window title is centered, which makes for visual balance.

By contrast the weird concoction known as Lucid (aka, Opaque) has the menus, window control buttons, and title all in the top left of each window.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31777574)

Left hand, meet right hand. Left, you know what Right is doing? Good. Congratulations, you guys are now more organized than the Ubuntu dev teams.

Re:Unfortunately (2, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777772)

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 ever important to them?

Personally, I think Canonical have gone nuts right now with the sorts of things they're coming out with. Maybe they have to find ways in which they can make money because they've now burned through Mark's cash?

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778176)

I think all of this (the window button, the search engine, the colours) is to grab some media attention.

Re:Unfortunately (2, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778278)

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..

Re:Unfortunately (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778500)

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.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778602)

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:Unfortunately (2, Informative)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778394)

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 already. And it really wouldn't work any other way,
the bottom corners are used by applications with either controls or the
status bar, and the top left side has the menus and the most used
toolbar buttons as well as the gnome menu bar.

So the best option if you want to put an always on top applet is to move
everything to the left, buttons AND title, to make room for it. It is in
fact such an obvious move that it makes sense to piss off almost
everybody to pull it off.

BUT

If I'm right, this is bad news already. Good functionality doesn't need
a preemptive strike 6 months ahead of time just to "soften" the targets,
bad functionality does.

It could be something so bad that people* will complain about it by
itself, let alone the title bar scramble, so Mark is attempting to
separate the criticisms, reordering the title bar now so that the future
complains would be limited to the new gimmick alone.

And of course there is the psychological trick of asking for a lot of
money before asking for less money as to make the second request seem
more reasonable.

So Mark was sincere the first time all along, he needs to make room for
functionality that's so compelling, it has to be introduced gradually.

* When I say people I mean the bleeding-edge, open to change,
ubuntu-loyal beta testing community that didn't like this change.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31778398)

I think going to Google was more related to not wanting to piss off the anti-microsoft crowd, who didn't like the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal. But that's just a wild guess. I probably would not have switched from Ubuntu for that alone, as it's easy enough to switch back, but after seeing that on the Alpha, I began to consider the alternatives.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31777504)

... except that 10.04 changes the UI layout

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31777452)

Yeah, I mean it is not possible that anybody would switch from Yahoo to Google, which would actually cost Canonical money (0% of .10/search is still less than 100% of .05). I mean it would never happen. I am sure that many technical ppl still find Yahoo using MSN Bing to be a worthy engine.

Re:Unfortunately (2)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778308)

Many technical people, especially those using Linux as a desktop OS have a deep distrust of anything MS does and will avoid their products whenever possible.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777806)

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:Unfortunately (2, Interesting)

dan828 (753380) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778182)

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 how, probably won't care, or are to busy wondering why the hell their computer guru son installed this damned weird OS on their computer to notice.

It probably doesn't matter (5, Insightful)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 4 years ago | (#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

Re:It probably doesn't matter (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777416)

Yeah, that's what struck me about this "news" item. anybody who'd bother to use linux as a desktop OS either is technologically inclined enough to change such a simple setting, or is recieving a computer set up but such a person. (here grandma, have a computer).

I guess it's a slow day? Let me know when they fix the new osx-esque window max/min/close config so that if I switch it back over to the right where it should be, the graphics aren't corrupted.

Re:It probably doesn't matter (1)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777656)

I guess it's a slow day? Let me know when they fix the new osx-esque window max/min/close config so that if I switch it back over to the right where it should be, the graphics aren't corrupted.

Probably slow news day waiting for iPhone os announcement....

Re:It probably doesn't matter (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777786)

Or announcement on that latest New App on ipad?

Re:It probably doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31777588)

Just because you can do it, doesn't mean you have to be forced to do it. It's already annoying to set up up Firefox for a new user:
- add-ons
- plugins
- configere the above
- configure various conventional settings (tab behaviour, cache, etc.)
- mess with about:config (disable safebrowsing, etc.)
- install languages

Adding yet another item you have to consider every time doesn't exactly help.

Re:It probably doesn't matter (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777874)

"- mess with about:config (disable safebrowsing, etc.)"

OMGZ - you disable safebrowsing? Can't you get gonorrhea or something from that?

Re:It probably doesn't matter (3, Informative)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778600)

https://addons.mozilla.org/addon/2109 [mozilla.org]

FEBE makes this a quick backup and restore process. It will back up just about everything for you.

Useful for portable versions of firefox as well.

Re:It probably doesn't matter (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777672)

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.

Re:It probably doesn't matter (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778618)

But isn't the goal of Ubuntu to be a GNU/Linux distro for everyone?

Any distro can be for "everyone". A few years ago, I had my wife running Slackware perfectly happily until she decided she needed to be able to use EndNote to handle the bibliographic stuff in her PhD thesis, so she went over to Mac.

With a bit of thought put into the setup, I could have set her up with a version of Linux From Scratch, and she would (a) have been none the wiser and (b) been able to get on perfectly well with her work.

Re:It probably doesn't matter (1)

loonyjuice (1744114) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777708)

On the contrary, I recently updated my mothers pc to Ubuntu 10.04 and I got complaints that "Google was missing" and "What's Yahoo?". I did, of course, show her how to change it and to use the Google search bar. I'm thinking of confusing her again by installing Opera :)

Re:It probably doesn't matter (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778224)

Maybe this is what they are considering: some (a lot of?) people would switch back to Google anyway, so they'd lose money on that.

Re:It probably doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31778496)

Your mother's a dumb-ass.

Re:It probably doesn't matter (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777758)

"A sane default" is one of the basic principles of software design. The default values usually reflect how well a designer understands the users.

However, I don't find it particularly newsworthy either.

Re:It probably doesn't matter (1)

punit_r (1080185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777792)

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

I think not many would take efforts to find that out.

I help administer a lab of ~20 computers with Ubuntu NIS/NFS setup. Although many users are comfortable with linux, not many are inquisitive enough to tweak around with settings.
e.g.,
1. Most users dont know how to change default programs to open a file. Say default acroread to open pdf files. This can be done by right click on any pdf file ->properties->open with and choose from radio button options
2. Many dont know about the keyboard shortcuts CTRL+L for direct access to firefox address bar and CTRL+K for search bar
3. Although many users prefer Thunderbird for emails, they are unaware of setting it as the default email client from System->Preferences->PreferredApplications
so on and so forth.

Hence, I think, defaults do matter.

Re:It probably doesn't matter (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778144)

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:It probably doesn't matter (3, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778552)

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 the user experience; average users are likely to want to change it; and average users are unlikely to know how to or to want to mess with Gconf to move them back and have them still messed up because the graphics are only meant for a single order of the buttons.

A good sign? (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:A good sign? (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777346)

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.

Such a quaint and naive view. The real reason is that Google offered more than Yahoo hence they decided not to go to Yahoo.

Re:A good sign? (1, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777412)

Such a quaint and naive view. The real reason is that Google offered more than Yahoo hence they decided not to go to Yahoo.

Such a cynical and presumptive point of view, unless you have evidence. What do you have to back up your claim?

Re:A good sign? (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777638)

Common sense ought to be sufficient. If "familiarity" was such an overriding concern then the change wouldn't have been made in the first place. If it suddenly became a concern, then they could easily have told people how to change the default search engine with a couple clicks.

The only explanation that adds up is that Yahoo offered more than Google, then Google offered more than Yahoo, and part of the new Google deal was that they wouldn't publicly discuss the details of the deal.

Re:A good sign? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777700)

Common sense ought to be sufficient.

Certainly sufficient for questions to be raised. But given Canonical's generally decent track record with openness, I'm not ready to assume any nefarious, secretive dealings. For example, they did mention the revenue-sharing deal with Yahoo.

All I'm saying is that we shouldn't merely assume that Canonical is hiding something here. But we probably should ask them about it.

Re:A good sign? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31777790)

Common sense ought to be sufficient.

It never is. The phrase is practically an oxymoron.

Re:A good sign? (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777864)

Such a cynical and presumptive point of view, unless you have evidence. What do you have to back up your claim?

Why would he need that? Canonical dug a hole by agreeing a revenue sharing deal with Yahoo. At a time when, by all accounts, they need to start raking in come cash you don't exactly need to be Mr. Cynicism to question that they are now dumping said revenue because of 'user familiarity'. As Mark Shuttleworth has already said, Ubuntu and Canonical are not democracies.

Re:A good sign? (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778350)

As Mark Shuttleworth has already said, Ubuntu and Canonical are not democracies.

I'm so sick of this "Oh, Marky-mark said they're not a democracy" stuff. Seriously. Don't you think that people know that? What's important is that Ubuntu is open source. Now I'm not trying to say that every open source project should stick true to non-open source license practices, but it kind of goes hand in hand in most situations, and I feel that the community has grown accustomed to the general morals and ethics that most projects and developers follow. I know, I'm probably going to get flamed and modded down to hell and back, but it just feels to me that Canonical has been pushing things in Ubuntu that the community at large doesn't agree with.

Examples? Mmmk.

- Use 'sudo' instead of 'su'
- PulseAudio (I do agree that this was a good idea but it was premature imho)
- Firefox 3.0 Beta5 in 8.04 LTS (Beta software in an LTS??)
- Ditch Sun Java in favor of IcedTea, Sun version not even in the repos
- Window utility (min/max/close) buttons on left corner in 10.04
- Gnome panel applets such as indicator/indicator session tied to volume control..??
- Not including Gimp in default install anymore to "make room for Ubuntu features and content" (Uhm..Gimp takes 5MB)
- Change Google search to Yahoo (I'm not arguing WHY they did this btw)

And after all of these, I have always felt the Ubuntu release cycle was horrible. Even after an LTS version is released, the devs I've talked to no longer discuss it much, but start putting all effort toward the next release cycle. LTS gets no real love or attention for those who need stability and consistency.

I wonder how the Ubuntu community will hold up after Shuttleworth is out of cash.

Re:A good sign? (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778538)

I'm so sick of this "Oh, Marky-mark said they're not a democracy" stuff. Seriously. Don't you think that people know that? What's important is that Ubuntu is open source.

This has got nothing to do with whether Ubuntu is open source or not. Canonical gets hard revenue from the search engine that they ship as a default in Ubuntu, and where those decisions are concerned Canonical is not going to look at things for the 'good of users' as is being claimed here. That's exactly what Mark Shuttleworth meant.

I wonder how the Ubuntu community will hold up after Shuttleworth is out of cash.

Well quite, because that's what this is bout.

Re:A good sign? (1)

noahm (4459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778012)

Well, you realize that Google is the default in the upstream (non-ubuntu branded) firefox browser because they contribute 90% of the Mozilla Foundation's revenue, right? [1] Clearly, Google sees a lot of value in partnerships like this. I don't think anybody would argue that Yahoo!'s spending power is greater than Google's. So, if Google sees value in something, they have the money to take it. It's not cynical, it's a business reality.

noah

1. http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9120866/Google_deal_produces_88_of_Mozilla_s_revenue [computerworld.com] (Yeah, it's somewhat dated. Please feel free to dig up something newer.)

Yes We Can! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31778404)

Cynical is the new Quaint. All the cool kids are naive idealists now.

Re:A good sign? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31777468)

[citation needed]

Re:A good sign? (1)

QBasicer (781745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777572)

Pretty hard to put users first if you've gone broke.

Re:A good sign? (1)

jtgeibel (919471) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778374)

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.

I always wondered if Canonical would run into issues around Firefox trademarks. I know that Mozilla policy is sensitive with regards to what things downstream can change and still use the Firefox trademark. In particular they want to make sure that downstream vendors are not shipping buggy features and tarnishing the Firefox brand. I would expect that shipping a Firefox derivative that did not default to the Google search engine would not make Mozilla (or Google) happy. This is why I was so surprised when Canonical first announced the change to Yahoo.

But why? (3, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777324)

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

Re:But why? (5, Funny)

game kid (805301) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777338)

Or maybe they just felt lucky.

Re:But why? (1)

f8l_0e (775982) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777666)

That just inspired me to do an "i'm feeling lucky" search for "Worlds best search engine". This [20search.com] is what came up.

Ummm..... Thank you. (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777344)

There's not really anything else to say about it.

What's the big deal? (2, Insightful)

mayberry42 (1604077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777360)

it's just a bloody search engine. How is this newsworthy (even for /.)?

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

dsavi (1540343) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777462)

I would argue that defaults are very important, and cause things like the IE6 effect. I would argue that, but I don't actually believe it as Ubuntu has only about 12 million users, most of which are more than able to change it from the default.

Re:What's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31777478)

it's just a bloody search engine. How is this newsworthy (even for /.)?

I don't think there's a single news item that doesn't have this discussion. Is Slashdot really so overloaded with news items that the selection needs to be narrowed down?

Even if minor points such as this one interest only a handful, it doesn't exactly come at a huge cost to everybody else.

So, what's the big deal? :)

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

dswensen (252552) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777610)

Don't you understand? The world must know that he disapproves!

And This Impacts... How Many People, Long Term? (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777362)

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...

For crying out loud... (2, Funny)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:For crying out loud... (1)

introspekt.i (1233118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777524)

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 things about as much as they want to change the oil in their car.

Re: Saw it coming (2, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777622)

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: Saw it coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31777876)

You're full of shit. M$ stock prices have been plummeting for years.

Re: Saw it coming (2, Insightful)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777974)

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: Saw it coming (2, Insightful)

barzok (26681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778038)

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.

Canonical actually did this pretty fairly (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777744)

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:For crying out loud... (2, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777774)

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?

Well... (1)

mix77 (1114879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777450)

I hope this regression bug fix stays lucid!

The only solution (4, Funny)

daranz (914716) | more than 4 years ago | (#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)

Re:The only solution (3, Funny)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778478)

1. piratebay.org torrent search
2. redtube
3. cracks.am ...

Sorry, I think it should be... (0)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777606)

http://www.ubuntu.com/

If I know enough to use Linux ( Ubuntu ) then I should be smart enough to know how to change the default page.

Besides, what the heck is wrong with a little self promotion?

Re:Sorry, I think it should be... (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778244)

I wish people would stop saying this. Linux, in the form of Ubuntu and other distros, is as easy to use as Windows in most cases, and even easier in some cases.

Only one? (2, Insightful)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777652)

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.

Re:Only one? (1)

reedk (43097) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778008)

You're not the only one. I set my home page to Google years ago when MS was trying to trump up hit counts for MSN. Too lazy to ever adopt to the search bar. My search bar is "CTRL-T." Using Chrome is making me re-think that too - the Speed dial page would make a nice home page (hat tip to Opera).

Re:Only one? (2, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778410)

My home page is about:blank. If I need a new tab for something else than a search, I don't want to wait for Google to load, fight with the stop button and risk my absolutely hated: paste URL into the URL bar and have it replaced by Firefox upon finishing loading of the current page.

Why did they ever have Yahoo? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31777898)

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.

Re:Why did they ever have Yahoo? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778082)

They would of gotten some revenue sharing with Yahoo.

Would have been Firefox with clean installs only (2, Interesting)

TejWC (758299) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

We can hold our heads high again (1)

elewton (1743958) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778338)

I've installed Ubuntu on a number of friends' computers, at their request. The main reason they like it is that it's not the store-brand poor man's alternative, as Yahoo is to Google.

Letting them see me switching from Yahoo to Google would just look retarded. Like Ubuntu couldn't afford Google, but had the next best thing.

Smart move (3, Interesting)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778368)

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

Re:Smart move (1)

yelvington (8169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31778628)

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.

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