OpenBallot: Ubuntu + Yahoo = evil?


As you probably already know, Firefox in Ubuntu 10.04 will use Yahoo as its default search engine because Canonical has struck a revenue-sharing deal with Yahoo. This potentially leaves us with a small dilemma: if you're an Ubuntu user then you probably want to help support the distro at least a little, but on the flip side Microsoft Bing is the search engine behind Yahoo, which means using the default means supporting Microsoft.

So, we're looking for your input: will you give Yahoo+Bing a try and help Ubuntu a little, or will changing to Google be the first thing you do on any 10.04 machine? Perhaps more importantly, is Canonical's move a step away from its free software roots while also arguably providing users with inferior search results by default, or just sound business sense?

Post your comments below, make your answers clear, and please provide a name other than Anonymous Penguin otherwise we're likely to ignore you. (NB: we'll be releasing the first podcast of season 2 on Thursday.)

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Your comments

Nah, I think it will ok. I

Nah, I think it will ok. I say whatever helps Canonical help pay the bills and their workers.

So sad...

I expected to see a lot of outrage arising from this sad episode. There's much more to it than meets the eye - it is not a mere technical question, it is not only a default setting, it is not just Canonical's way to make a buck.

I am disappointed...

Looks like everything is up for sale, and most of the people are OK with it. Principles, ideals, values, nothing of that matters, as long as the pay is good.

I hope someday you see that, once you sell your soul, it's gone - you cannot buy it back.

Heck No!

Gmail has been my e-mail client for oh...since I first got e-mail. and Yahoo just sucks. bottom line. sucks. I won't even use firefox anyway, the first thing I do on a new ubuntu machine is add the chromium ppa, and download chromium. Although it's O.K. if Canonical signs a deal with them, they need money, no way around it. If a Microsoft puppet company will give them that money, that's O.K. with me. But there is no way I will ever use bing. I like my search results un-biased, thank you.

The only search engine in the world is Google

Google in my Home page on any browser and my default search engine. Nothing will get that to change unless it is better. At the moment nothing else comes close.

It's all about choice

The deal with Yahoo is there to make money for Canonical, but the choice of search engine is with the user.

Yes I support Canonical, they have produced an excellent distro. Lets remember that they are a business, they are in it for the money. Ubuntu is a product of Canonical and they are free to choose how they market Ubuntu.

But my choice of search engine is not influenced by them, it is my choice and I will choose the best for my needs.

Fine for me

I think this shows the growth of the platform.

Not like it isn't ridiculously easy to change it.

I don't mind.

I don't really mind if the default search engine is Yahoo!, I will always switch to the search engine that gives me the best results whether that be Google, Yahoo! or Bing.

And, in the end we are all winning:
Ubuntu can get better due to extra funding and Microsoft might get some more users in the search engine front.

Switch back to Google

I'll be switching back to Google. Why? I prefer Google.

Get over it

I dont see anywhere in the GPL that states that you cannot do what you like with GPL'd code.

The GPL talks the talk about "freedoms", so where is the freedom in being able to do with you're distro what you like. This petty complaining about motives or what someone has done with a distro, is just making FOSS look petty.

It looks as though FOSS/Linux is not designed to be a viable alternative to MS, but it seems to be specificly designed to be a spear head weapon used to fight MS.

This is not why people would (or should) use FOSS, they should use it because it is supposed to ensure you're freedoms, and to provide a viable alternative to MS and other OS's.

So what is it you want linux to be? I for one would look for software that does what I need, and I can legally use that I find usefull and of value to me, I dont mind paying for it if necessary.

That also applies to other system components that make up my PC, like the motherboard, RAM, CPU and so on. All those components are proprietary IP and hidden from us normal users.

So showing that all linux is good for is to attack MS, and not compete in terms of quality, functionality, support, and user satisifaction is certainly detracting for linux. and it's just one more thing that people look at when evaluating FOSS linux for thier own use.

This STUPID argument that you cannot touch anything connected to Microsoft is just that stupid. Why do you do it. and How's it working for you??

It seems Linux/FOSS has been around for a very long time, yet over the years it seems to be quite stagnent, and unable to achieve the market penetration and user base it needs to "critical mass". And yet all you can do is bitch and complain about MS. It's a sorry look, and I wonder how long it will take you guys to work out that this tactic is a failure. Once you decide something is not working, it's best to try something else.

Making the same mistakes over and over again, and not learning from them is a sign of insanity...


Search engines are kind of a religion. At work I use Bing ( easiest as it is the one the firewall will not block as non M$ plus easiest to educate users about, plus it has a nice background image as wallpaper) but have used Google ( and the toolbar is nice), Yahoo, Wolfram Alpha ( very nice for speciality searches and whatif answers) as well as one recommended a few up - Ixquick, nice to get around the crappy transparent proxy here that will or will not block, depending on the season, time, phase of the moon, admins on shrooms, and stock prices.

As always, YMMV, and there probably is no one perfect match for all, at least as far as I can see.

good business sense. You can

good business sense. You can change what search engine you use, it doesn't mean you are tide into it.

If you ask me, I will just

If you ask me, I will just use Fedora! I never understood canonical's game!

Ideal Blasphemy

This is ideal blasphemy folks. In no uncertain terms, Google is the superior search engine, and for Canonical to replace it with Microsoft/Yahoo's search engine, of far lesser quality, is betrayal at best. I understand that the opposition will be funding our Linux, which I'm not entirely against. It just feels ideally wrong, to provide an inferior feature, knowing this is the case. I will promptly be removing Yahoo's search engine from my search toolbar and replacing it with the best!

I'll be switching to Aardvark

I'll be switching to Aardvark, the default search engine for the telco monopoly which controls bandwidth in my country. Why? Because I'm a lame ass user who can't take the tension between Google and Bing and wishes Yahoo and Gmail would just go away so that we could go back to the days of crap search engines like Aardvark that don't actually work, and mail engines like freemail which don't actually deliver mail. Just think what life would be without Google and Bing? On second thought, maybe I should just dump the lot and use Wolfram Alpha?

Google for Me

I used to use Yahoo! But found that google gave better results. So the first thing I do now on any work computer is set my homepage to google. Although at home I'm using Mint 8 and use their google custom search page.

At Last

Ubuntu have done something to upset the masses. I reckon a lot of people set google as their home page now anyway so they won't notice who the default search engine is. But then I use Mint and Fedora so why should I care?

I think Mint users will

I think Mint users will sooner or later find that it's built on Ubuntu ;)

As for Ubuntu taking MS money and that being a good thing... it's Ubuntu, i.e., Canonical spin on the situation.

The situation is that Yahoo provides inferior search compared to Google, and that the only interest MS has in this world is a. profit and b. destruction of competition.

Considering how minute if any profit teaming up with Ubuntu could bring to MS, I'll leave you to decide what could motivate their infiltration.

Update on search engines

I now use ixquick after reading a recommendation on it here. So goodbye to Google and Yahoo as default search engines, although they are still available. Except in Chromium, which still has Google as the default.

Google Cleaner Than Clean Despite Chinese Censorship Deal ???

I mean if we're gonna have moral outrage at Canonical making money, what was the justification for Google climbing into bed with internet censorship so they could operate in the Chinese market ?

Could it possibly have been to make money ?

This whole debate reminds me of the folk purist shouting "Judas" at Bob Dylan for daring to play an electric guitar because that was selling out & being commercial. C'mon guys, grow up a bit.

If Ubuntu just existed as somebody's hobby, how usable would it be ? Would you even have heard of it ?

Ubuntu and Yahoo marriage

I always set my browser to I-google as my home page. I am currently using Yahoo on my netbook and find it does not have the same flexibilty that Firefox/Google combo does. (That is strike one---Strikes 2 & 3 come from the obnoxious outfielder known as Microsoft) ( I will live with the ads)
I applaud Canonical for trying to obtain a new revenue source and as long as they do not take away the user's ability to make a choice, then their business model is OK. I would rather make donations to Ubuntu then being held hostage to Microsoft's software.

Google != (Microsoft + China + Bing + Censorship)

First of all: people, please use nicknames (not Anonymous Penguin), and make them easy to refer to. Otherwise, replying to the comments gets unnecessarily complicated. For instance, look at this: "I'm a GNU, a-gn-other GNU". WTF?

Now, to my reply:

@ I'm a GNU, a-gn-other GNU (February 11, 2010 @ 6:12pm)

I got positively despondent with the comments on this post. One or two people seem to understand the implications of what Canonical is doing; the rest doesn't see, doesn't care or pretends nothing is happening. Actually, the proportion of pro-Microsoft comments is so high that I think something fishy is going on on this forum/blog/post/discussion. Microsofties being paid to post, maybe?

So, I won't waste my time on that topic anymore.

Now, as for Google and censorship: Google is still *waaaaaaay* cleaner than Microsoft. Microsoft just said "we'll do whatever is necessary to do business in China, even abide by their censorship laws". Google, on the other hand, at least had the decency to come out and protest publicly, even saying that they might close their Chinese office(s) and end their Chinese operations. Even if that was a hypocritical move (and I don't believe it was) it is still less evil than Microsoft.

And it is not about being a purist. It is not about choice. It is about Canonical/Ubuntu sneaking a "piece of the enemy" - a poisoned apple, if you will - into their product. Even Ubuntu updates will *push* Bing! Millions of Ubuntu users will be unaware of the change and will start inflating Bing/Microsoft market share because they will have been *deceived* by Canonical. Will Canonical do *anything* for money? If so, they are at least as bad as Microsoft. Want choice? Why not keep Google as the default but allow the suckers - I mean, some users - choose to switch to Yahoo!?

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. What else is Canonical planning to hide in Ubuntu for the future? I lost my confidence in them, and hope the rest of the FOSS community also does. For me it is "goodbye, Ubuntu. Die, and have no peace in your rest". As soon as I can I'll be going to some other distro - a *HONEST* one.

ixquick / startpage for me

I don't mind what comes with it, I will just reset it to ixquick or startpage, depends on which side of the atlantic you are on as they are the same. The way all search engines should be.

Ubuntu is becoming evil

Not that a lot of people have jumped on the Ubuntu bandwagon, Ubuntu is trying to become the Microsoft of Linux and sabotaging open source software. They have dropped Google search and switched to a Microsoft partner, Yahoo and Bing search. They are also dropping other open source software including OpenOffice & Gimp. Now is the time to go back to Mepis Linux.

MSUbuntu next maybe?

OK we all need money and linux / free software is largely about freedom of choice. I came from the dark hallows of DOS and only reluctantly ended up using Windows because developers mainly stopped supporting DOS. That all came about due to MS doing a similar thing with PC clone builders way back and getting them to pre-install Windows. Surely a distro the size of and with the popularity of Ubuntu could find better, more trust-worthy bedfellows. Deeply disappointed and sceptical of the future especially having read some relatively minor news stories in Linux Mags where MS are involved.

I have **no issue** with

I have **no issue** with PAYING for Ubuntu -- a one.time fee < lusr registration > seems the better option among many while maintaining the "useful fiction" of free open_source software.

In the (M$) past I have sought-out and paid creators of free-ware whose work, proven-by-use I deemed valuable. A few were surprised ... some (PROXOMITRON) flatly refused payment.

The whole picture

Looking some more at the comments here there seems as is nearly always the case, to be a much wider issue to consider. No doubt many people will disagree with me but from my perspective I see Linux as not being a rival to MS. Linux is by computer users for computer users whereas MS is for non computer users who use computers???
We choose which distro we use based on what we as individuals want and we load packages to suit our own personal tastes. If it doesn't look quite as professional as MS as has been suggested by some, would that be such a bad thing anyway. Who is to judge that in the first place, aren't we simply comparing against something that has swamped the market and by that token has become the norm.
Linux is better for us because it gives us what we want not what MS thinks we should want.
Distros should be wary against the trap that Richard Briers fell into in the Good Life when he became successful as a potter and got caught up in it forgetting his principles.
Maybe becoming better accepted by the masses out there would be nice but that is not what Linux is all about. It is about wearing what you want not the uniform worn by everyone else.
MS's very foundations are more than a little suspect, DOS bought for 50,000 due to insider info, Central Point Anti-Virus code in DOS, more law suits than you can swing a cat at, all a matter of public record. Not a history to be proud of surely.
Aren't we as a community better than that? With people like that you need to be very very careful and certainly not naive. I for one would be very disappointed if we strayed off the track for the sake of a few bucks.

Yahoo is Bing!?!

When I am forced to use one thing or the other I try to make the provider cry. Windows IE defaults to Google search. Android/Chrome defaults to Bing search. After using both alot I hate to admit I like the results Bing gives me (more fine tuned) than Google gives (every link ever).

Well there are other ways to

Well there are other ways to help the Ubuntu folks.

I will just change the search engine to Google and keep on using it as usual

We don't know the details of the deal and never will and since they provide good drivers for my closed hardware, who am I to critise their commercial deals.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other.


MS is corrupt so what do you expect?

This is extremely bad for Ubuntu and Linux as well.

Ubuntu has been infiltrated by Microsoft paid stooges and astroturfers (yes, many of those posting here are paid by Microsoft).

And why not. Microsoft considers Linux to be their biggest competitive threat. And Microsoft's approach to competition is to destroy it by any means, legal or not.

Bill and Steve are not men of honor. They are master manipulators who use others to take the risks and to do their dirty work. They are not businessmen to be respected. They are schemers; expert double-crossers.

Microsoft is also a non-repentant convicted monopoly that escaped it's punishment by destroying an honorable judge. Microsoft does not represent the best of capitalism. It represents the worst of organized crime. Bill and Steve have no respect for the laws of any country (and have abused the intent of these laws countless times).

If you don't care (or you are doing their dirty work for them) then you share in Microsoft's crimes and you have no honor. Enjoy your blood money.

What about the variants?

One question I have now is,
What about the variants of Ubuntu?
There are so many of them and how does this effect them. If a distro is based on Ubuntu will there be any knock-on effects? Are they going to be tarred with the same brush?
I have been interested in some of them for future use / projects and am now a bit cautious of that in case there is going to be some hidden connection I'm not happy with.

Any info available?

It is well known that

It is well known that Microsoft Corporation works actively against free open source software in the market. Then by establishing a direct or indirect liaison with Microsoft and Yahoo, Canonical is certainly going to damage their credibility and reputation in the free open source community.

If these rumors are true, then many people will move away from Ubuntu. This is sad but true.

Bing! Thanks Microsoft

I think it's great Ubuntu (for lack of a better word the current powerhouse of Linux and a threat to Microsoft) There accentually going to use Microsoft's media giant against them. Think about it Microsoft will be paying for Ubuntu/Xubuntu/Kubuntu's development how much sweeter can the pot get? The perennial arch-enemy of open-source and Linux is going to help fund there number 1 Desktop oriented Linux Threat. Genius I Tip my hat to Ubuntu for this decision what are great way to strike an enemy by using there own technology against them.

Ryan Wdzieczny

chrome plate it

I'm not going to use firefox, anyway.
I have a couple of laptops (this one on which I'm writing, and an everex cloudbook) that run ubuntu (my main box runs debian).
If/when I upgrade to karmic, I will continue to use google chrome as my default browser.
The ubuntu start page is a non-issue.
I alway change default browser settings (home page, remove preinstalled bookmarkes, etc.)
I'm thinking of trying a different distro on this laptop(again), but I am also eyeing a dell mini w/ubuntu, so, I'm likely to still have some ubuntu around.

Yahoo-Bing vs. Google

I will not be using Yahoo-Bing to search for anything as I tried it and don't like it. Google will be my default search engine as I know it works and works well.

whats the big deal

personally i prefer yahoo but even if i didnt it does not bother me in the least.ubuntu was the first linux distro i gave a dam about.anything that helps fund ubuntu linux can only make it better.i mean are people that shallow to get bent out of shape over a search engine?all the b.s going on in the world and some people want to freak over that.give me a fedora sucked.v

I am in a real dilemma. I

I am in a real dilemma. I hate Microsoft and I'm suspicious of Google because of its relationship with US intelligence agencies and their surveillance of everything we say and do.
Yahoo is an inferior search engine and furthermore I don't like being told what to do, especially by government agencies.
I'll probably dump both and look elsewhere for a default search engine.

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