On January 26, Rick Spencer, Canonical’s Desktop Manager, announced via the ubuntu-desktop mailing list that Ubuntu 10.04 would be switching to Yahoo as it’s default search provider inside Firefox. In this email Rick expressed the following:
…I am writing to apprise you of two small but important changes coming to Firefox in Lucid. …Change #1 In Lucid, the default home page will respect the search provider settings you have set in the “Chrome”….Change #2 is changing the default search provider in Firefox to Yahoo! …Why? I am pursuing this change because Canonical has negotiated a revenue sharing deal with Yahoo! and this revenue will help Canonical to provide developers and resources to continue the open development of Ubuntu and the Ubuntu Platform. ~Per Rick Spencer
Then yesterday, April 7, Rick Spencer announced via the ubuntu-desktop mailing list that Ubuntu 10.04 would be switching back to Google as the default search provider.
Each release we determine the best default web browser and the best default search engine for Ubuntu. When choosing the best default search provider, we consider factors such as user experience, user preferences, and costs and benefits for Ubuntu and the browsers and other projects that make up Ubuntu. Up until Ubuntu 9.10 these defaults have always been Firefox and Google. Earlier in the 10.04 cycle I announced that we would be changing the default search provider to Yahoo!, and we implemented that change for several milestones. However, for the final release, we will use Google as the default provider. I have asked the Ubuntu Desktop team to change the default back to Google as soon as reasonably possible, but certainly by final freeze on April 15th. It was not our intention to “flap” between providers, but the underlying circumstances can change unpredictably. In this case, choosing Google will be familiar to everybody upgrading from 9.10 to 10.04 and the change will only be visible to those who have been part of the development cycle for 10.04. Cheers, Rick ~Rick Spencer
What the announcement doesn’t say is will it be Firefox or Chrome? The announcement only says Google! Yet hints at Firefox so who knows. Whether it was revenue, community outcry, costs and benefits or if the choice was as simple as “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” one thing is for sure — Ubuntu 10.04, Lucid Lynx is on target to be an amazing LTS release.