Ubuntu will continue to use Google as the default search engine for Firefox in its upcoming 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” release, effectively ending a brief testing phase with Yahoo!
Earlier this year Canonical announced it was dropping Google in favour of Yahoo! as the default search engine for is distribution of Firefox.
However, no formal release was made with Yahoo! as the default and the only users who will notice the change are those using pre-release versions of Lucid.
In an announcement to the Ubuntu developer’s mailing list overnight, Canonical’s desktop engineering manager, Rick Spencer said he has asked the Ubuntu desktop team to change the default back to Google as soon as “reasonably possible”, but definitely by the final product development freeze on April 15.
The decision is a smack in the face for search engine competition, with Google still commanding some 70 per cent of Internet searches and Yahoo! languishing at around 15 per cent.
“It was not our intention to ‘flap’ between providers,” Spencer wrote, “but the underlying circumstances can change unpredictably. In this case, choosing Google will be familiar to everybody upgrading from 9.10 (Karmic Koala) to 10.04 and the change will only be visible to those who have been part of the development cycle for 10.04.”
Each release the developers determine the best default Web browser and 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,” according to Spencer.
Up until Ubuntu 9.10 these defaults have always been Firefox and Google.
Earlier in the 10.04 cycle Spencer announced Ubuntu would be changing the default search provider to Yahoo!, and that change was implemented for several pre-release versions.
“However, for the final release, we will use Google as the default provider.”