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Ubuntu will ship with Firefox until at least 12.04

Chrome's big chance to come later in 2012
Tue Jun 14 2011, 17:59

LINUX DISTRIBUTION Ubuntu will continue to use Firefox as its default web browser at least until version 12.04 is released next year.

Canonical, the vendor of the Ubuntu Linux distribution told The INQUIRER that Firefox will continue to be the default web browser it ships with Ubuntu until at least its 12.04 release. The comments come after Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical's founder said that Google's Chrome came close to replacing Firefox as the default browser in Ubuntu.

Garry Carr, director of communications at Canonical told The INQUIRER, "The plan of record is that Firefox remains the default browser until 12.04 and as part of 12.04. After that like most other applications the platform team might review the decision. Chromium is in the repositories and is proving popular with users and lots of people have installed [Google] Chrome. We want to continue to provide great support for people's preferred browsers."

The news that Mozilla's Firefox might be given the boot hasn't completely been put to bed as Carr mentioned that Canonical will be making another decision after 12.04, which should be out in April 2012. Although Mozilla has enjoyed significant success with Firefox 4, Google has continued to rapidly develop its Chrome browser, recently bringing Chrome 12 out of beta and into the main release branch.

While Mozilla's Firefox still leads Google's Chrome in overall browser market share, Chrome has enjoyed significant uptake since its introduction in 2008. And although Canonical has shipped Ubuntu with Firefox for years now, Shuttleworth's forecast will be a major blow to Mozilla if it materialises in a change to Chrome.

Ubuntu has won a lot of support for trying to make it easy for Windows users to use a Linux-based operating system. Recently Canonical announced that three Asus EeePC models will ship with Ubuntu and Canonical has aspirations to become big in the enterprise too, so it is important for browser vendors to be the default option in the distribution.

Carr's comments mean that for the next two releases at least, users who download Ubuntu will have Firefox as the default web browser, at least until they install Chromium as an alternative. [You're such a transparent Chrome partisan, Latif. - Ed] µ


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