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Canonical will turn Ubuntu 13.04 into an Amazon shopping trolley

A once nice Linux distribution is commercialised
Mon Dec 10 2012, 13:29

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Canonical is set to anger its longstanding users once again by saying that Ubuntu 13.04 will offer users the opportunity to shop at Amazon from their desktop.

Canonical has done a very good job of alienating large parts of its user base in the past two years through its decision to push the Unity window manager and then foisting an opt-out system on them in which local system search terms are sent to Amazon. Now the firm has said it will offer users the chance to buy products from Amazon directly from the control panel on the Unity desktop, which is called the Dash.

Canonical's decision to send local search queries from the Dash to Amazon and display adverts has resulted in the firm taking heat from privacy groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and users alike, despite the firm's claim that it anonymises search terms before sending them off to the retailer. Now the firm has taken things one step further by offering users a means to buy items from Amazon through the Dash.

Canonical's Cristian Parrino said Ubuntu 13.04 will offer "instant purchasing". He added, "In 13.04, we expect to enable instant payments, powered by Ubuntu One, for both applications from the Software Center and music from the Music Store - to deliver the fastest possible purchasing experience directly from the Dash."

As Canonical saddles up to Amazon, long time Ubuntu users who care about their privacy and use Linux based operating systems because they are not tied to multinational companies will have yet another excuse to jump to another Linux distribution.

Although Canonical does need to make money to fund parts of Ubuntu's development, perhaps it should consider taking Red Hat's support route rather than looking to generate revenue by pushing its users' data and spending to a company that only last week was hauled in front of MPs and forced to defend its UK tax avoidance policies. µ


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