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Ubuntu tries Mozilla's search-ad revenue plan

Canonical will share search-ad revenue with Yahoo in its next version of Linux. Indirectly, that could mean Ubuntu gets a bit of Microsoft built in.

Tapping into a new revenue source, Ubuntu Linux's corporate backer Canonical has signed a partnership to use Yahoo's search results by default in the version of Firefox it ships.

The move takes a page from the Mozilla playbook. Firefox is set up by default to send search traffic to Google, and the majority of Mozilla's revenue--$79 million in 2008--is a portion of any resulting search-ad revenue.

"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," said Canonical's Rick Spencer in a mailing list announcement on Tuesday.

The alliance could well make for some strange bedfellows. That's because Yahoo has agreed to sell its search business to Microsoft--an arch-enemy of Linux. That deal hasn't yet secured regulatory approval, though.

Canonical will start the new deal beginning with version 10.4, or "Lucid Lynx," due to ship in April. For those who have selected a different default search engine, the software won't change the default search engine, Spencer said.

Canonical is coming under new management, with founder Mark Shuttleworth stepping down by March 1, replaced by Chief Operating Officer Jane Silber.

Via Ars Technica