In a move that has proved to be controversial among Linux fans, Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu, has decided to include Amazon search results in the release of the Ubuntu 12.10 Unity Dash search function. The reason why many people do not like this development, is that they think it means Ubuntu is now adware. However, the founder of the company, Mark Shuttleworth, has responded to these complaints by explaining why this is actually not the case.

While Amazon will indeed be included in Ubuntu 12.10, it will be one of many other additions as well and is not meant to be an annoyance. People who use Ubuntu, when doing their work, playing or writing e-mails to family, will want to make sure that this does not mean there will be Amazon adverts everywhere. In fact, what will happen is that when you use Unity Dash in Ubuntu 12.10 for a search, the usual search results will still come up. However, there will also be a More Suggestions results box, containing no ads but instead search results from Amazon.

According to the Director of Technology at Canonical, Olli Ries, this extra category is meant to help users access content that is “available online in addition to what already resides on their device.” This means that users will have more options in the content that they see and the products that they can easily come into contact with. As well as Amazon being integrated into Ubuntu search, there is also an Amazon search app that is separate to this. Many more website apps will also be available, including Reddit, Facebook and BBC News. Canonical is basically doing this in order to make money, which will enable it to continue expanding Ubuntu and investing in its future success.

I don’t consider this to be adware as long as its possible to turn it off.  If not, then this will be not only annoying but will in fact hurt the openness Linux is known for.