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Ubuntu 12.10 to have Amazon lens – angry users rebutted by Shuttleworth

The inclusion of a lens in Unity dedicated entirely to Amazon results has caused a stir in the community, but Canonical founder Shuttleworth has come out to defend it

Canonical have already talked about WebApps, the integration of the Web and desktop that effectively break down the barriers between the two. Today it has been revealed that an Amazon and Ubuntu One Music Store webapp will be made default lenses in 12.10. Searching applications and files will therefore show results from both Amazon and the music store.

Users have met the move with resistance, centering on concerns over data being transmitted to Amazon without their permission, just so that Canonical can make a few extra advertisement dollars. Mark Shuttleworth has written a blog about the matter, trying to quell the community.

While he admits Ubuntu will make money from searches, he defends it as helping out those that use Amazon to make their lives easier. He also confirmed that data is first being transmitted to a Canonical server before hitting Amazon, so there is no direct interaction with Amazon. Apparently, people have pointed out that currently this search data is unencrypted.

“In 12.10 we’ll take the first step of looking both online and locally for possible results,” Shuttleworth wrote, “The Home lens will show you local things like apps and music, as it always has, as well as results from Amazon. Note – these are not ads, they are results to your search. We don’t promote any product or service speculatively, these are not banners or spyware. These are results from underlying scopes, surfaced to the Home lens, because you didn’t narrow the scope to a specific, well scope.”

It’s a tricky situation, although you should be able to turn it off entirely after you’ve installed Ubuntu. The second Beta for 12.10 is out later this week, and in other Ubuntu news, the release schedule for 13.04 was released this morning.