back to article Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search

Mozilla will make Yahoo! the default search engine for Firefox in the US, ending its decade-long pact with Google. The new deal affects the open-source browser on the desktop and on mobile devices. Lest we forget, Yahoo! Search is powered by ... Microsoft Bing. Terms of the new search deal were not disclosed, but the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cue panic

    ... and a brief glut of searches for how to change the default search back to google. It might be the only upward spike yahoo sees for their money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cue panic

      Do you really think 98% of people will notice or care about the change? Search is search as far as they're concerned.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cue panic

        Search is only search until people get tired of searching for "Indian Restaurant" and end up with a page full of assorted and entirely unrelated sites.

        I don't have even the vaguest of fond memories of Yahoo's days as the big name in search.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Cue panic

          You know, they might have improved it since 1998.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cue panic

            No......they haven't.

          2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: Cue panic

            "You know, they might have improved it since 1998."

            They got worse. Now they use Bing.

            I see a rash of sysadmin suicides about to occur. Bleary-eyed sysadmins hauled out of bed at "why is this even a time that exists" in the morning will be asked to work on some server for which only RDP is working. Desperate to get a patch, they'll immediately open IE to download Firefox. After swatting away a dozen irritating things trying to convince you to use IE, realizing they have to change some irritating setting before they can download and run the Firefox installer and then getting to run they'll finally launch a proper browser.

            They get hte browser open, punch in the error code only to realize that the search has gone through Bing, and Bing can't find anything on Microsoft's own web properties worth a damn. Despairing at the futility of life, they will kill themselves with a shredded Mighty Mouse, because it seems more logical cramming Microsoft's craptastrophe upon people who quite clearly were trying to get away from the insanity in the first place.

            Moral of the story: friends don't let friends Bing. And only enemies for life make Bing the default on anything.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Cue panic

              Amazed how many downvotes my comment attracted. Guess there is still a lot of Yahoo/Bing hate.

              I used Bing sometimes when a google search gets too much spam or crappy links on the first couple pages, and sometimes it provides much better results. Probably because the link spammers that are always battling with Google pay less attention to trying to game Bing's results.

              Pretty sure for simple searches like "indian restaurant london" you get similar quality results. I just tried it and found similar quality results on Google, Yahoo! and Bing (since Yahoo! uses Bing) Actually, I like Bing's presentation of the results best out of the three.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Cue panic

                "Amazed how many downvotes my comment attracted. Guess there is still a lot of Yahoo/Bing hate.

                Not really so much hate, but experience, at last where yahoo is concerned. It may well have improved since 1998, and it may not even make a pigs breakfast of searches for a curry house any more, but that front page of theirs is a catastrophe no one on their right mind would go near voluntarily. And you don't forget or forgive the "22 pages of porn irrespective of search terms" experience circa 1998 in a hurry.

                Bing I haven't, and won't try, so I don't know how bad or good it is and I couldn't really care less either. MS have had a couple of other pops at search before Bing, the last I recall being Live.com, circa 2003 ish. Much bullish fanfare preceded it about beating google etc, so I tried it using IE. Amazingly, on an absurdly simply page with only 5 or six elements (basically a blue curve, a search box and a submit button, on their own browser, all of the elements appeared to assemble in entirely random order. Every time it loaded. I thought it was a joke, or spoof, or a mistype on my part, or the page had been hijacked etc etc, because I just couldn't believe the worlds largest company could seriously try to punt something that would embarrass an inebriated chimp let loose on Dreamweaver. And that was before even trying the search, which didn't improve things. So MS don't ever get to take the fucking Michael again, because even 60 seconds is far too long to waste on them.

                So DuckDuckGo for most things, google for the rest till something better with no connection to MS or Yahoo comes along.

      2. P. Lee

        Re: Cue panic

        >Do you really think 98% of people will notice or care about the change?

        Most people who goes to the bother of installing FF is going to flip the search to Google anyway.

    2. Jad

      Re: Cue panic

      Actually, from what I've seen our users/my relatives do, the biggest search term will be "google" :)

    3. jelabarre59

      Re: Cue panic

      Actually, I've switched my browsers over to DuckDuckGo.

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    The first thing I do with a new browser installation

    is kill the associated search, whatever it was.

    If I want to search, I'll select the engine explicitly, each time, thanks.

    (But then, I am an ancient Luddite who believes applications should be separate, simple, and explicit.)

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: The first thing I do with a new browser installation

      Systemd is coming for you...

  3. Roger B

    DuckDuck

    After the latest update last week to 33.1.1, Firefox made a strong mention of their users privacy and of the availability to use DuckDuckGo as your preferred search engine. DuckDuck was leading the search Engine chart by quite a margin on the search engine options page as well, although not quite as much this week.

    Interesting that Yahoo will now notice your Do Not Track settings, almost like they are saying we'll let you search in peach and quiet, if you pay us, although the payment comes from those people who have not switched on their Do Not Track settings.

    1. Indolent Wretch

      Re: DuckDuck

      "Interesting that Yahoo will now notice your Do Not Track settings, almost like they are saying we'll let you search in peace and quiet"

      I think you've got a very strange idea about "Do Not Track", you're going to get bombarded with exactly the same number of ads, all the time. It's just that in general they'll be about stuff you have absolutely no interest in.

      Sometimes I wonder whether I'm the only person in the world who has on occasion found targeted advertising to be helpful.

      1. IJC

        Re: DuckDuck

        I find most advertisements are for stuff I've just bought, not stuff that I'm looking for.

        I have never, ever, bought anything that was presented by a targeted ad.

      2. jelabarre59

        Re: DuckDuck

        > Sometimes I wonder whether I'm the only person in the world who has on

        > occasion found targeted advertising to be helpful.

        Yes, you are <G>.

        Seriously, though; I find I am *less* likely to buy things from the level of targeted advertising I have seen. There is no subtlety to it, and they like to make not to miss ANY chance to push the same product you did a related search on with EVERY page you visit. It's why I've never bought that DVD of some remastered version of "Metropolis"; for weeks (or even months) after I was looking up information on the film, I was seeing ads EVERYWHERE for the same DVD release of it. And this wasn't on film or entertainment-related sites (where there might be some vague chance of seeing the ad), but pretty much ANYPLACE that has AdSense(less). Pissed me off so much I resolved to never buy the disk, unless it happened to end up in a one-dollar closeout bin someplace. The same has happened to a number of other products, which I have ALSO resolved to never buy.

        You want to advertise to me? Fine, do it the same way advertisers have bought ad space on network television for decades: figure out sites likely to have your target audience. But targeting me directly constitutes harrasment, and my restraining orders come with names like "Privacy Badger", etc.

  4. JanVan
    Mushroom

    Fire fox!

    Mozilla fired Brendan Eich for being targetted by the gay lobby, and there was something of a campaign against them as a result. Perhaps it worked? Or perhaps now they are going crazy without his technical leadership? (Okay, they didn't fire him, they made him walk the plank, but either way he got fed to the sharks.)

  5. big_D Silver badge
    Coat

    Yawho?

    With Google having something like 95% search market share over here (Germany), I don't think they will earn much revenue from Yahoo!, although it might boost their market share a bit for unaware users...

  6. imanidiot Silver badge

    I for one will NOT be using Yahoo!

    Yahoo! search sucks even bigger hairy donkey balls than google. A lot of people WILL be changing the default to something/anything else.

    1. druck Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: I for one will NOT be using Yahoo!

      Or it could be the kick needed to just use Chrome all the time.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What! Have! They! Done?!

    Sad. If the Firefox! default homepage becomes anything like Yahoo's tired "let's bring back the 90s" ad-infested mess, then Chrome here I come. Next step: the Firefox! plugin API is changed to stop Ad Blocker working.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: What! Have! They! Done?!

      The Firefox default homepage always looks the same no matter what your search provider - a big Firefox icon, a search box underneath, and a small amount of promotional text beneath that.

      I hope Mozilla have demanded an upfront payment by the way, will Yahoo be around in five years time?

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: What! Have! They! Done?!

        They will be now :)

        Rather than Mozilla depending on Google to survive, suddenly Yahoo! is depending on Mozilla?!

      2. John Tserkezis

        Re: What! Have! They! Done?!

        "will Yahoo be around in five years time?"

        If they're anything like AOL, the bastards will never die.

  8. eJ2095

    Dunno whats worse

    Bing or yahoo?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dunno whats worse

      Yahoo

    2. fandom

      Re: Dunno whats worse

      Nowadays they are the same.

  9. RyokuMas
    Devil

    "it's possible that the talks broke down over the Firefox-maker's stance toward the Do Not Track browser privacy standard."

    Typical Google, trying to force their will on everyone and too hell with the general public's privacy and choices.

    Mind you, this is a win-win situation: If Mozilla and Firefox thrive in this new situation, it helps prove to the world that you don't have to kowtow to the Googleborg, and if they end up struggling financially and either go back or go out of business, it proves that Google have the power to pretty much dictate what goes on the web, and thus should be treated as an anticompetitive monopoly.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Do No Track is less than a fig leaf, a total waste of time and the mention of it in the article is a red herring. I suspect the dispute with Google was about money and only money.

      Google is successful because its search is very, very good.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Interesting take in the article. Google's Chrome has an option for "do not track", they also have an extension button for "do not track". Google's ad system respects the "do not track" setting.

      Yahoo didn't respect it at all. Yet the author believes that the negotiation for the browser search engine was based upon this, and therefore Yahoo won the deal?

      Makes no sense!

  10. tom dial Silver badge

    So?

    If I ever choose to switch from Chrome to Iceweasel I'll have to change the default browser. I check several every month or two and Yahoo! consistently runs a distinct third to Bing (2) and Google (1).

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I laughed...and then I cried

    Have you tried using Yahoo's email recently? Sometimes it takes forever to do anything!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I laughed...and then I cried

      It is truly crap, only use it for spammy type mailing lists.

      Still could be worse, it could be like their "News" which consists of little more than publicity whores and football.

  12. Forget It
    Big Brother

    > As part of its deal with Mozilla, however, [Yahoo!] says it will now recognize Do Not Track again but only for Firefox users.

    Okay, when you need a “burner” email ac­coun­t [1] - choose Yahoo using Firefox and that should be marginally safer.

    [1] http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/201x/2014/11/14/Being-Secret

  13. wowfood

    Part of me doesn't much care, I can change the default search to whatever I feel like, and I intend to. Although I have noticed somewhat a swing in the web market.

    Originally I used IE because well, only real option. Then I moved to firefox which was worlds better. Started getting lots of problems with firefox, pages crashing, running slow etc, and I switched to chrome. Now many years later, chrome isn't displaying pages correctly, keeps crashing on me and have plugin issues for me, and I'm considering going back to firefox.

  14. CAPS LOCK

    So Microsoft then...

    "In July 2009, Yahoo signed a deal with Microsoft, the result of which was that Yahoo Search would be powered by Bing. This is now in effect." Quoted from Wickipedia.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So Microsoft then...

      That was said in the article. Or didn't you bother reading it?

  15. stuartnz
    Linux

    Time to duck and cover?

    I have decided to make duckduckgo both my homepage and default search engine in FF and Chrome to see how it goes. I know that many here have been fans for a while, and it was El Reg who introduced me to it a couple of years ago. Now that Google seems intent on becoming the N$A, I figured it can't hurt to try an alternative. I'm glad I'm not in the States though, because I'd hate to lumped with Yahoo! as my default, as a matter of principle, no matter how trivially easy changing it is (Penguin icon since it's an aquatic bird)

    1. eulampios

      Re: Time to duck and cover?

      duckduckgo requires javascript to fetch the search queries while google doesn't. Why would that be?

      1. Jamesit

        Re: Time to duck and cover?

        When I disabled Javascript DDG worked just fine

      2. A. Coatsworth
        Go

        Re: Time to duck and cover?

        It does, eulampios, but the duck has a cute html only search page for us javascript-hating luddites

        https://duckduckgo.com/html/

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    then there was two

    So Yahoo is Microsoft and when you Duck Duck to GO you get that 'whatever you do, do not tell them it is all Bing'.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple search is also on its way.

    yes, whenever you send an iDevice search to DuckDuckGo it heads over to Apple too.

    Only from Apple devices, it seems unlikely DuckDuckGO send results from other devices across to Apple.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surprised...

    Why didn't Mozilla partner up with DuckDuckGo or Startpage or some other anonymous search engine proxy since they claim to care so much.... Yahoo is just a cesspool of ads, Google is 90% dominant, Bing is M$ etc... So it should have been easy an easy choice i.e. none of the big three...

    1. Matt Piechota

      Re: Surprised...

      "Why didn't Mozilla partner up with DuckDuckGo or Startpage or some other anonymous search engine proxy since they claim to care so much.... Yahoo is just a cesspool of ads, Google is 90% dominant, Bing is M$ etc... So it should have been easy an easy choice i.e. none of the big three..."

      I doubt DDG has anywhere near enough money to pay Mozilla at the rate that Google/Binghoo does.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I doubt DDG has anywhere near enough money to pay Mozilla at the rate that Google/Binghoo does.

        Sure. But they could if they were the default search engine of choice on Firefox.... Mozilla is changing the way it funds itself and looking for other options. That became clear when it started leaning towards Blank Tabs w/ Ads. So they could hook their trailer up to one of the new privacy proxies and go for it big time....

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: I doubt DDG has anywhere near enough money to pay Mozilla at the rate that Google/Binghoo does.

          DDG 'steals'/scrapes results from other search engines so I rather suspect choosing it as a default search engine would be a risky move both politically and pragmatically.

  19. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Blekko?

    Has nobody else noticed that there actually exist "search engines" that are neither Google nor Bing under the hood? Wake up, Mr. Van Winkle.

  20. Cynicalmark

    I remember the day...

    life before Google. And now I wouldn't touch crappy Bing or Yahoo with someone else's hehehehe

  21. DToma

    MY search engine of choice is ask.com; but, I've been using it since it was Ask Jeeves. Yahoo is getting to the point that I just don't like it as much as I once did. With the many problems that Yahoo continues having with Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Groups, I just wonder how problematic Yahoo Search would be.

  22. dogged

    I knew it. I absolutely knew it.

    None of you care because you can change YOUR default search provider and obviously, it's all about YOU YOU YOU and only YOU, right?

    I use Firefox and I'm concerned. Seems to me that the second Chrome shows a higher market share than FF, Google stop supporting what is probably the single most widely known F/OSS project in existence.

    I'd like to see MS and Apple pick up that particular tab as an obligation-free donation. Firefox and Mozilla gave us the open web and prevented web standards from being a bad joke. Chrome and its horrible -webkit extensions are bringing us rapidly back to the days of IE6.

    Everyone benefits from Mozilla. I hope Google lose an extremely significant percentage of search traffic for dumping them.

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