Word have been spreading around that Ubuntu is replacing Firefox with Google Chrome for Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. This “news” seem to have started out with a post at ubergizmo, which TechCrunch picked up and then posted (refering to Ubuntu Netbook Edition with the no-longer-in-use name Ubuntu Netbook Remix). With Neowin too joining in with a post today, it is spreading like wildfire.
However the truth is that it is not Google Chrome which may replace Firefox; it is Chromium. (We wrote about it four days ago.)While Google has released most of the Chrome code to the Chromium Project, Chrome still has some closed-source codes and come packaged with proprietary software (Flash). Anyone with even a slight understanding of the Ubuntu Philosophy (and Licensing) would understand that Ubuntu can never have Google Chrome as a default application.
Two days ago, when this misinformation has just started spreading, Ubuntu Developer Jorge Castro wrote a blog post clarifying that it is not Chrome but Chromium that they are considering as a replacement for Firefox in UNE 10.10. Unfortunately his message did not go through. This is what he wrote:
I’d like to clarify some things about our session on default applications and Chromium.
- Chrome and Chromium are not the same thing. Chrome is a non-free build of the Chromium project.
- It is impossible for us to ship Google Chrome as a default web browser without compromising our beliefs. You can read more about our licensing and how that relates here.
I hope that clears things up, you’ll be hearing more updates in the usual development channels from the Desktop team as the cycle progresses.
Hopefully, this post in clears things up. :)