Canonical announced earlier today that they would be using Google as its default search engine in the upcoming release of Ubuntu 10.4, according to

Canonical, the developers of the Linux-based operating system Ubuntu, has traditionally used Google as its default search engine for its operating systems. In January, though, Canonical said that it would be switching its default search engine to Yahoo for the latest release of Ubuntu.

According to Ubuntu server lead Rick Clark, Canonical decided to switch back to Google due to the preferences of its users.

"Earlier in the 10.04 cycle I announced that we would be changing the default search provider to Yahoo!, and we implemented that change for several milestones. However, for the final release, we will use Google as the default provider," Clark told the Ubuntu mailing list, reports Katonda.

Katonda speculates that the change may have something to do with Microsoft’s recent deal with Yahoo, which powers Microsoft’s proprietary search engine, Bing. Microsoft is the owner of the rival operating system, Windows.

Search engine optimization (SEO) techniques are highly tuned to the most dominant search engine. According to recent statistics from Experian Hitwise, Google is currently the most popular search engine, making up 70 percent of searches in the United States. With more than 13 million Ubuntu users worldwide, though, the switch to Yahoo may have caused Google to lose some of the market share. Yahoo currently captures 15 percent of searches in the Unites States.