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First I’d like to personally thank everyone who participates in the yearly Ubuntu community user survey and hope that you find the data and results as useful and interesting as I do.

To preface this data remember that we conduct these surveys to help understand and improve Ubuntu for everyone, not to get behind a general consensus and bash other viewpoints.

With that said, the most recent Ubuntu community survey has been completed for a few months and I finally had the time to publish the results here. There are lots of interesting points to pick out but I wanted to start with something I wrote about a while back, Ubuntu online search results.


From this user survey we can see that 74 percent of the respondents opt to disable the online search results. That’s a huge staggering number considering the amount of time and effort put into developing this feature, promoting it, and defending it from Canonical’s shoes. Obviously the next path we need to take here is to fully understand why users are opting out of using the online search results feature without jumping to conclusions.

Then we (Canonical employees and Ubuntu users) need to determine if the problems with Unity search can be easily fixed or if the feature should be scrapped completely. If the majority of users are disabling a feature is it worth the time to continue developing it? Then, if the feature relaunched could you convince users to give it another chance?

If I had to speculate the two main reasons why users are opting out of the online search results feature it would be

1. Privacy concerns – with no regard or stance to the legitimacy of the concerns because this article isn’t about that

2. Usefullness – anywhere from the speed of the tool (to slow), lack of scopes, poorly returned results, etc.

Do you have Unity online search results disabled? Care to tell us why? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.