Ubuntu is not "selling" your searches to amazon. Ubuntu will only get paid any money if you click through, and purchase something from Amazon. Ubuntu is sending your searches to Amazon which may or may not be 'right', but they only get paid if you buy stuff.
I'd guess Ubuntu are desperate for revenue and have run out of other ideas.
Also FWIW, the number of people who use these desktop search things seems likely to be tiny. Particularly amongst those who use linux.
Do people here use desktop search on any OS?
Ubuntu is on the verge of becoming the major player in the early-stage linux convert market. They have the best supported platform, the largest and most accepting community and userbase, and are beginning to branch out towards more traditional markets like gamers with the soon-to-happen inclusion of Steam.
It would seem a better move politically to make this feature either opt-out or opt-it, and not required.
I've used Ubuntu's dash search when looking for an app that's not readily available. Who keeps things on the desktop nowadays? :)
They are selling click throughs and it is likely for such a system to work they need to send a search off to amazon (to see if it matches any products). Amazon would be insane if they didn't analyze and watch the searches that are being sent from ubuntu, even if no sale comes of it. Ubuntu makes money off of this process, I sure some of the value to amazon is just the search data.
I use my desktop search on osx near constantly. I used ubuntu's search just last night. I don't have data one way or the other, but it seems at least possible that many people use the search (if they didn't why would ubuntu care).