February 13, 2001

Ximian pulls KDE-keyword based ads on Google

Author: JT Smith

- by Tina Gasperson -
- updated - 2/14/1 - 9:20 a.m. EST
According to reports early this morning, Ximian ads were showing up when KDE-related search terms were entered at the Google search engine. As of 10:30 a.m. EST, the Ximian advertisements were no longer appearing with the results of searches on terms like "KDE," "Kapps," and others. Ads for Ximian, a company affiliated with KDE's rival desktop Gnome, still appeared on search results for the term "Gnome."
No Ximian officials were available for comment, and we have been unable to reach Google for confirmation. The ads appear next to the search results on the popular search engine.

However, a post on Ximian's Web site states, "Pour and Ximian have taken the
following steps to resolve the conflict.

Ximian will revise its advertisements on Google to eliminate the
possibility of confusion, and will not create new advertising campaigns
based on KDE-related keyword searches.
Pour and Granroth will post a update to their letter, describing the
resolution and linking to Ximian's statement of resolution."

Originally, headlines at NewsForge linked to an open letter at KDE developer Kurt Granroth's Web site that detailed his objections to Ximian's ad campaign. The letter has since been updated to reflect the morning's developments.

In the letter, Granroth urged Gnome developers to "vote with their feet" -- to leave the Gnome project if Ximian refused to change its advertising strategy.

Gnome developer Jim Cape thinks that is an unreasonable request. "Would Lesstif hackers stop hacking because someone connected to Lesstif bought ads on search results for GTK+? Of course not."

Though Granroth's revelation caused a stir when reported at LinuxToday, the consensus from sources at Slashdot is that the latest KDE/Gnome skirmish is a "tempest in a teapot."

Gnome developer Julian Missig says he doesn't see a problem with Ximian's advertising strategy. "Ximian is a company, and it is in their interest to switch people to Gnome, so they attempt to do so. Would it be so wrong if Honda place ads on keywords related to Toyota cars? I thought it was fairly well accepted in our society that the purpose of ads is to try to get people to start using that product."

NewsForge editors read and respond to comments posted on our discussion page.


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