A post on the official blog of Canonical, the compnay behind the GNU/Linux distribution, said that version 12.10 had taken "another important step towards fulfilling its intended purpose of being an online, global search tool that helps users find anything, instantly, right from their home environment".
This would be extended in 13.04 with the use of "smart scopes" - daemons capable of presenting local or remote information within the Dash (seen above with theresults of a search for the word Beatles) which is the search window for Ubuntu's Unity interface. These "scopes" would be category-wise; depending on the search term a particular "scope" would be triggered.
"For example, a search for “The Beatles” is likely to trigger the Music and Video scopes, showing results that will contain local and online sources – with the online sources querying your personal cloud as well as other free and commercial sources like YouTube, Last.fm, Amazon, etc," said the post, written by Cristian Parrino, vice-president for online services at Canonical.
"We are also testing a few additional user controls like filters for local and global searching – more to come on this front as we learn from those sessions. In the meantime, users can already focus a search to local files only with a simple super-f keystroke," Parrino wrote.
Canonical has come under fire for returning Amazon search results when one searches locally in version 12.10; Free Software Foundation chairman Richard Stallman was among the critics.