Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 8th Mar 2013 16:13 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Mark Shuttleworth: "I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different. Leet. 'Linux is supposed to be hard so it's exclusive' is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say." He's right. Lots of interesting insights in this blog post - I may not agree with everything Ubuntu does, but at least it's doing something.
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RE[2]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Fri 8th Mar 2013 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Laurence"
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It's kind of a double-edged sword. Desktop Linux has been a 'thing' for about 15 years (give or take a few), and they still don't have shit to show for it. I mean, what are they rocking these days... about 1% market share? It's obvious that what they're doing is not working, so somebody has to take the bull by the horns and do something different, if you don't want to see desktop Linux rocking a 1% marketshare still in 2020.

The problem hasn't been technical ability nor direction, it's been more finances. Shuttleworth has basically been running Canonical out of his own pocket to get it to the stage it's at today. But Ubuntu wasn't the first "desktop Linux" with Shuttleworth's vision (albeit without Shuttleworth at the helm) - sadly all of Ubuntu's predecessors have basically fallen by the wayside because they simple were not sustainable.

Desktop computing is such a tough nut to crack (between Microsoft's monopoly on PCs and Apple seen as the "go to" whenever anyone gets jaded about PCs/windows) that it takes a bottomless pit of cash.

I think this is also the reason why Canonical are moving Ubuntu onto mobile platforms as well. All this talk about "the desktop/laptop are dying" is sensationalistic crap, however it's also not a market that's likely to see exponential growth again. So I can't blame Canonical for wanting to hedge their bets. And let's be honest, the mobile / tablet market is far from stable at the moment so as much as Ubuntu has an uphill battle there, I think it's more of an achievable goal than desktop Ubuntu being anything more than a niche on the desktop.

If it breaks compatibility with all other distros, you know this is going to have to happen sooner or later, if you want more than the 1%. And I suspect that if Ubuntu really takes off, the other distros will follow its lead, so everything works with Ubuntu.

That's not the way how Canonical should be working though. I'm all for them driving change, but they should be working with the community. Instead they work in isolation and only really release the source as part of the OS releases. There isn't much (if anything) in the way of submitting patches back upsteam. So every other Linux developer and distro maintainer is expected to find any Ubuntu-fixes themselves and re-engineer those patches. It's not that far of how Google run Android these days.

Linux might have a number of things backwards (as I said before, it's far from perfect) and it might be terrible for fragmentation, but at least the community collaborated well. Canonical doesn't. And that's what worries me - I don't want Linux to become Shuttleworth's vision or the highway. I like the fact that there's a whole plethora of choices out there and the fact that they're all largely compatible with each other.

Personally though, I think desktop Linux is, and always will be, a 'hobbyist' OS. Having said that, I'm sure I'm going to get modded down for expressing that opinion on this site

I can't say I agree with you, but you're entitled to your opinion ;)

Edited 2013-03-08 18:28 UTC

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