Ubuntu’s Death Rattle

Having just posted my thoughts on the Dell/Linux sham, it hit me… This must be the sound of Ubuntu’s death rattle.

Having failed to turn a profit year after year, Canonical/Ubuntu has put all of its remaining energy into this deal: from the website re-design with the focus on Dell, to the recent video/talk marketing efforts made by Mr. Shuttleworth.

I _would_ say that all the eggs have been placed into the same basket, but if you look at the past, you quickly realize the rest of the eggs have already been broken and this is a last effort attempt to save a sinking ship.

Since the beginning, Canonical/Ubuntu has been burning millions per year, without seeing any returns — even with a userbase of 2-6 million, and a deployment on 4-16 million systems. And this Dell move is supposed to turn things around?…

Do the numbers:

Dell’s expected sales are at 20,000 systems per year. Who and how many are going to shell out $65 for 30-days worth of support? Zero. Maybe, at best, less than 1%. Same logic applies to the more expensive, yearly, support contracts.

This Dell deal is a joke that’s going sell a handful of systems and net Canonical a few more contracts, relatively worth pennies. Pushing Linux on the average Joe [who is just going to ship the system back] will also backfire. I mean, who else is going to buy these systems? The fanboys that started this mess in the first place? Don’t make me laugh!

And for Ubuntu, after Dell, where is there to go from here but down?

It almost sounds as if this deal was set up to fail from the beginning. If Microsoft is behind this move, they have done a good job of pulling the strings. It’s a sad day today.

134 thoughts on “Ubuntu’s Death Rattle

  1. Oli

    > And where is there to go from here but down?

    Up? Across?

    Shuttleworth is a billionaire. BILLIONaire. He can bankroll Ubuntu for a while, I think… Put your rattle away, I think they’re all fine.

    I think as things progress, we’re going to see more available services like on-demand applications through some form of 1-click-installer catalogue (like Linspire uses) and there’s definitely scope for making money through that, even if it’s only commission.

    I think he has a solid strategy here… You can’t start throwing price tags around with too much voracity until you’ve got some market share to write home about. Once that’s accomplished, I’m sure we’ll see monetisation efforts in some form or other.

    Reply
  2. admin

    I do realize that Mr. Shuttleworth has an impressive bankroll behind him, but losing money can only be fashionable for a limited time.

    This Dell/Ubuntu failure-in-the-making will be akin to hitting a brick wall. There is no where to go from this point, every method of breaking even has been expended. And when you run/fund a project that has run its course, you tend to loose interest in it very quickly.

    Yes, Mr. Shuttleworth has the means to float Canonical/Ubuntu for a long time — but that is not the question. The question was: can desktop Linux be capitalized on via providing support contracts [since the goals for the server and corporate markets might be unrealizable]. This has been answered: No. Now the question is how long will Mr. Shuttleworth fund a dead project… Remember, Ubuntu is a result of a Canonical 60-head paid team that does everything from marketing to development. While the community likes to pretend they are the project, that is usually nothing more than an illusion. All the work gets done by someone else.

    Reply
  3. Linux Realist

    I would highly recommend going to business school and understanding business fundamentals before writting blogs such as this one with titles such as this.

    Most businesses don’t make any money in the first year and some even don’t generate a profit in the second year; however, they become profitable over time. This is standard. In addition, without risk, there is little reward. Ubuntu has made a great effort becoming a highly used and ranked distro in the Linux community. This deal will help generate a profit. And even if it doesn’t, Dell has been expanding every release and generating more interest in the services it offers to companies. Not necessarily the linux user base that there currently is. And also, 65 is a good price for selling to those who are interested in Ubuntu. Hopefully it will work out for the best.

    If you like Linux and want to see it do well, try writting good stuff like getting people to buy Dell products with Ubuntu installed. That will get Linux to spread on the desktop and overall market share. However, if you want it to fail, then continue to write these poor articles that do nothing to benefit Linux.

    Reply
  4. admin

    The simple fact is if Canonical can’t turn a profit after years in “business” with a Ubuntu user-base of over 4 million, another 20,000 that Dell will throw its way will not help. After this is all said and done, and Canonical sells an extra 200 support contracts, while Dell receives half of the Ubuntu systems back, Microsoft will win. And it will be the idealists and the fanboys that would have handed that victory right to them, on a silver platter.

    My point was this Dell deal was the last stand, and its turning out to be a joke at best.

    Don’t get attached to an OS, use whatever you are most productive in, these are only tools. And try to see the whole, both the negative and the positive.

    Reply
  5. Sokraates

    Nobody argues, that Shuttleworth has shelled out huge sums already (if I recall correctly about 20-25 million USD) and is not willing to finance Ubuntu forever. He stated so in many interviews.

    So your assumption is insofar correct, as Ubuntu will lose its drive and maybe vanish over time, if the project has to rely solely on the Ubuntu Foundations funds.

    But what I don’t understand from your reasoning, is where you think Canonical is losing money with this deal. As long as Canonical does not loose money through Dell by having to periodically invest more, there’s no change about Canonicals financial status.

    I don’t have any data to deny or confirm, that this deal was Canonical’s last ditch effort to become profitable. Unless you do, this piece remains nothing but your very personal opinion.

    But that’s what blog are about, anyway.

    Reply
  6. Andrei

    I think you just want attention.

    Linux is here to stay – maybe, Ubuntu will die, but nonetheless – other distributions will continue.

    IBM, Google, Novell, Sun, Nokia – are they loosing money?

    Reply
  7. admin

    I think you just want attention.

    In a way, considering this is a blog, nor ignoring the fact that the core of the internet is the transfer of data/information — yes, you could say that.

    Linux is here to stay – maybe, Ubuntu will die, but nonetheless – other distributions will continue.

    I’ve never stated Linux was dying. It’s here to stay, no one will argue with this. Ubuntu will survive, as Gentoo Linux has, and another distribution will become the darling.

    IBM, Google, Novell, Sun, Nokia – are they loosing money?

    No, but this failure *will* tarnish Linux and supply Microsoft with more FUD to spread around… The final outcome will be that Canonical sells a few hundred more support contracts, making a couple of pennies in the process; Ubuntu’s user base is increased by 1%; and everyone else that is in business of providing/using Linux takes a potential profit hit when Microsoft is handed the perfect opportunity to spread it’s truth about GNU/Linux.

    Reply
  8. ratchet

    …from the website re-design with the focus on Dell…

    What? It looks like that added an advertisement at the top of the existing page… basically replaced the header graphic with an advertisement… WHICH IS COMMON when a new product or service is released. Heck, look at Apple.com with the iPhone (and I dare say they’re NOT putting all their eggs in the same basket).

    I think your definition of “re-design” needs work.

    Reply
  9. admin

    It was a bit different last time I checked… They should make up their mind about what to do, and stop changing the website every other day.

    Reply
  10. mason levy

    I dont know how you can say that by making a great deal with a top PC company, this is their death rattle??

    You mention Gentoo….. sure its a nice distro, but to be completely honest, its quite unpractical and its doing nothing to expose people to linux, and its most definitely not going to bring over windows users. there is NO point to have to spend HOURS installing and then having to compile everything. Its quite primitive. computing is becoming more point-n-click, and people dont want to do that crap (srry all gentoo users, its the truth)

    All linux people have been trying to for the last several years is try to expose people to linux. Try to get them to understand what it is, and get them to use it. This is the first distro to do anything of this sort, but yet you are condeming it from the start, and making blind statements behind ubuntu’s financial situation. Shuttleworth’s video marketing, the website re-design, are all things that will only help to get ubuntu recognized by the non-linux communtiy.

    Reply
  11. admin

    Gentoo was just an example of another darling that crashed and burned… It probably was not the best choice to use here, for all the reasons you have stated. Lindows/Linspire and any of the other “desktop” distributions that have had major financial backing come to mind — ALL of which have failed one way or the other.

    All linux people have been trying to for the last several years is try to expose people to linux. Try to get them to understand what it is, and get them to use it.

    That’s the problem. Linux is being pushed on people that have no reason to use it.

    Reply
  12. Cran1988

    the Ubuntu it will not die because it is highly used from linux users and many distro continue Ubuntu way . even for novice person can use ubuntu with or without the Dells pc !
    The person who pushed to try linux they already know how to use it and it will be not a problem to use other linux distros ! Actually people get along with computers even without Windows and it is good ! the linux is just to show to do simple things with other distros ! Also dell will have a good response from the customers ! Even for business ubuntu is something great .

    Also for me i would like to buy an ubuntu laptop from dell because it is contain the most essential software for my work ! Like Open Office , music player and fancy GUI ! If you want games just people will get along with Cedega or wine and it is not difficult.

    You just dont understand ubuntu is just another distro but the most important is what contains(and already know that each distro contain the most nessecary things ) and believe me with this way Linux will win .

    Reply
  13. EmyrB

    Maybe you are correct in your assumption that Ubuntu will “crash and burn” as you said about Gentoo, but if this deal with Dell works out, then it will be good for Linux in general. You also have to remember that Dell are also not pushing Vista.

    Vista has taken 5 years worth of development and it is no where near what Redmond made us believe it would, now consider how far Linux has come in the last 5 years, LiveCD’s, Compiz/Beryl are just some examples. Linux seems to be a innovative hot pot at the moment and if say 5% of the users of the predicted 20,000 Dell PCs sold become involved with the open source movement, who knows what exciting and inventive ideas they will come up with.

    Reply
  14. admin

    I suppose if you could get them past the notion that the mouse is not a foot pedal that turns the system on/off, nor that the cd tray is a cup holder, they might come up with all kinds of great ideas that they could add to Dell’s IdeaStorm.

    A good portion of the dell.com/open purchases will be from the average-joe trying out this cool new thing called Linux. Who else is going to purchase these systems?

    We already know its not going to be anyone who started this mess/noise in the first place. Most of these systems will be shipped back. This will not be good for Linux at all. And if Ubuntu can’t even make it under Dell, its not like they have anywhere else to go. No OEM will ever touch Ubuntu again, or Linux — for home systems.

    The nails are being driven into the coffin as we speak, with the Linux idealists driving the hammers home, and the Ubuntu fanboys holding the coffin steady.

    I’m doing my part to try to defuse this insanity.

    Reply
  15. TechTurtle

    Let us not forget that Dell has stated that they will work with hardware manufacturers to improve driver support in Linux. This has long been a sore point, and if Dell can make any significant improvements in this area, things may look a little rosier on the desktop Linux front.

    Of course, this could all be contingent on having good sales of their Ubuntu offering, a catch-22.

    Reply
  16. admin

    Canonical is selling thousands of CD and DVDs every month. Do you see the companies listed? They are buying the products from us, thus they have our official support. Even after the free discs are paid for and shipped each month we are working with a surplus of funds.

    I see the so-called “companies” but I’m not sure I follow.

    According to you, Canonical sells a few thousands CDs per month, spread out across a bunch of local, regional, shops that no one has ever heard of, that further attempt to resell those CDs.

    I would not exactly call $50 bucks an “excess of surplus funds.” I mean, what are we talking about here?

    Reply
  17. admin

    Your articles are pure FUD.

    I don’t see how considering I do everything I can to support GNU/Linux.

    Reply
  18. admin

    More on this “surplus of funds” nonsense…

    Canonical/Ubuntu’s financial situation is that Mr. Shuttleworth does not expect to break even for several years, if that is even possible. Those are his words. Right now he is paying the bills via Canonical.

    And while Canonical is a separate entity from Ubuntu, they might as well be joined at the hip…

    Reply
  19. martfuncher

    I smell a troll. Ubuntu is going to make money from linux the same real here-and-now way that Red Hat and Novell do. Through corporate support services and contracts. Companies love and demand contracted support and services.

    Reply
  20. xubean

    Alright, you have some good points in your article, but everything you are saying are assumptions, and more importantly your opinions. I’m not one of those people who keep saying “ubuntu’s here to stay” or “linux is here to stay”, may be it is, may be it isn’t. But we sure have to give some thought to the fact that Linux is surely moving forward, slowly yes but still forward. Ubuntu no doubt has gained its reputation as the best (in terms of user friendliness especially) in a very short amount of time. It has managed to shift a lot of windows users to at least try out Linux and Ubuntu, and that’s definitely a good thing. So with Dell selling Ubuntu PC’s and Microsoft claiming about patent infringements and all these stuff, I definitely don’t see this move as the last straw for Ubuntu. Rumor is that Toshiba and HP are thinking of pushing Linux installed machines too, they probably will choose a different distro for competition and other reasons, but that’ll only make Dell push for Ubuntu more!

    There’s definitely a lot more I can say, but all I’m trying to say is, lets just try to give Ubuntu, Dell and Linux some more time. I know that Linux has been around for quite some time, but this is a big shot, so we should definitely only wait optimistically!

    Reply
  21. admin

    Ubuntu is going to make money from linux the same real here-and-now way that Red Hat and Novell do. Through corporate support services and contracts. Companies love and demand contracted support and services.

    Which I covered completely under the Is Ubuntu Linux slowly dying? article. Nothing new to see here. Red Hat is a trusted name in the server market. Ubuntu is a complete unknown. People tend to like to keep their jobs.

    Reply
  22. admin

    Alright, you have some good points in your article, but everything you are saying are assumptions, and more importantly your opinions.

    I’m glad you said this. Because ultimately the truth does not exist. All I can do is look at the past and present, analyze the situation, and formulate the future… I’ve been a Linux user since the Slackware days. I’ve supported GNU/Linux. And at some point, while I was never as blind and one-sided as some of these other “fans”, I *was* guilty of pushing Linux and pretending that everything was fine and good. Now I follow the “truth” where it goes…

    Reply
  23. adam cassel

    It’s about time that someone actually puts a sober considered based on the most basic math and understanding of the last ten years of PC history and correctly concludes that the emperor has no clothes. I still continue to be appalled at the total lack of objectivity, total lack of real IT and commercial software experience and complete unwillingness of the Linux, pick your distro True Believers. I mean really folks, I installed Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, whatever you want Ubuntu on 5 different machines, only one took the first try, period. apt-get whatever does not work properly at all, try installing java from add remove programs, failure. Try spending ohh a few HOURS basically guessing and selecting say, umm, 20 apps from add remove, fails, period, the set will not go. I challenge someone to take a pc, install Ubuntu from scratch and use add remove for 20 -30 apps video tape it and get it all to work without several tries, I challenge anyone, burn the DVD or cd from the iso file and give a go. to pretend that what took msft YEARS AND YEARS, I’m thinking from 1995 to xp, to finally get a frickin windows install to actually go well, all the drivers for the unbelievable amount of third party hw, can be achieved in a few years by Ubuntu? gimme a break. I think Ubuntu has been great for Linux in general, but I can’t help but agree that the scenario painted in this blog entry is the likely one. The problem is that people don’t think like the general PC user at all in the Linux community. To pretend that msft does not have expertise in what Joe user needs to happen is ludicrous, people mistakenly batch msft engineers in with the people who run the company, again, a terrible intellectual and mental mistake. A society or community that can not apply rigorous and critical analysis to its self is doomed. I have to say that I am an open source developer, but I also spent ten years in corporate and commercial consumer windows based development and IT. most people who write an opinion in my opinion don’t have any real grasp of how the business of software works nor have taken even a few moments to consider if their mother over 45 yrs of age would actually be ok with an Ubuntu or whatever pc and be ok with adding programs etc WITHOIUT real help from very savvy folks,. I could setup a machine for Joe user, and it would take me hours no question, and it would be fine if I set it up, got it on the network, and he never need to touch it again, that is a very closed and highly unscalable user use case scenario. I was totally disappointed in and almost disgusted with how poor the official Ubuntu book is, how sparse, so many tautologies, and ill conceived assumptions abut what the general readership of that book comes to it knowing. You know, this will be good, every team and true champion must suffer an ego reducing defeat before becoming a champion, and part of that is humility and a real respect for one’s rivals, that attitude is totally deficient in the Linux community. Be that as it may, it is ONLY AN OS, period; it is NOT a way of life and will never be for Joe user. Leave the religious fervor and philosophical political bull shit at home and let’s talk engineering and user factors and install experience and get this conversation to a reasonable level of cogency that reflects more than an understanding of what has gone on in personal computing in the last two years, the discussion needs to have historical awareness and deep awareness of I am sorry to say the history of windows and computing. And btw: I downloaded and installed slackware versions of Linux from floppies onto my 486 dx2 66 for you children out there similar to the blog author, and I can tell you that we in the Linux community have a long way to go, not only technically, but as people with a semblance of engineering slant rather than a pack of manic zealots. Evolution, not de-evolution. In my view as of right now, Sabayon loop2 is the only distro that actually is usable from install without having to do another thing, or install a package or fight with apt-get or anything else. Are you hearing me? I said without having to do another thing, period. The continuum is gentoo debian Ubuntu sabayon. The continuum needs to continue to evolve, Shuttleworth has made a historical contribution to the evolution of Linux on the desktop, no question, and he is to be commended for it – as is this author’s courage, I hope this post is an example to others that self analysis once one steps out from behind the curtain is what we need more of, science and engineering require courage, not zealotry combined with a total ignorance of conventional reality and history.

    Reply
  24. Joe

    Author, you are an idiot. People with your intellect could probably make good friends with George Bush though.

    Reply
  25. thoughtbot

    death rattle… In the future can you please spare the world from your flair for the dramatic?

    tyia

    Reply
  26. Danny

    You may be correct, and Canonical will fail. But then, there’s Bazaar. And Launchpad. Those are possibilities that show promise in the collaborative workspace.

    A big part of the problem is that many people think in the here-and-now with technology. And, if technology was to remain stagnant, then yes, Canonical would die. But tech never remains stagnant.

    I think both Canonical and Ubuntu will be successful for one reason: an Icon. Technological change and/or progress seems to need an icon. Newton, Ford, Edison, and in modern day – Gates, Jobs, Ellison, Grove. Linus has never been a good icon for Linux. While he may be a great person, and excellent coder, and dedicated father, he hasn’t filled the needed icon role.

    Shuttleworth might be the icon Linux has needed. And while Canonical hasn’t turned a profit yet, that might not be in the plan as soon as most people think. Business works different now-a-days. The age of the corporate structure is coming to an end. While I’m sure the technicians, developers, and admins are scratching their heads thinking, “Ubuntu will go away like the others,” the business people are watching. The “Long Tail” analysts are focused not just on Linux, or Canonical, or even Ubuntu, but on the effect Shuttleworth has on people. The ability to inspire people to a movement is a skill that creates wealth, long term.

    I disagree with others on this post; the author isn’t an idiot. I think the author is greatly influenced by past Open Source/Free Software events, and developer/administrator thought processes. Not business or movement dynamics.

    How long did it take Amazon to turn a profit?

    Then again, the author could be right, and Shuttleworth/Ubuntu/Canonical could be another Tucker. But, I don’t think so.

    Reply
  27. Martha Biggly

    Ha ha! To be honest I think an adult reply would be over your head. Going by your post (and the rest on this site) you don’t have the first clue regarding… well, anything you are talking about.

    Having said that, I must give you my thanks, I did need a good chuckle. You see I was having an adult conversation with some about… oh, never mind, you wouldn’t understand.

    Reply
  28. Ram Sambamurthy

    It’s clear that the asshole who wrote this article is brain dead. Can’t you guys who are defending Linux see the title of this blog? It has “.NET” in it.

    Stop wasting your time guys. Time will tell. Let this author asshole use his hands to wank instead.

    Reply
  29. John

    While your post is interesting and you do make a valid point in questioning the business model (absolutely no harm in it!), I very much doubt the plug would be pulled on Canonical or Ubuntu anytime soon. The funds pumped into it are actually not huge, considering how pervasive the project is becoming. It may be years before a profit is produced from Ubuntu, but while there is no bad news coming from the project, why would anyone abandon it?

    Shuttleworth, clearly, is not a fool and is not out of touch with reality. He chose the path of free and open software to begin with, knowing full well that he is not creating a forced payment model (like the so-called Msft Tax). After all, how would he ever get market penetration this late in the piece with a product like Linux if he charges for it?

    On the contrary, you could see the millions in ‘losses’ as necessary investment and marketing. It’s a risk, sure, but I would say that buying into such a venture will have handsome dividends in the medium term.

    Reply
  30. rob enderle

    Can this even be considered a blog?
    Isnt it more like a blurb?

    Maybe you could go to a size 24 font and double space it. We all used to do that as kids when we had a page report to hand in and had about one paragraph of text.

    To paraphrase a guest on TWIT, ‘a lot of companies are going to die before Linux is competing for the desktop shares of Redmond’. Such is the nature of business.
    None of these blurbs of yours even come close to

    For all we know, Shuttleboy will tire of his little toy and such is the danger with these sugar daddy arrangements. But nothing you say makes me think that they are on their death bed. Their rise over the past 2-3 years has been phenomenal, their community is strong and vibrant so I dont see it.

    Btw, I use Mandriva. Feisty Fawn is a great distro but I try to stay away from any company that deals with Kevin Carmony: the Herb Tarlek of the Linux world. And honestly flyboy didnt impress me with his defence of patent trolls like SCO or Nathan Myrwold’s company. Companies that dont produce anything except by IP so they can sue. Eff Shuttlec**k.

    So as you see, Im no Ubuntista. But I can recognize the quality of their desktop compared to others distros and that your speculations are nothing more than astroturfing or wishful thinking.

    Reply
  31. ElTio

    Wow………

    adam cassel, I have Vista Ultimate installed in my machine, high end hardware and I also happen to have Ubuntu. I tell you this I stay with ubuntu. Vista “3D Effects” are fake. I feel confident in ubuntu and linux in general. Someday it will just happen and the key for that to happen is going to be jobs. How many people that had decent jobs had to leave and go back to school because did not have a degree. That is going to repeat over and over and little by little Linux will be adopted.

    Reply
  32. dbuiviet

    This article sucks as much as its author!!! Are you working for M$, or even Novell? If you don’t like Ubuntu, or anti-Linux in general, just shut up and see how Ubuntu and Linux will succeed in the NEAR future!!

    Reply
  33. FUDBreaker

    “Remember, Ubuntu is a result of a 60-head paid team that does everything from marketing to development.”

    Wrong. Canonical employs a limited number of people to work on a limited number of tasks. The rest is a community effort. The fact that Ubuntu is a community driven distro is stressed everywhere.

    Reply
  34. Mr Serious

    I find it funny that my 3 year old has more business sense than you. No doubt you are still waiting for your high school diploma, but don’t fret, you probably will fail. How you fail to even understand the basis of a supply and demand economy makes me laugh in my grave. Every poster before me has not only proved you absolutely wrong but also made me believe you are too stupid to even use the internet.

    Reply
  35. blink

    Given that MS is also burning money on pretty much everything but Windows and Office (Xbox in particular) and has been for years, I do not see why Ubuntu cannot do the same.

    Granted, MS subsidizes it from the OS / Office sales while Ubuntu has nothing to subsidize on, but it has a lot of money via its founder.

    Simply put, the fact that they burn money is no proof of anything, it just is a fact.

    Reply
  36. rupee

    Enough of America and it’s predictions.
    The US has been wrong on every prediction it has made in the past 6 years.
    The authors credibility is that of VP Cheney. (why should I believe ya)

    He disqualified himself by NOT stating he has a business degree. I don’t either, so I leave it to the professionals to make forecast and predictions, not bloggers with “paid” interest.

    All I know about business are these facts:
    It takes money to make money
    Most business don’t turn a profit in the first 5 years. (can speak from experience)
    Mark and Mike are VERY smart businessmen. (look at their balance sheet)

    You ever stop and think about why you are writing a blog about failure, maybe because you are one according to their standards…

    Reply
  37. PurplePenguin

    Hey, I’ve got a great idea for a blog!

    I don’t have any actual content, so I’ll just write something completely controversial without anything to back it up. Since there are no facts to support me, I’ll choose the largest font that I think I can get away with. Since an average reader response will be longer than my blog message, I should make it bold so people will know which part is mine.

    Think it’ll fly?

    Reply
  38. fud_buster

    –different stage maybe?–

    First they ignore you,
    then they ridicule you,
    then they fight you,
    then YOU win.

    –Author, which stage are you at??–

    Reply
  39. SPM

    This is a complete FUD article. The twisted logic goes something like this. Ubuntu has been going fine for many years, and it is now the most popular Desktop distro around. Ubuntu has now been chosen for preloading by a major first tier US OEM over most of it’s PC range, because of this it means Ubuntu will suddenly go broke.

    Let me tell the author something about Linux, and Mark Shuttleworth – it costs very little to maintain a distro. Debian, one of the oldest Linux distros for example has been maintained for years on a shoestring budget, and it is still going strong. Mark Shuttleworth spent $20 million to buy a trip to space. Now that much money should be more than enough to keep the Ubuntu distro going as one of the best funded distros for another 30-40 years at least.

    Reply
  40. Fountain

    M$ suceeded when it put the user first. Now it puts the content-provider first. A massive change in business model, with VISTA the first result. VISTA sucks so bad that even the high-tech cheer leaders for M$ are advising not to buy it (yet). M$ may soon suffer from corporate MS (multiple sclerosis).

    After trying to install Linux for years, each time reverting to MS cos I could not solve my business requirements, now I run Ubuntu and dont even change to Windows to run presentations. Just played with Beryl and had so much fun.

    What Ubuntu has achieved in the last two years is phenomenal. Just from a company analysis point of view, there are no cracks in the game plan – the opposite being the case for M$.

    On your financial analysis, note that billionaires have so much money – they seem to be less interesed in getting more. In fact, some give billions away (eg., Rockerfeller, Gates). But they do have other needs, such as recognition and public profile, a desire for a historical legacy. In creating and backing the runaway success that is Ubuntu, Shuttleworth is getting a massive return for his investment. That means he aint going to give up now. The Dell deal isnt about getting a monetary return on investments, its about putting two fingers up at M$, who probably have done everything short of actionable to kill the deal. The PR of getting Dell to treat Ubuntu in the same way as it treats Windoze is worth so much that Shuttleworth will happily back Canonical for another decade.

    The Dell deal isnt a death rattle for Ubuntu, more like the rattle of a snake about to go for the kill, and the animal that is dying is MS.

    Reply
  41. bubba

    lol – .net lashes out in it’s death throws and tries to convince the world it was right after all.
    LOL
    LOL
    LOL
    LOL
    LOL
    LOL
    LOL

    Reply
  42. fud_buster

    Author, in stead of writing about something you know nothing about, you can do your readers a favor and research why M$ is STILL using;
    FreeBSD, Sun Solaris and Linux for their Hotmail servers.
    I think that will be more helpful than some worthless rant on the future of Canonical/Ubuntu.

    If you were that smart, you’ll be working for Canonical.
    Having said that; you are just another computer user with an Internet connection with the ability to post a blog, I’m not impressed!

    FYI: Your crystal ball is cracked

    Reply
  43. steveneddy

    OK – you got me here. You must have known I would find this post and I would have to reply.

    I don’t see where you are going with this article. I really don’t see a downside to the relationship between Dell and Ubuntu. Actually, I see very good things coming from this relationship for both parties. Yes, dell is floundering a bit on sales, but they have a great reputation for delivering great hardware to the customer regardless of whatever customer service they offered in the past.

    Ubuntu will finally get some great national exposure for a change, which will be good for Linux as a whole, as a community.

    Dell will be perceived as being a good guy for the Linux community and I believe some who have been on the fence about actually buying a Linux PC or laptop will take the plunge with a Dell machine solely due to Dell’s reputation for delivering great hardware.

    The Ubuntu forums are full of people with spare money to spend on a laptop, and will do so, more so, since it _is_ a Dell.

    *What did one penguin say to another penguin?
    *Dude – you got a Dell!

    Ubuntu dying? I don’t think so. Ubuntu is one of the most popular free operating systems on the market today, with millions of users worldwide. It is a robust (there, I said it) operation system with many features that I don’t get with Windows, and the reliability factor is a definite plus.

    Tell me of another Linux system that went from obscure to wildly popular in the short amount of time that Ubuntu has? I can’t think of any, myself. Ubuntu is riding the big wave and everyone is watching. Microsoft is watching. Ballmer is watching, and he is scared.

    How can a free operating system be so popular? Much like Microsoft’s marketing guru’s say, just make it pretty, security is second nature.

    Make it look pretty. Most people are only interested in how good it looks.

    Ubuntu, on the other hand, has a great package. Not very pretty when you first install it, but the differences between Windows and Linux become apparent after only a few hours of using Ubuntu, especially the newest version, dubbed Feisty.

    The look of Ubuntu, and any other Linux operating system based on the Gnome or KDE desktop environments, can be tweaked to get an almost unlimited amount of look and feel options so that you can actually have a desktop that you are happy to deal with, but it is visually appealing, adding to the enjoyment of using Linux.

    I don’t see someone that is new to Linux or maybe never even heard of Linux or Ubuntu to order one of these PC’s. The Ubuntu forums are buzzing with posts and threads about the anticipation of Dell, a Major PC supplier, offering _our_ operating system as an OEM install on a new Dell PC. This is GREAT news!

    I don’t think that Mark or Canonical are bad managers of their businesses and I don’t see Mark letting this opportunity go to waste, especially since he gets his OS installed on a major manufacturer’s install list. This will be a good deal all around.

    Stop spreading FUD and sit back and watch the show. It may not be the big bang that some people expect, but it will be interesting, none the less.

    **These are my opinions only and in no way are they meant to offend anyone. If for any reason you feel the need to contact me in any way regarding this post, especially for inappropriate wording or a perceived derogatory statement, please fell free to contact me. I am all over the internet and you can find me there. I would prefer that you IM me on the Ubuntuforums website as I am easily accessible there.**

    Reply
  44. Rhino

    Seems as though the author is attempting to get a free Vista pc from Microsoft for spreading FUD.

    The simple reason that Ubuntu can develop so quickly is because it is community based. The linux community has many more developers than Microsoft. Microsoft can’t keep up.

    If Canonical folds, it would take Microsoft a couple of years to catch up to Ubuntu. Considering that Ubuntu has a 6 month release cycle and Microsoft has a 6 year release cycle, it appears as though the momentum is with Ubuntu.

    Although I do like Ubuntu for its polished, refined appearance, I personally prefer Puppy Linux as my distro for everyday use. To have these choices makes it an excellent community to be involved with.

    Reply
  45. ForestWalkerJoe

    I know we have all already “lambasted” the guy who started this Dribble.. but i had to drop my 2′s in here.
    I can agree on only ONE thing.. linux distros i have tried are not always OUT of the BOX easy to understand, BUT.. i stay with LINUX becuase it is just better. Ubuntu has been far easier than most and even free to obtain a non downloaded/burned copy. They GIVE them away. THIS by itself Peeks interest from Anyone who has ever had to pay the extra crap MS has asked them to pay for. Does the author have ANY real TECH experience? IS it just THAT hard for him to learn or read HOW to do simple things LIKE apting? using auto update? HOW is it he is SO issued with the “ZELOTS OF LINUX” yet can not see he is FROATHING at the Mouth in the most recognizable ZEALOTOUS tradition? Speaking of a form of Death RATTLE.. MS has an issue.. we have all realized.. they PROMISE of the last GREAT MS OS is a lie.. its issue of a new OS ever 3-5 years requires major overhaul of hardware and even software and is a hook to continue making them and others money that most DO not WANT to spend. the PRICE of the OS also goes up in orders of 2. The Failure here.. is to recognize that.. the win OS has major flaws.. has been monoplizing the industry with unfair practice.. “My opinion? no.. Courts say so”, Gives us some Fair APS and some NOT so fair ones, Folks want CHEAP , USEABLE, UPGRADABLE, SUPORTABLE , RELIABLE.. FRIENDLY USE of the computer. WITH OUT all the crap of registering every godforsaken item you can name and paying for constant upgrades and renewals. LINUX might cost at most 50 bucks on some distros.. free on most others.. software for office is FREE , expandable, easy to use.. compatible and upgradeable and doesnt require constant patching. MOST of its softwares are GREAT FREE.. and shareable. the OS’s are unvirusable.. hard to hack and constantly changing with the times in ways that COST us NOTHING or LITTLE. HISTORY will show any true student.. FREE / CHEAP wins over COSTLY beurocratic.. any day. IS Ubuntu’s new plan a risk? SURE IT IS.. is it a DEADLY risk.. HELL NO. WILL THEY MAKE MONEY? there are plenty of the USER “ZEALOTS OF LINUX” already able and willing to buy reinstalled Ubuntu OS PC’s to cover the amount of DELLS UBUNTU hopes to sell. Do i think that UBUNTU will be the END all of LINUX machines? NO. I still think SUSE, PCLINUXOS, heck .. even the newest ELINUX have a great chance at this. Even Ubuntu’s new playmate FREESPIRE has a Great chance at making it BIG in the new market. MY END HERE? MICROSOFT is just realized it has cancer.. its days are serously numbered.. IT either MUST CUT the CRAP out.. make it SELF healthy.. or folks will NOT CRY at its Funeral. will that be SOON? probably not.. will they feel it soon..proably already do. DOES “JOE USER” already know it? No.. DOES LINUX know it? cant speak for all.. but my brainwashed conscience says yes.
    and this from a NO tech degree / non Business major / none respected name.. JOE USER who started LINUX use in january of 07. JUST my spin on this awful so called BLOG.
    FWJ

    Reply
  46. Stephen Wilson

    The author is entitled to his opinion, certainly. I have to agree with some respondants that this blog entry has a real lack of actual evidence to back up the author’s claims, especially estimating the number of Dell Ubuntu PCs that will be sold and the number returned. These are opinions not based on a foundation of any data, of course.

    What annoys me most is Adam Cassel’s posting. Dam, if you want to make a point, at least use some paragraph breaks so people can read it. If you want to use words like “tautologies,” be specific about what Ubuntu book you’re talking about so that others can see for themselves whether it is repetitious or not.

    You complaints about Add/Remove and apt-get not working are ridiculous. I’ve never heard of anyone unable to get either of those functions to work properly on Ubuntu.

    Finally, as an open source developer, I’m sure you understand the fundamental principles of open source development. No one puts out a piece of software and says “there, it’s perfect, that’s it.” Open source is all about putting yourself on the line and having others tear apart your coding and making better. So, I don’t understand your comment about a lack of humility and respect for one’s rivals. Try actually contributing to Launchpad.

    Frankly, when I see a posting that goes on and on in some kind of “stream of consciousness” format, I am not impressed. I’m sure you wanted to impress people, right?

    Reply
  47. Robert

    Obviously the author hasn’t heard of a tax write-off, and therefore has no business sense. Ubuntu will continue to exist because it is a quality Linux distribution. If Mr. Shuttleworth decides to pull the plug on the funding, the open source community will keep the ball rolling with all it’s volunteers.

    That being said, I don’t see Dell selling a whole lot systems and support agreements with Ubuntu. Linux is still for us nerds and hackers. Although the kernel itself is a piece of mastery, Linux applications are unfamiliar and uncomfortable for most MS users. We all know that but hate to admit it.

    However, Linux is soooo cool and I am VERY proud to be a part of the user base.

    Reply
  48. admin

    The comments have really picked up, while the logic and reasoning skills have completely fallen off a cliff… A quality vs. quantity type of effect.

    I would like to respond individually, but most of these comments have no substance at all…

    So far:
    1) I should not post on a blog because I have not stated that I have a business degree.
    2) My logical arguments are not valid because there is a “.NET” in “DeveloperSide.NET”.
    3) And I must be a Microsoft employee because I don’t take a positive view on everything Linux related.

    Reply
  49. Cameron Meeks

    The Ubuntu family is the most popular desktop Linux distro in the world will it die? No way. Will Canonical ever drop it? Who knows, one thing that is known is that it will live on under a new name or as a community-supported project. The real thing your post shows is your deep hate for anything that is successful. OK most of us in the Linux community think that Microsoft can be substituted for any reference to hell, the underworld or haites in any religion or mythology ever practiced or written. Canonical / Ubuntu has been the right product at the rite time to fuel the movement of Linux to the desktop it will continue to flourish in one form or another, however I would bet it is un it’s current state.

    Reply
  50. arcangel5_15301

    When are people going to wake up and smell the coffee. Linux is dying….fast on the vine. The general population that uses microsoft products exclusively, does not have the attention span, nor the inclination to try anything new as far as OSes are concerned. If requires anything more than the curiosity of a 4-year old child, then most people would just as soon complain about Microsoft rather than get up off their collective duffs and take responsibility and try something different.

    Reply
  51. fud_buster

    “I would like to respond individually, but most of these comments have no substance at all…”

    And this article does?

    No one else logic matter but yours?

    Reply
  52. admin

    No one else logic matter but yours?

    How do I respond to “This is FUD. You lose!”. How do you even call that “logic”, or a well formed “argument”? There is nothing behind it.

    I’ve provided a good foundation for my statements and arguments, backed with reason, history, facts.

    I always welcome any sensible feedback… But most of these comments revolve around hypocrisy and attempting to calm one another’s fears that what I have said is not true.

    Reply
  53. fud_buster

    It would have been a better article if you had stated 1) you don’t have a business degree. 2) YOU have a vested interest in M$ continued monopoly.

    You have to be more transparent. Transparency goes a long way. You are a Windows developer. Go figure…

    Here is one of many of your dumb statements.
    “Dell’s expected sales are at 20,000 systems per year.”

    As of April 30, 2007, there were 582 Sam’s Clubs in the United States.
    As of April 30, 2007, there were 2,307 Wal-Mart Supercenters in the United States. That will equal = 2889 Dell/Ubuntu outlets. That mean each outlet must sell at least 7 units for the year. One every 60 days.

    Now doesn’t that make your statement a little dumb?
    Do you need me to rewrite the article?

    Reply
  54. Henry S.

    Honestly author, you sound very silly. You say that Dell will sell 20,000 to unsuspecting buyers who will then return half. You call that “backed with reason, history, facts.?”

    Lets see a quote from Dell:
    Quote: “For advanced users and tech enthusiasts, we’re happy to offer…”

    First of all, it hardly sounds like they are trying to push it on unsuspecting Joe blows…they even have it on the same page as FreeDOS. Dell has offered FreeDOS for awhile and the sky didn’t fall then. I am 100% sure that if you call to order one of those machines, they will say something like “Do you know what Ubuntu is? Do you understand that you will not get Microsoft Windows?” and so forth, just like they would for a FreeDOS machine.

    Second of all, you underestimate the support world. The company I work for pays hundreds of dollars per month per machine for Redhat. I’d bet you would think that was pretty silly, but then again, you aren’t running an entire company on Linux….are you?

    Lastly, you say that Linux isn’t being pushed on people when they should just use what works. Well, one day I “seen” Linux somewhere. I had heard it mentioned, but didn’t know what it was. I tried it, like it, and now I make my living on it. No one is trying to force people to use it. But letting people know about it and try it is a good thing. I would not have discovered it otherwise. I never felt Linux was pushed on me. However, when I used Windows, I did feel that way.

    Reply
  55. admin

    What are you talking about? What does a business degree, or any degree, have to do with anything? This is not even worth a response.

    You’re also stating that I have a vested interest in the success of Microsoft? Apache, PHP, MySQL, Perl, and so on, must also have that same interest since that is what I deal with on the main site.

    About the 20,000 figure… You should contact Dell about their “dumb” statement if you have such a problem with it. I’m sure that figure is a result of something more than just a guess.

    And what does Wal-Mart have to do with this? Those Dells are not coming with a Ubuntu option. The Wal-Mart crowd is not the type that would appreciate Linux, or be able to use it.

    Reply
  56. fud_buster

    Another dumb statement.
    “The Wal-Mart crowd is not the type that would appreciate Linux, or be able to use it.”

    “Apache, PHP, MySQL, Perl, and so on, must also have that same interest since that is what I deal with”

    Are you talking about WAMP?

    It looks like you have a endless supply.

    layta ; -)

    Reply
  57. admin

    “For advanced users and tech enthusiasts, we’re happy to offer…” First of all, it hardly sounds like they are trying to push it on unsuspecting Joe blows…

    I understand, and I also understand that people that have no reason to use Linux, nor are able to use it, will wind up there anyways.

    I am 100% sure that if you call to order one of those machines, they will say something like “Do you know what Ubuntu is? Do you understand that you will not get Microsoft Windows?” and so forth…

    Maybe. But that won’t stop them.

    Second of all, you underestimate the support world. The company I work for pays hundreds of dollars per month per machine for Redhat.

    And Ubuntu is Red Hat now? Canonical/Ubuntu’s original goal was to make money off desktop support for home users, then they switched their goal to the server-side, and about two weeks after that, realizing they had no chance of going up against Red Hat [for so many different reasons], started to talk about something between the desktop and server market. Now I don’t even know where they stand, and neither do they.

    If you can’t make money with 4-6 million users, and Dell can’t even help you… You are doing something wrong — or there is no market for you.

    I tried it, like it, and now I make my living on it.

    And for one of you there are a hundred that had the opposite reaction.

    No one is trying to force people to use it.

    Now thats just blind.

    Reply
  58. fud_buster

    Author, You are one of those folks going around saying there is still WMDes, we just haven’t found it yet…

    You are in the minority.

    Reply
  59. reyfer

    Author, just one small question. According to your expert analysis, Debian, Slackware, BSD should be dead by now. Care to explain that?

    Reply
  60. Joe

    Ubuntu is really not that hard to use. I think it’s easier to use for the average “Joe Blow” then Windows is.

    Reply
  61. admin

    Author, just one small question. According to your expert analysis, Debian, Slackware, BSD should be dead by now. Care to explain that?

    No one is saying Ubuntu is just going to go “puff” and disappear into thin air. The natural course will be a loss of [Canonical/Shuttleworth] funding, [Canonical] developers, users, etc… It will still exist, and another new distribution will take its place. It will simply no longer be the “darling.”

    Ubuntu is nothing new, or extraordinary, from any perspective — financial or community-wise. Many other distributions have failed with larger backing, trying to capitalize the desktop market…

    The desktop market is the ONLY thing Ubuntu has left, all other venues [server-side, etc...] have been expended.

    Reply
  62. jerry

    I’ll start out by confessing I am not a software engineer, and don’t have a degree in economics. I would best be characterized as a user who is sick enough of Windows to want to have more competition in the marketplace- enough to put up with the bugs that linux has. I’ve been using Suse Linux for about two years now, on a dual-boot system.

    Frankly, until this year, I would agree that Linux was not ready for the average user. Things are different now. I don’t know if Novell-Suse has a future; they have made several decisions that look pretty dumb to me (speaking as a non-MBA), I don’t know if Ubuntu will make it or not. Mandrake was right up there with Suse and RedHat, but now they are an also ran (in spite of the fact that I tried the new live CD and this was the first linux OS I tried that ran in 3-D mode first try on my ATI video). What I do know is that I am typing this on Kubuntu, and it ran first time, out of the box without any tweaking at all.

    I have a friend who recently installed Ubuntu on his tired old XP laptop, and it not only ran first time, including his wireless connection, but he reported that it is visibly faster than it was under XP.

    Ubuntu may live or die. Personally, I think freespire/ubuntu is the version most likely to make it in the retail world, because the average Joe won’t worry about whether his codecs are open source or proprietary, as long as his DVD will play. I think, and hope, Linux will grow. M$ has no competition on the desktop (Mac OS is great, but it is only alive due to the infusion of cash it received from M$ and is in a cul-de-sac competitively speaking). M$ badly needs a serious competitor to force it to stop releasing buggy software– rather like General Motors in the 1980′s, when GM thought it could sell junk just by slapping a “chevy” label on it. Sorry, Chevy owners, but if you were around in the 1980′s you know what I mean.

    Reply
  63. SPM

    No one is saying Ubuntu is just going to go “puff” and disappear into thin air. The natural course will be a loss of [Canonical/Shuttleworth] funding, [Canonical] developers, users, etc… It will still exist, and another new distribution will take its place. It will simply no longer be the “darling.”

    Ubuntu is nothing new, or extraordinary, from any perspective – financial or community-wise. Many other distributions have failed with larger backing, trying to capitalize the desktop market…

    Reply
  64. SPM

    What, Ubuntu is not on a “death rattle” any more? Wow that was a quick U turn. Ubuntu is being preloaded by a first tier OEM across a wide range of it’s desktop and laptops. That IS new and extraordinary. Of course that doesn’t mean that other distros won’t also thrive. Because Dell is preloading Linux across it’s range, the Linux drivers, and certification provided will boost other Linuxes on Dell as well. What that means is that Microsoft’s monopoly stranglehold on OEMs that prevents them from preloading or bundling other vendor’s products is breaking. The ability to lock in OEMs and craft exclusive contracts that they exclude products competing with Microsoft is the thing that established and maintains Microsoft’s desktop and office suite monopoly. If this falls, then Microsoft’s monopoly will too. This is the earth shaking significance of preloading Ubuntu (and possibly OpenOffice, Firefox etc) on Dell – cracks in Microsoft’s monopoly leverage. Also, having Dell certify Linux across their range means that hardware suppliers who don’t supply Linux drivers will be excluded or be at a severe disadvantage as Dell suppliers – and even more so if other OEMs follow suit. This is also a key change. Microsoft relies mainly on third party driver and application support to give it an advantage over other platforms. If you can run all third party Windows applications and use all Windows hardware on Linux, then Windows would only sell if given away free, and even then, only if the person using it is stupid enough to put up with the virus/worm vulnerability and instability of Windows. If third party companies produce drivers and applications for other platforms as well, Microsoft’s market dominance is going to crumble fast.

    Reply
  65. admin

    What, Ubuntu is not on a “death rattle” any more? Wow that was a quick U turn.

    Either everything I say and type has a flare for the dramatic, or should be taken completely at face value… That does not leave me much room to navigate.

    I never said Ubuntu will vaporize. Just that it has run its course.

    Ubuntu is being preloaded by a first tier OEM across a wide range of it’s desktop and laptops. That IS new and extraordinary.

    We must be living in different worlds… A “wide range of desktops and laptops.” Right! You must also have missed the part where Dell claims that they expect to sell less than 1% of their systems, in volume, with Ubuntu.

    What that means is that Microsoft’s monopoly stranglehold on OEMs that prevents them from preloading or bundling other vendor’s products is breaking.

    No, its actually getting stronger. And the only “earth shaking significance” here is that this Dell/Linux attempt has failed before it even launched.

    If you can run all third party Windows applications and use all Windows hardware on Linux…

    Let us know when that happens.

    …Microsoft’s market dominance is going to crumble fast.

    Is that before or after the headlines read: “Linux kills Dell, then self. Ubuntu behind ploy.”

    The support forums are already filling up with people claiming that “iTunes will not install, computer says VBScript not installed”, “I don’t know much about anything, but I need to know how I can develop Windows applications on this Linux thing?”, “My games, why won’t they work?”.

    Reply
  66. Martin

    Dear admin, you know nothing and your arguments came out of your arse one saturday night because you had eaten too much green curry and hot tea. once the pain had set in you had to get the cr@p out of you and decided the best way was to sht all over the internet.

    But in the end the whole reason you abused yourself was because you felt lonely and poor soulless human being who likes to play rubix cubes and world of warcraft. which in turn has emulsified your brain into a huge great big hating engien of which you have no escape.

    Hey your right, making stuff up does make me feel better. but it doesn’t make it the truth. one thing your blogs (all of them) really miss. why don’t you sight things, why do you only answer argumnets you can defend and not arguments that utterly destroy your arguments? could it be that your bias and blind?

    Oh well I’ll spread my pitty over this tiny corner of the internet and hope you get some surgery, or a SUV which ever makes you feel more like a man.

    Reply
  67. Tim

    Man, I guess you can’t say anything bad about Ubuntu.

    I think the deal with Dell is more of a marketing strategy. They will get some press in PC mags, Wired and maybe some mainstream news outlets like WSJ or Time. I first heard about Linux through Time.
    I’d expect most if not all the Dell/Ubuntu offerings to be sold to people who are already using GNU/Linux. It’s not really worth it for the ‘average user’. It’s still cheaper to buy a Dell preloaded with Vista and then install Ubuntu, rather then buying Ubuntu/Dell and having to buy a full version of Vista later.

    To the people saying Canonical will make their money from selling support to businesses, you need to get your head out of your ass. RHEL and SLED are better products then Feisty of Dapper LTS. Novell and Red Hat have more employees and are focused on the enterprise market. Canonical is way, way behind.

    Reply
  68. admin

    I think the deal with Dell is more of a marketing strategy. They will get some press in PC mags, Wired and maybe some mainstream news outlets like WSJ or Time.

    Now that is an excellent point! But it can [and in my opinion *will*] backfire if people start sending the systems back because they are used to Windows and Windows Apps… Just think of the field day Microsoft could have with this. Not to mention the take other OEMs would develop on Linux.

    I’d expect most if not all the Dell/Ubuntu offerings to be sold to people who are already using GNU/Linux.

    I would too, but most of the current Linux users would never buy one of these systems in the first place, for many different reasons: like to build system themselves, need more options, rather pay $10 more to get Vista license and load another Linux distribution, and so on and on…

    As a matter of fact, I think the only people we have left to purchase one of these systems is the “want to try this cool thing called Linux” type and maybe the average joe that has no idea of what Windows or Linux is… And we know what a disaster that would be. Sure, 1 in a 100 might like it for his use, but its the other 99 that will spell doom for Linux, Ubuntu, and to some extent Dell.

    Reply
  69. Thomas

    I don’t believe that the Joe Does you are constantly talking about are actually buying their computers themselves. Judging from my own personal experience, those people usually have some geek among their relatives which they consult before purchase (and this poor guy often has to clean out their malware-infested Windows machines). I’m pretty sure many Ubuntu boxes will be sold to those whose personal geek isn’t willing to support Windows anymore. But then, I’m from Europe, so maybe things are different in the US – which would be another reason against launching this campaign in the states instead of Europe.

    Reply
  70. SPM

    Either everything I say and type has a flare for the dramatic, or should be taken completely at face value. Make up your mind, please. Hint: I never said Ubuntu will vaporize. Just that it has run its course.

    Let me get this straight – Ubuntu has been going strong for many years without OEM preloading. Now that a first tier OEM has decided to preload it in a wide range of it’s PCs, that is not a positive thing for Ubuntu, but it’s “death rattle” and now you say it has run it’s course. That is convoluted logic by any standard – that kind that Microsoft pays FUDsters to put out.

    We must be living in different worlds… A “wide range of desktops and laptops.” Right! You must also have missed the part where Dell claims that they expect to sell less than 1% of their systems, in volume, with Ubuntu.

    You must have trouble understanding English. “A wide range” means that a large number of models, not the number sold. The thing that is significant here is that these models will be Linux compatible, which means that Dell will have to ensure that the chipset, hardware and peripheral suppliers to Dell will have to supply both Windows and Linux drivers or take a hike. That is the significance. As for the numbers sold, many who use Linux will buy the same Linux compatible hardware with FreeDOS and preload their own favorite Linux distro or buy the same Linux compatible PC Windows, and dual boot it with Ubuntu. Also supporting Linux certification will boost Dell’s Windows sales as well. This is because many companies (like the one I work for) who use mostly Windows but have Linux in their business (that is about 78% of all companies by the way) have policies that require that hardware puchased must be compatible with both Linux and Windows compatible, in order to allow interoperability and redeployment. The company I work for used to buy from Dell, but switched suppliers because Dell was a Windows shop as far as most of it’s range is concerned. It is not a question of Dell losing 5% of sales because of lack of support of Linux, it is Dell losing 100% of it’s sales (ie. including Dell’s Windows sales) because my company prefers a one stop shop, and redeployability for it’s hardware.

    No, its actually getting stronger.

    No, having Dell dare ignore threats to “beat Dell over the head” over preloading competing software means Microsoft is getting weaker, not stronger. By the way, Microsoft’s recent higher than ever revenue is boosted by selling assets in an attempt to keep it’s stock price up – it’s cash pile is rapidly dwindling as a result. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/309852_software02.html . It’s cash pile has dropped from $64.4 billion in 2004 to $28.8 billion now. This doesn’t mean that Microsoft isn’t hugely profitable – monopolies always are because they can charge the customer whatever they want, but the effect losing it’s monopoly will have on Microsoft is obvious. This is why the cracks in Microsoft’s monopoly enforcement we are seeing is so significant.

    And the only “earth shaking significance” here is that this Dell/Linux attempt has failed before it even launched…..Is that before or after the headlines read: “Linux kills Dell, then self.

    Hmmm. you are showing your agenda. It seems you have already decreed that the Dell preloading Linux is going to be a failure. I hope Michael Dell has more business savvy than you – but then again he is a successful businessman, unlike you.

    If you can run all third party Windows applications and use all Windows hardware on Linux…….The support forums are already filling up with people claiming that “iTunes will not install, computer says VBScript not installed”, “I don’t know much about anything, but I need to know how I can develop Windows applications on this Linux thing?”, “My games, why won’t they work?”.

    Well actually if you have an AMD or Intel CPU that supports hardware virtualisation, you can run Windows on Ubuntu right now. https://help.ubuntu.com/community/KVM . I would’t recommend virtualisation for games though because it implements DirectX in software. The trend for games is to buy consoles like Wii, PS3 or XBox360 rather than PCs. However that is not the point I am making. iTunes and most software is not produced by Microsoft. The same is true for hardware drivers. These companies have no particular incentive to exclude non-Microsoft operating systems, other than the fact that Microsoft has a monopoly with near 95% of the desktop market. As you correctly indicate, Microsoft relies heavily on the fact that it has a monopoly to persuade these companied to exclude competitors. It follows that if Microsoft’s monopoly starts to crack, then these companies will port their products to the competing platforms, and that undermines the only thing that keeps the monopoly in place. It follows that if Microsoft’s monopoly cracks, then the collapse will be rapid and spectacular. Microsoft knows this well. That is why so much of Microsoft’s efforts go into stamping out any form of competition no matter how trivial it might seem (like the 1% of Dell’s PCs you claim Dell is expecting to sell). As I said before, the fact that a first tier OEM is daring to sell a competing product is earthshaking news and if it continues and spreads will lead to the collapse of Microsoft’s monopoly.

    Reply
  71. admin

    I’m pretty sure many Ubuntu boxes will be sold to those whose personal geek isn’t willing to support Windows anymore.

    In that case, those “geek” friends/relatives better move in because support will be required 24/7. Again, this is just another example of someone “pushing” Linux.

    The Windows challenged individuals will not have an easier time on Ubuntu.

    Reply
  72. stolennomenclature

    Like the author, I am wondering just who is going to buy those Dell Linux systems. If some of them happen to be ordinary computer illiterate or semi-literate Joe Public, then they have my sympathy.

    Linux is simply not yet ready for the Desktop and ordinary users yet. Its heading in the right direction, but at a snails pace. I will probably eb dead before it happens. Unfortunately Linux suffers from being written by geeks who write primarily to please themselves and seem to have little sympathy for the user who wants to actually use the system without having to understand how it works. That is of course their right, but the end result is the same. Dont expect to be able to right click on a disk volume within Gnome or KDE and select “format” for the forseeable future. For now its the command line folks, and lets hope you can remember the laundry list of options. Let me see, is it mkextfs -r …. n, sorry cant remember. Im sure an hour or two on the forums will get me there.

    Actually I am amazed that oridnary people are able to use Windows successfully. I barely can and i have been in IT all my life. I suspect many people simply end up using their PC a s a paperweight or a status symbol, or a games machine (dont bother with Linux for that one).

    As to Linux companies/distros going bust/fading away, the more the better as far as i am concerned. The rediculous diversity is of no use and causes immense damage to Linux as a whole. We dont want 1000 distros none of which works properly, but simply one that does. Since Ubuntu seems to be one of the better distros, and one which has very large community support, Im hoping it wins out and the others go bust. But it does not matter which so long as their ends up being one.

    I am a great hater of Microsoft and all it stands for, and a great proponent of the free software / open source community, but like the author I like to be a realist as much as possible.

    As to the authors comment re the death rattle, I cannot really comment as I do not have enough info to be sure, but I would not be at all surprised to see Cannonical to pull the plug at some future time. I fail to understand how any organisation can make a living out of selling software support on a large scale – it seems to be only a niche market.

    Reply
  73. stolennomenclature

    The Ubuntu web site looks good. Thats what the web is really all about – lots of pretty pictures. This one sure is pretty.

    Reply
  74. Thomas

    You’re taking the wrong point of view here. It’s not about the users, it’s about the one providing the support, In the case of Ubuntu, he has to give them one introductory weekend where they get used to doing their tasks, and if any problems with software or hardware show up, he will fix it right there. But that’s it, as long as those people stick to their usual routines (which most of them do), he’s done with his job. In the case of Windows, he can be sure to get at least one call per year to repair a virus-infected or for some other reason incredibly bloated install because those people just don’t know how to stay away from this stuff. And even with Windows there will be occasional calls because of trivial issues, e.g. when the screen is “suddenly smaller’ and it turns out they somehow lowered the resolution.

    Reply
  75. SPM

    In that case, those “geek” friends/relatives better move in because support will be required 24/7. Again, this is just another example of someone “pushing” Linux.

    Again you show your ignorance. Linux requires a lot less maintenance than Windows – no anti-virus and anti-malware installation and updates, no need to go out to a shop purchase and install shrinkwrapped applications from CDs, or to manually download and install them from the internet like Windows, and no need to reinstall when Windows becomes unstable. In Ubuntu install is one click using APT and non-free repositories like Automatix and Linspire’s click n run.

    The main difficulties with Linux for the newbie are 1) finding compatible hardware, and 2) installation of the OS. Dell’s preload, and certification of hardware solves both these issues. The only issue remaining is when you buy non Dell hardware add-ons. However a newbie would probably require a geek for this anyway. Using Linux is as easy as using Windows.

    Reply
  76. admin

    Windows has not been a problem since the Windows98 days for most people.

    Right now, for every 1 home PC with Linux out there, there are probably over 50-100 running Windows. If the numbers were switched, and people used Linux for everything they use Windows, you can bet that Linux would look worse than the worst OS Microsoft could have possible designed/developed.

    Reply
  77. admin

    You must have trouble understanding English. “A wide range” means that a large number of models, not the number sold.

    You should read slower, you will understand better that way.

    As I said before, the fact that a first tier OEM is daring to sell a competing product is earthshaking news and if it continues and spreads will lead to the collapse of Microsoft’s monopoly.

    Daring? The only reason they are doing so is to save face from the response received on IdeaStorm. They tried to backpedal out of it twice so far.

    By the way, Microsoft’s recent higher than ever revenue is boosted by selling assets in an attempt to keep it’s stock price up – it’s cash pile is rapidly dwindling as a result.

    Again, read slower. They went from $60 billion in cash to $30 billion through stock buybacks, dividends, and purchasing other companies. Not because their monopoly is cracking.

    Reply
  78. sdlvx

    The author likes to speak like he is some sort of person above the fanboys and the elitist linux users, but he himself IS ONE.

    I got tired of Windows. I got tired of “windows rot”. I got tired of adware. I got tired of it all. So, I tried all sorts of Linux distros. I tried Suse, Red Hat, Madriva, Mandrake, PHLAK, etc. NOTHING seemed to work for me.

    Then, I tried Ubuntu on my desktop. I used it for a little bit, and that was it. I’d use it every now and then, but it wasn’t my main system.

    Eventually, I bought a laptop, and I ONLY RUN UBUNTU ON IT. I have NO REASON for Windows. At all. In fact, my laptop came with a free upgrade to Vista, and I wont have anything to do with it. A new computer was the push I needed to get started. These dell machines can be the fire starter for MANY above average users who have the spark, but not the flame.

    Ubuntu has the community to support Linux newbies. Whenever i had ANY sort of problem, i could EASILY SEARCH FOR IT ON THE UBUNTU FORUMS AND FIND AN ANSWER. I’ve NEVER had to create my own thread because I couldn’t find the right answers.

    So now, I read this article, and I think to myself, “wow, I wasn’t a linux user before, I must be a complete dumb “. Because you know what? That’s the message I get from reading this blog. It’s the message that if you don’t use Linux, you’re just an “average joe” who doesn’t know .

    Let me tell you, that there are PLENTY of windows users who are above average, but haven’t used linux. This is their CHANCE TO GET INVOLVED.

    They have the resources to find the answers to their questions. They have a nice GUI. They have a strong and healthy community you can’t find with any other OS.

    So, author, you know what? You can take your elitism and shove it up your ass. Linux is awesome, and I would have NEVER found it if it wasn’t for Ubuntu. The way you infer that I’m some sort of moron for not being a Linux elitist really es me off. Give me a ing break.

    Ubuntu isn’t for the “average joe”, its for the “somewhat above average joe”. This kind of arrogant linux user attitude is what is preventing linux from taking off, not profits or anything else.

    There is no “linux HQ”, there is no “linux redmond”. The very core of linux is extremely unique in every way. So, stop comparing it to all sorts of unrelated and stop sounding like a paumpus .

    Reply
  79. admin

    So, author, you know what? You can take your elitism and shove it up your ass… The way you infer that I’m some sort of moron for not being a Linux elitist really es me off… Ubuntu isn’t for the “average joe”, its for the “somewhat above average joe”.

    I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Reply
  80. francesco

    Oh, this is just dreadful…the terrible news about all that death and rattling, and now all this disagreement and arguing. My eyes are bleeding.

    I just installed Ubuntu…just in time to watch it die! I have such lousy luck.

    Once I bought this sweet Italian car, hoping it would stand up to what at the time was the de facto monopoly of the American auto industry. Well…it died, and with a rattle too! My neighbor’s Pinto just chugged on.

    Now, I’ve got this miserable fanboy-infested Ubuntu on my computer, and it’s going to die and rattle as well. I should have bought a Chevy, lo those many years ago, and I should have stuck with Windows.

    I so desperately wanted Linux to succeed, to be popular, to kick that nasty Bill Gates’ ass, but now I feel foolish. What a waste of time, and misplaced effort.

    Resistance is futile, an alternative is an illusion. With the money Microsoft pours into R&D, how could I have thought that Linux in general, and Ubuntu in particular could compare.

    The shame of self-deception is nearly overwhelming – the insincere feeling of refreshing variety, the dishonest rush of Freedom, the imagined ability to work in a manner I choose and even design, the illusion of efficiency and productivity. All…lies. I just want to die.

    Boy, suddenly I miss Windows – wonder if I’ve still got that CD, and if they’ll let me activate it again, and if I’ll ever enjoy that genuine advantage and delight in that experience, see those glorious vistas…

    Reply
  81. Christopher Steffen

    Silly admin. It looks to me like all you’re doing is re-quoting the things that were already said in the articles you took time to reference at the beginning of your post.

    And in all your comments, you never make an educated argument… You merely re-hash what you’ve already said.

    Meanwhile, point after point have been made to prove you wrong, all of which you’ve completely ignored. Instead of being rational and intelligent about this matter, you’ve let others do the thinking and now you’re crying wolf from the rooftops.

    The fact is, even if Ubuntu took 10 years to catch on, to become a considered option for the world desktop market, Mr. Shuttleworth would still have only spent about $200-$400 million dollars. He’s a billionaire, sir, and even though that’s a HUGE sum of money, if he really believes the way he says he does, in the “humanity towards others” and the freedom of the Ubuntu project, then there’s no reason for him to stop. Sure, he’d be losing money, but he’s got plenty to lose.

    And yes, maybe in the next 10 years Ubuntu will wither away and die. It’s a possibility. Just like how Yellow Dog used to be a semi-big distro, but nowdays is practically unheard of. But at the same time… Who is to say that in the next 10 years Microsoft will still be the leader of the computing world? Who’s to say they won’t make a moronic decision and get screwed by the justice system? Who’s to say Apple won’t make a big break? Who’s to say Linux won’t reach more users and more desktop systems and take a 5 or 10% desktop margin? Who’s to say Ubuntu and Canonical won’t design something in the next 10 years that completely changes the way mankind thinks about computing?

    I mean… Chances are in 10 years Microsoft will still have the majority of desktop systems, even if that majority would have dropped slightly. Mac will still be a major competitor, as it always has been. But who are we to say that a simple contract deal with Dell is going to spell the absolute end of Ubuntu linux? Or that Ubuntu has already passed its prime?

    I must say, it’s the most preposterous thing I’ve ever heard.

    Considering the idea that Ubuntu has already done so amazingly well WITHOUT a contract with Dell, even if the Dell/Ubuntu contract falls through, even if ALL the desktops and laptops are returned to Dell, the worst that will happen is that Microsoft will claim it as a victory, and the few people who actually give a damn and pay attention to this kind of stuff will say that Ubuntu is worse than Windows Vista. But two years later ($40 million, a drop in the bucket), who, other than a scant few, will remember? The Ubuntu community will remember, and a few Windows activists. The Ubuntu community will still be going strong, because they know the truth about Ubuntu, and the Windows activists… Well they never liked Linux in the first place.

    This doesn’t spell the end, nor even the peak, of Ubuntu. This deal with Dell could potentially lead to much greater things. Let’s leave it at that, and see where it takes us.

    Reply
  82. admin

    Silly admin. It looks to me like all you’re doing is re-quoting the things that were already said in the articles you took time to reference at the beginning of your post.

    And in all your comments, you never make an educated argument… You merely re-hash what you’ve already said.

    Meanwhile, point after point have been made to prove you wrong, all of which you’ve completely ignored. Instead of being rational and intelligent about this matter, you’ve let others do the thinking and now you’re crying wolf from the rooftops.

    I have the exact same take on most of the comments made so far.

    Reply
  83. codex aged

    To convince the “average joe” to use any OS, it will need to be made more appealing than alternatives; in ease of operation, usability of hardware and availability of applications that those people want; not just the cost factor.

    Regardless of who makes the distribution.

    Regardless of which OEM bundles it.

    So the author shows valid points – that a COMMERCIAL benefit from any OS is highly dependent on whether the customer will be happy with what is offered to him.

    So rather than attacking the message, attack the root cause. It would seem to be the more intelligent thing to do.

    As to the “Ubuntu will survive, as Gentoo Linux has, and another distribution will become the darling”, in 25 years of working within the IT industry (mainframes to pc’s, PDP to Vista, Unix and just about everything else): the only constant in life is change – this is very evident in the iT sector!

    Reply
  84. mdsmedia

    Firstly, your “history” of Ubuntu/Canonical is a little whacked.

    Canonical NEVER said that it was going after the desktop market, then the server market, then something in between. That’s just ONE of your re-writes of history, and a blatant lack of knowledge of the subject.

    I, for one, have been negative towards the Dell/Ubuntu deal, not seeing how it could be sold successfully, but I’m no Michael Dell or Mark Shuttleworth.

    Canonical has been looking for the SERVER market all along, and if you think ONE Linux company in the server market excludes the inclusion of ANY other Linux company you have rocks in your head. Canonical have just gone about it in a different way, gaining mindshare through the desktop, knowing full well that the money was to be made in the SERVER market. The desktop has always been a way of leveraging Ubuntu into the server market, as far as Mark and Canonical are concerned.

    Canonical made a deal with Linspire to provide CnR with Ubuntu, for the desktop user. In making that deal, Mark SAID that Canonical wanted server share as its way of making money from Ubuntu.

    Your statements and theories use your own opinions as a basis for speculation. You ask questions and then answer them yourself as if your opinions are fact. There may be some truth in your “conclusions” but your reasoning is thin, to say the least. Especially since you don’t even know what Canonical is after with the desktop.

    Reply
  85. Pingback: TuxJournal.net 2.0 » Archivio » Ubuntu in punto di morte ?

  86. admin

    Canonical NEVER said that it was going after the desktop market, then the server market, then something in between. That’s just ONE of your re-writes of history, and a blatant lack of knowledge of the subject.

    They never said anything about anything, nor could their actions be interpreted? Perhaps you should do a little more digging.

    The desktop has always been a way of leveraging Ubuntu into the server market, as far as Mark and Canonical are concerned.

    You are stating the obvious.

    Canonical has been looking for the SERVER market all along, and if you think ONE Linux company in the server market excludes the inclusion of ANY other Linux company you have rocks in your head.

    Why would I think that? What I do think is the barriers to the server market are a bit too high for Ubuntu and Canonical.

    Reply
  87. M. Miyojim

    If I had 1.2 billion dollars to burn, I could spend $100,000 every month, or about $3,300 everyday, which not everybody earns in a month. Money for drinking or gambling. I would have other billions invested elsewhere, so this money would be spent in my pet project. If it does not have to make a profit, then why bother?

    Each person lives life according to his/her own special circumstances. Mr. Shuttleworth decided to make a splash in the software industry, and did the right thing. He is happier this way than he would be if he were drinking, gambling or playing golf all day. If he had an expensive lover he might spend even more than with Ubuntu.

    This author wrote this because he has nothing better to do with his time. Either he has a narrow view of the world, or somebody is paying him to write stupid columns.

    Reply
  88. M. Miyojim

    That being said, I don’t see Dell selling a whole lot systems and support agreements with Ubuntu. Linux is still for us nerds and hackers. Although the kernel itself is a piece of mastery, Linux applications are unfamiliar and uncomfortable for most MS users. We all know that but hate to admit it.

    There is an immediate solution to the Windows-only application dilemma for those who want to migrate to GNU/Linux: run Windows XP on a virtual machine under a GNU/Linux distribution as long as necessary. In this way, one can have the benefits of both OSs without having to reboot the PC. It is a very easy situation, without extra immediate spending. Sweet!

    Reply
  89. M. Miyojim

    The author said:
    Dell’s expected sales are at 20,000 systems per year. Who and how many are going to shell out $65 for 30-days worth of support? Zero. Maybe, at best, less than 1%. Same logic applies to the more expensive, yearly, support contracts.
    I have seen Windows friends predicting sales of 90 million or more Windows Vista licenses in 2007. From what we know, the actual number will be 40 million or less.
    Dell’s expectations, OTOH, may be surpassed, and end up being 200,000, or 1,000,000 Ubuntu GNU/Linux machines. Even without support, that will compensate for the lack of sales of Vista machines.
    As for Canonical, the Ubuntu distributor, the reward will be a tremendous popularity and prestige for quality that will open door to any kind of commercial initiative for Mr. Shuttleworth to tap. That is how the open-source community members survive, and their number is growing: recognition results in contracts, discounts, invitations, all sorts of little things that keep them doing more of it. Maybe the author does not understand that are alternative ways of having a life, not only restricting their activities to the pursuit of money.

    Reply
  90. JMU

    admin: Again, read slower. They went from $60 billion in cash to $30 billion through stock buybacks, dividends, and purchasing other companies. Not because their monopoly is cracking.

    They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and you certainly do seem to have little knowledge!

    The reason for the stock buyback is to keep Microsoft’s stock price from falling (and Bill Gates and Steve Balmers retirement fund up). The plain fact of the matter is that the stock price is not rising significantly over this period, but real tangible assets money is being emptied. This means the total asset value of Microsoft is dropping rapidly. What is more, the higher than ever revenues reported by Microsoft for the last quarter includes the revenue from the sales of assets that have been used to buy back it’s stock. Therefore, the higher than ever revenue reported by Microsoft for the last quarter in order to talk up stock price has more to do with creative accounting than Vista sales.

    Reply
  91. admin

    You are welcome to believe that the massive stock buybacks and dividend payouts are nothing more than Microsoft coverups perpetrated by Bill Gates himself and have nothing to do with shareholder or fed demands.

    Reply
  92. kit89

    As far as I’m concerned he is playing devils advocate, which is required to bring some people back to reality.

    As with everything its speculation, and until it happens we wont know.

    But if you don’t want it to happen the way he suggests, stop arguing and actual support the product you love so much.

    Reply
  93. Grouchy Marxist

    It is shear fantasy to think that anyone who isn’t already seriously enamored of Ubuntu Linux will order a Dell with that option. Most people I know don’t know what linux is and don’t want to know, judging by their reactions when I try to talk about it.

    Gradually, I hereby predict, that will change. And I suspect that Shuttleworth will still be in the game when the tides turn.

    Reply
  94. admin

    To the people saying Canonical will make their money from selling support to businesses, you need to get your head out of your ass. RHEL and SLED are better products then Feisty of Dapper LTS. Novell and Red Hat have more employees and are focused on the enterprise market. Canonical is way, way behind.

    Thank you for posting that… When someone tells you you’re wrong, so many times over, you start to believe it!

    There is a very slim chance for Canonical to place itself and Ubuntu into the Server market. The notion that Red Hat, and to some extent Novell, can be displaced by Canonical/Ubuntu is so ludicrous I do not even know where to start. It would be a massive undertaking.

    Again, from what I have seen from Canonical/Ubuntu, this move has been abandoned and the market they are looking for is the corporate desktop… Which would also make perfect sense as that would eventually be a logical progress to the server market [and the only way out from the zero-profit, all loss, home desktop market].

    Reply
  95. Nocturn

    The importance of the Dell deal is so profound that you cannot even imagine it.

    It’s not about the exact amount of money earned from it, it is about the very principle. We have a big brand for the first time recognizing the demand for a Linux based line. If Dell makes a buck on this one, you can bet that HP, Toshiba and others will follow suit very soon.

    Canonical doesn’t need to make money from support contracts with the end users, though it is an option. Dell needs training for their helpdesk, they need to have fall-back when that helpdesk can’t fix something. Imagine that more vendors need this kind of support?

    There are no guarantees that this will succeed, though it is a good thing.

    Reply
  96. Nocturn

    “The notion that Red Hat, and to some extent Novell, can be displaced by Canonical/Ubuntu is so ludicrous I do not even know where to start.”

    Funny, that’s what was said about the Linux Desktop 3 years ago, yet Ubuntu seems to be #1 there.
    Yes, it needs work before being a server-distro, but not that much to make it such a big leap.

    Reply
  97. admin

    There are no guarantees that this will succeed, though it is a good thing.

    It is only a good thing if it does succeed, no one will argue with that. Otherwise, it will be a complete disaster as it will spell out that there is no market for Linux through an OEM, among other things.

    Funny, that’s what was said about the Linux Desktop 3 years ago, yet Ubuntu seems to be #1 there.

    One Linux desktop distribution displacing another Linux desktop distribution is nothing new. As a matter of fact, this usually happens every 3 years or so…

    Just look at the latest distrowatch stats. PCLinuxOS has taken the lead over Ubuntu this past month.

    Reply
  98. Nocturn

    “It is only a good thing if it does succeed, no one will argue with that. Otherwise, it will be a complete disaster as it will spell out that there is no market for Linux through an OEM, among other things.”

    If it fails, it will be no worse then today.

    “One Linux desktop distribution displacing another Linux desktop distribution is nothing new. As a matter of fact, this usually happens every 3 years or so…”

    It’s not new, though RedHat and SuSE have maintained a majority position amongst home users for years before that. They no longer do today.

    Reply
  99. admin

    If it fails, it will be no worse then today.

    I disagree. If it fails, it will set Linux in general back a few years and tarnish it’s usability for the home market.

    Reply
  100. Ganesh Prasad

    On the contrary, everything happening now is Microsoft’s death rattle.

    Vista has bombed, so badly that Dell has been forced to resurrect XP and explore Ubuntu; the Open Source movement is accelerating and gaining more adherents (hey, Java is now Open Source!); Microsoft’s patent FUD is universally recognised for what it is; Ubuntu has created the first idiot-proof desktop Linux and has therefore catapulted to the top of the Linux distros by popularity; and so on.

    I think you’re diagnosing the wrong patient. This one’s just fine.

    Reply
  101. Shiva

    admin: “I disagree. It will set Linux in general back a few years and tarnish it’s usability for the home market.”

    This blog goes something like this:
    1) The author (admin) comes up with the ridiculous proposition that because Ubuntu has won a big preload contract with one of the big 3 OEMs, which will lead to paid commercial support contracts for Canonical, Ubuntu is in it’s “death rattle”
    2) When posters post rational arguments as to why this is ridiculous, admin’s response is basically “you can think what you like, I disagree, I am right”.

    Napolean Bonepart had a supporter with an attitude like this, a certain Nicolas Chauvin.

    Reply
  102. Mark McLaughlin - linuxglobe.wordpress.com

    It is time to use Fedora again, it is the FREE counterpart to RHEL, RHEL 5 got high marks and Fedora 7 should also get high marks. I use FC6 and MAC, I won’t be going back to Windoze anytime soon! The best way to get Linux into more non computer programmers hands is to
    have an AMERICAN counterpart to the UK’s Linux Format, a magazine that’s 8 to 10 dollars with a free DVD attached with a distro flavor of the month AND to make Linux more known in schools so it is HIP to use Linux instead of Windoze. It is time for a MAJOR Linux revolution, dumping Windoze once and for all and CELEBRATE Linux and MAC! :D

    Reply
  103. admin

    HP jumped in with what? They have been selling Linux systems since at least 2004, and probably before even that.

    Just about every OEM has sold Linux PCs in the past, this is nothing new nor earth shattering…

    I’ve been seeing these *insert some random OEM here* embracing Linux, incredible news, fantastic models… posts all over the place. Too bad no one even bothers to do the slightest bit of research. Old news being rehashed as new. New models replacing the old.

    And Dell doing so well? Right!

    You’ll save $15 on their latest offering by getting Ubuntu.

    That must be also why they feel the need to hide the Ubuntu systems on their web-site, and tell users to go get a Windows system on the dell.com/open page.

    Google trends does not even list the US in the top ten regions that the term “Linux” is searched for, yet Dell is only currently selling in the US.

    Reply
  104. none

    Dell to offer Ubuntu on more systems
    http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS6756576859.html

    From a Dell insider. Not someone shooting from the hips!

    “Thanks, Steven for that great roundup of our new Inspiron products with Linux. I have some additional news to share! We are planning to expand our desktop and notebook Linux program outside of the United States. I can’t share any details right now, but stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.
    Jo Øiongen: On sales figures, the folks upstairs won’t let me share that data. I will say there has been positive response from the community. To that we tip our hats and say, “Thank You for your support!” to Linux community. We think it is extremely important to continue to support the Linux community!”

    HP to ship Ubuntu PCs, serious about Linux
    http://www.tectonic.co.za/view.php?src=rss&id=595

    NOW GO EAT CROW! no rebutal needed…

    Reply
  105. admin

    Dell to offer Ubuntu on more systems…

    I though I covered this in the above post? They put one more model out, that saves you a whooping $15. What does this prove besides my own point?

    From a Dell insider. Not someone shooting from the hips!

    Nothing new in that “insider quote.” We know they “support” [what else are they supposed to say?] the Linux community and will also sell PCs outside the US. Why do you think I said “currently” in the above post?

    HP to ship Ubuntu PCs, serious about Linux…

    The date on the article is 9 September, 2005

    Again, I’ve covered this and the rest in the above post. OEMs have been selling Linux PCs for years. Probably before you even knew what Linux was. Nothing new here. Even Wal-Mart was selling Linspire PCs or laptops in 2004.

    Perhaps you should slow down, read a bit, and when you have something with a bit more substance… come back.

    Reply
  106. Pingback: Debianizzati.Org » Ubuntu è in crisi?

  107. Artur

    This post made me laugh several times. I don’t think you are correct Admin. Although in this world anything can happen, your analysis is rather weak. Ubuntu is moving fast from being little known distribution to a very well known one. There is no reason for it to collapse now(or rather for Mark to cut the funding, except for his personal reasons meaning that he has some problems with his life). Your analysis applies more to the opposite case of a product having a large portion of the market once and then losing it. I think there is a big possibility for Windows to end up down that road, so maybe all you’ll have to do is to change Ubuntu to Windows in your title and repost your blog in couple of years(or maybe sooner).

    Speaking of Windows, if it was a decent product I’d never switch. Why would one. Think about it. Indeed switching and learning something new is a pain in the ass, and if you are happy with what you have, why do it? Well, guess what? Windows is far from being a well written OS. Microsoft’s spirituality is rather sick. All they care about is $ and trust me, there are a lot of ppl denying them in $ now. I am not a crazy fanatic, and I use windows when I have to or when there is no point to switch(like right now I am at work, co-op term, will be done in a month here anyways). But what a sh..ty OS it is. I can’t believe M$ spend so much money and many years to create a piece of sh..t.
    Just look at the amount of viruses written for it. In my opinion viruses are indication of flaws in OS. Flawless OS should have no viruses. And if OS has a flaw, the flaw should be fixed, not another third party program costing money should be run on top of it. Do you run anti virus on your windows machine, Admin? Don’t you think you got cheated? Don’t you think M$ should fix the holes in its product instead of letting a third party rip you off your money. Look at linux. Those guys do it right. The only need for antivirus on linux is so other windows machines don’t get infected through linux boxes(most viruses can’t do much harm on linux, but they might get spread though through it). I got really sick of dealing with Windows, running antivirus, dealing with malware, slowdowns, etc, etc. Ubuntu is such a break from all that nonsense.

    Oh yeah, and what’s up with an average Joe? You know, Windows succeeded because they wrote an OS for an average Joe in the first place. That was a great idea and I am thankful for that. 10-15 years ago that was really good. But yeah, 10-15 years ago!!! Today’s society is way ahead of an average Joe 15 years ago. An OS for fools is not so popular anymore. That’s where windows is failing big time. They still treat us as stupid Joes knowing nothing about computers, OSes, etc.

    Well, there are numerous examples of how Windows is not keeping ppl happy. Vista is another failure. You should prey that Ubuntu or Linux in general succeed otherwise you’ll get stuck forever with this M$ BS. You’ll get stuck, not me.

    Back to Ubuntu. I had to dual boot for about a year before. But for a last year or so I strictly boot into Ubuntu. Yes, it became so usable and really the first reason I had to dual boot was software(games) support. But that’s the problem with program developers, not the OS. Now I can watch movies, play games, write documents, well, pretty much anything I need. Things are not always smooth and if I need something extra, sometimes I need to work for it. But I don’t think “average Joe” will need many extra things. If he does, he is probably not an average Joe. Did I mention that I don’t have any anti viruses. Did I mention that the OS is stable as a brick. Did I mention that I get system updates every day or 2.Well, enough said here. Oh, and I can get many software for free with add/remove or synaptic package manager. Not bad, eh, considering that M$ Office and other programs cost quite a bit.

    By the way, there are many companies in Canada that use or develop products on/for Linux and other open source programs. Even here where I work now and use Windows on my desktop, we use OpenOffice and open source wincvs. Some people here use linux, and I would too, if I stayed here for long.

    By the way, I did donate to Ubuntu 20$. Another source of money for Ubuntu.

    So, I suggest for you not to worry about Ubuntu. It is indeed doing pretty well so far. Better worry about Windows and how you’ll have to switch soon away from it. I know you are not gonna like it, but if things go that way, you should prepare yourself to be part of Linux user base. Unless you like dealing with all the BS windows is putting you through…….

    Reply
  108. Billu

    It’s a little hard to tell who the initial post (“Ubuntu’s Death Rattle”, May 24, 07) is from, so this post is for whomever that is.

    As a Linux Noobe, let me add my $0.02.

    I’ve been playing around with Linux now for about a year. My ultimate goal is to eliminate MICRO$OFT from my life, completely. That’s all. I have played with a variety of Linux distributions, actually quite a variety, and UBUNTU is the one I keep gravitating back to. I have even asked my self why? The answer is not that Ubuntu is the “best” distro, or that I have learned enough about Linux to make a technical decision, the answer is very basic.

    I don’t yet know enough about Linux to fully understand why I keep returning to Ubuntu, but I can tell you this – Ubuntu has a “flavor” about it that, IMHO, makes it the most likely candidate to fill the need as a complete substitute for Windo$e. It nearly flawlessly installs – right up there in “ease” with Windo$e itself, and all the applications needed for “general” use are readily available if not already installed at the completion of the install. Of course, I am sure I am not saying anything new to Linux aficionados, but remember, I am a noobe, and I’m learning a lot of “new” things about Linux as I experiment with each distro. I now have Ubunutu installed on a desktop and a laptop at home and I am very happy with it’s operation and with its available aps. When WinXP is no longer supported, I intend to have ALL my home machines running Linux, and right now, I think that will be Ubuntu.

    I don’t know how Mr. Shuttlesworth plans on making money with Ubuntu, or how long he intends to support it, but if others like me are out there experimenting, I know enough about this to say that others, many others, must be finding the same thing I am – that Ubuntu “just works” and that is very important in the mass-market OS world, again, IMHO. Clearly if I have to, I will move to another distro. That is not the issue to me. The issue for me is this: I don’t want to give Bill Gates another dime for an OS. Period. I’m tired of paying him again and again as he “improves” his OS. I will not be upgrading any system I own to “Vista” or any other future Micro$oft OS.

    In conclusion, I see Ubuntu as very strong in the Linux OS “market” and I have a very favorable impression of it. Rather than seeing the Dell/Ubuntu deal as a “joke” I see it as a major coup. What other Linux distro will see distribution like Ubuntu will see with Linux? Sun won’t, Fedora won’t, PC Linux won’t. Not even Red Hat will see the in-place share Ubuntu will. Have you taken a look at the used PC/Laptop market? Guess which brand the used market consists most of? It’s Dell. Guess what Linux distro will be be the “biggest” in that market in the not-too-distant future? It will be Ubuntu.

    Well, I’ve rambled enough here. I’m not sure I made any significant contribution to this topic, but I felt compelled to add my thoughts.

    Billu

    Reply
  109. Steve

    Linux is gaining market share every day… with newer users, doesn’t matter if is Slackware, Gentoo or Ubuntu, Linux is everywhere these days… and I wouldn’t call Linux a failure, ever.

    I would call Vista a failure and M$ fucking SUCKS.

    Linux forever and ever!

    Reply
  110. xubean

    You wrote this article just about a month ago now… and I was reading through the comments, and how badly people battered you, insulted you and said all these bad things. I’m not that kind of guy… I’ve commented before (nicely) and you replied back (nicely was well). However, now that Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (hardy heron) is out, and there’s more talk about ubuntu, linux everywhere, and more more and computer companies are embracing linux, esp. after EEEPC, I wanted to know where you stand today. Also one more thing… you mentioned ubuntu dying and PCLinuxOS has taken number one on Distrowatch, well, again i cannot predict the future and say you’re wrong, however, it doesn’t look like ubuntu has died just yet, and the deal with Dell is still on. Just wanted to see what your thoughts are now. and finally though this doesn’t prove anything, it’s interesting to see the rise of ubuntu:
    all years:
    http://www.google.com/trends?q=ubuntu%2C+windows+xp%2C+windows+vista%2C+redhat%2C+suse&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0
    last 12 months
    http://www.google.com/trends?q=ubuntu%2C+windows+xp%2C+windows+vista%2C+redhat%2C+suse&ctab=0&geo=all&date=ytd&sort=0

    Reply
  111. admin

    I’m still around, in the shadows looking out.

    I’ve been working on a few ventures of mine that have unfortunately prevented myself from having the time to dedicate to this blog and my everlasting pursuit for the truth.

    On that note, my views have not changed radically since I made this blog post a year ago.

    I believe that Linux and Windows cater to two different types of people and businesses. There is some overlap, and there are plenty of examples of this, but overall they are different beasts. In architecture, function, and usability.

    The aspect I dislike most about Linux is the blind fanaticism involved [and what it creates]…

    1. The constant insults thrown towards Microsoft and their products by people that have never even used the products they are bashing. People that have no clue about the verbal and cerebral diarrhea they are regurgitating.

    2. This notion of good vs evil. Google good. Microsoft evil. Why? Just because!

    3. The lies, dam lies, and more lies that are now standard procedure for marketing your product in comparison to an MS product.

    The number #3 point is a good one. The example is Firefox. It has become a bloated, unusable, unsecured POS of a browser.

    IE 7 is an improvement over IE6 and Firefox in every way imaginable. So what does the Firefox team do [or who ever it was on the dev team]? They come out with pure BS benchmarks not just once, but twice in a row, to show how much worse IE is. The problem was these benchmark were not just done bad. They were soo far off, and so much information was not provided, that there is no way they were not rigged. Rigged from the start and covered up with open-source fanaticism and saran wrap. It was sick to see this. What was it? Something like ‘lets open up 30 tabs in Firefox under one instance, and compare that to 30 IE instances/windows, and lets only compare the 1st half second on RAM usage, and lets open the 30 IE Windows as fast as we can so we can say the system crashed.’… or something along those lines.

    Linux is it’s worst enemy in this regard. It will tarnish itself in the process.

    My outlook on Linux is gloom at best. I don’t want much to do with it except on the server-side where you actually deal with businesses, and not inexperienced fanboys and Ubuntu.

    In the mean time I’ll use the OS I’m most productive in, Windows.

    Reply
  112. xubean

    Well, I had my doubts before, but now I know for sure you’re a MS fanboy! I was trying to be real and not talk like a Linux fanboy (which I’m not), but you’re saying really unrealistic things now.

    ‘The constant insults thrown towards Microsoft and their products by people that have never even used the products they are bashing’
    That’s what a Linux fanboy is supposed to say… coz there’s waaaaaaaay more chance that someone has used a Windows software compared to a Linux product. They used the Microsoft product and did not like it, and now they have seen that there are better options out there.
    ‘This notion of good vs evil. Google good. Microsoft evil. Why? Just because!’
    No, not just because! Because of Microsoft’s monopolistic nature, overpriced products and unstable and unreliable products that we are forced to buy. I don’t have to fill you up on the whole Vista vs. XP thing. Even the Windows user don’t want Vista, but Microsoft keeps trying to throw it at them…!
    ‘The number #3 point is a good one. The example is Firefox. It has become a bloated, unusable, unsecured POS of a browser. IE 7 is an improvement over IE6 and Firefox in every way imaginable. ‘
    Are you effin kidding me.. I mean, I agree IE7 is an improvement over IE6, but seriously? Firefox? I haven’t heard that from even a person who used to work with Microsoft (Student Partner), Firefox must have been bloated than before, but IE7 better than Firefox???? You really are a fanboy…
    I could type a lot more things, but I know there’s no convincing you… Until you realize this on your own… there’s no point in trying to convince you… all i gotta say is get your facts straight…

    Reply
  113. admin

    xubean, everything I’ve said is right on spot.

    #1. You are bashing MS products without providing any facts or reasons, you do not even identify the products and issues involved. Unstable, unreliable, overpriced products? Right. Windows has worked for me flawlessly since Win2k. Let Linux and Linux applications get 1 billion users and see what kind of a mess it will all be.

    #2. Google is a business. A “for profit” business. They have stockholders. Do you understand? They are no different from Microsoft. Know what they do? How they make money? They sell AD space. Is this supposed to be noble?

    #3. I provide you with an example with facts and you say ‘must be a fanboy.’ Goes right to the fanaticism point.

    Reply
  114. Adam Cassel

    LOL great minds must blog alike! I was reflecting on the passage of time and how it has treated Ubuntu and MSFT, and thought I would revisit this blog post I posted to a year ago.

    And here we have the author back again!

    Very cool!

    I couldn’t agree more with the authors 2008 position redux, particularly on the deranged Linux/Ubuntu NON-OPEN fundamentalist mentality, it’s worse if anything a year on.

    I run Ubuntu 8.04, Sabayon 3.4 E x64, Win Svr 2008 x64, Vista Ultimate x32 and x64. And of course at work, Windows XP Pro is the only workable option at this time (can’t wait to hear what the fanatics say to this – but then again, the vast majority of them don’t actually work a W2 job for a living yet).

    At work we run Oracle 10g on Win Svr 2003 and on Red Hat 5 EE.

    So, while it may make no difference, I do have the experience of actually USING ALL THESE OSs to help inform my opinion.

    My opinion has not changed either. It is still not possible for many people, and no I am not posting the list of Laptop models in question, read your own documentation and that should be enough, with a 1.5 year old or less laptop to install Ubuntu 8.04 and have wireless work out of the box. And g-d forbid you uninstall the wrong package and the dependency chain renders the OS permanently unusable.

    I like Linux. I like working in a non-Microsoft tooling and server stack environment. I like using MSFT development technology and tools – they are unbeaten on that score, period (yes, Eclipse is wonderful, but not as wonderful a total package).

    MSFT applications and tools are NOT MSFT “the business” or “the marketing organization”, both of which I have to be honest disgust me so much I have to rename everything on my Start and fly out menus to remove the word “Microsoft” from every shortcut! lol.

    With that said, the Ubuntu/Linux experience is not yet ready for, closer than a year ago certainly, the average or even power user who: uses their computer to do work and for entertainment and not as some kind of souped up amateur heath kit to while away the hours they prefer NOT spending in the physical company of other human beings.

    An OS is a tool, a means to an end, and somewhat more for many, albeit an often underutilized one, and not a creed, religion, or political self-identification fetish object FOR MOST USERS – and isn’t it them we are talking about and trying to build a better solution and option for?

    Last thing: WHY has OLPC opened discussions with MSFT and properly put Linux in it’s place, TANGENTIAL to the mission. Because it’s about the computer for the kid! NOT about Linux, and Linux may no longer be a necessary means to that end – and I think much of that truth is due to the fundamentalist absurdity of an unfortunately large part of the Linux community.

    Reply
  115. Hugh

    @Adam,

    You ask “WHY has OLPC opened discussions with MSFT and properly put Linux in it’s place[?]“. I would have thought that it was because Microsoft, ever mindful of the need to maintain “mind share” and preserve their monopoly, stuck their grubby fingers into the pie.

    I feel very sorry for all those poor kids who will now grow up thinking that an OS needs to be a bloated, intrusive, unstable, bug-ridden virus magnet.

    Reply
  116. James L.

    The emperor has no clothes. I’d say that’s the best way to describe the world of delusion that usually surrounds Linux. It’s quite sad that because someone likes an OS turns it into a holy grail and let that blind them, but it’s usually how it goes.

    For what is worth, I used to be a Linux user. I admire and respect Linux developers for their hard work, but Linux can never achieve mainstream and can never be competitive at desktop level. There’s no one with the ability to unify the mess that Linux is (fans call it diversity, I don’t. Even when I used Linux, that always looked like unorganized chaos to me). No one to turn a vision into a reality, and there’s no money to be made with desktop Linux (let alone the consumer market). I think Mr. Shuttleworth knows that too.

    You were right about Dell and Ubuntu, of course. One year later, and today, you can read something like this:

    http://digg.com/linux_unix/Dell_sells_Ubuntu_But_it_s_NOT_recommended_says_this_CSR

    The emperor has no clothes, but don’t expect hardcore fans to ever admit it.

    Reply
  117. Ian Lewis

    This is such a funny article… Especially now it is the end of 2010 and Ubuntu hasn’t died nor does it show any signs of being moribund.

    Just goes to show you can’t predict the future.

    Reply

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