Open Ballot: Ubuntu, the next Apple?

Podcast

Canonical obviously has grand dreams for Ubuntu's future. It all started with Bug #1 in 2004, when Mark Shuttleworth declared Microsoft's majority market share on new desktop PCs to be a bug that Ubuntu was designed to fix. Then, in 2008, Shuttleworth declared that he wanted Ubuntu to not just match, but to blow past Apple by providing a more beautiful and user friendly desktop. More recently, Ubuntu has been undergoing a redesign with the goal of allowing it to compete with the likes of Apple and Google on mobile phones, tablets and televisions. So, while in 2004 it was Microsoft that Canonical was wanting to usurp, in 2012 it looks like Apple is the company in their sights.

The question is, does Canonical have the capacity to succeed in this goal? Can Ubuntu be the next Apple, and be the success that Canonical clearly wants it to be.

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Your comments

No

Ubuntu missed the boat by targeting desktops which suddenly became irrelevant. To be fair to them, no one could have predicted that. All hail Android and our Google overlords.

And even on the desktop they did a KDE4 with unity.

long pause to pull myself

long pause to pull myself together after much laughter, in your dreams maybe, but with his deft touch he managed to piss off loads of long term supporters. He can go off and benevolently dictate elsewhere as far I'm concerned ;-)

No

Canonical is far too small to compete with the Googles, Apples, and Microsofts of the world. They have never been able to convince OEMs to build Ubuntu into their products, and they never will. The quality of the product (or lack thereof) does not matter. The big guys will always force them aside.

Ubuntu miraculously carved out a great niche by building the best desktop OS the world has ever seen, and offering it for free. But the new tablet GUI does not work well on the desktop, so now Canonical has nothing.

No.

I echo what Paul S said, but would also add that until they get a decent and trusted hardware company to back them and push them into the mainstream they have no chance. And as all the big hardware companies are in the pocket of Microsoft that's very unlikely to happen any time soon. Also Microsoft are not going to give away their huge market share without a fight.
We also need to be taken seriously be the media and mainstream tech news. Take the BBC for example, they rarely cover Linux and certainly not Ubuntu. This has to change for people to take Ubuntu seriously.
Also a big problem for Ubuntu (and also Linux in general) is the attitude of its users. We're such fan-boys at times that we love a good ruck with anyone who has anything negative to say about Ubuntu/Linux and that often does us no favours at all. We're also rather smug about our Linux use and are happy with the fact that Linux is seen as a tool for geeks, by geeks. And as such we don't want anyone else to play with our toys.

I think Ubuntu is great. I

I think Ubuntu is great.

I don't run it myself, because I am a geek and have geeky needs.
But when my non-geek friends' computers crash - or rather, their Windows installs crash - I backup their data and install ubuntu on their computers for free, and everyone is impressed by how easy it is to use. If you don't need any big software like AutoCAD and such, it can fulfil your needs just like an apple product.

And since the interface is pretty usable on a tablet, why shouldn't it be able to compete with apple both on the desktops and the tablets?

I also think it is great that we have a company that is open to new software. I think that it is what separates us linux users from the rest. We have the possibility to try out new stuff without losing as much money as Microsoft would have, if they decided to give Unity a go.

Not really in the same market as Apple.

Canonical can't really compete properly with Apple and to be honest it's difficult to think of too many companies that can directly. Apple are in the almost unique position of being both the hardware and software designers for their machines, they know exactly what hardware specifications their OS will be running on, I can't think of anyone else in the general computing field that has that luxury.

It's long been part of Linux's problems in general having to try and run on all kinds of desktop hardware (graphics cards, sound cards, chip sets etc.) and not knowing exactly what the OS is going to have available causes many problems. I dare say if Canonical manufactured their own PCs then yes they could make Unity near flawless and visually stunning but they just don't have that luxury and to be fair to them Microsoft have always been in the same position with Windows, they too are significant handicapped compared to the control Apple has. That's not to take away what Apple has achieved, I don't own any Apple products personally but what I have seen of them they are highly polished and generally a great consumer experience and that isn't necessarily gauranteed even with the level of control they have (Sony and the PS3's online interface compared with the Xbox 360s comes to mind).

One of Linuxes great strengths is its flexibility to run on so many different architectures something even Microsoft and Windows are belatedly trying to catch up on with Windows on ARM, but sometimes we do have to pay a price for that and not being able to absolutely nail down the user experience the way Apple can is one of those. Personally it's a price I'm happy to pay.

Yes - But It's Not Designed For Linux Folk

I think they can do it, and possibly are, but it's not designed for "US", and by us I mean someone who knows what bash is, that Linux doesn't have a move command or why they wouldn't allow us to have 75 terminals open at the same time while we are running vim and debugging kernel output.

They are doing the right thing is making a popular OS for people who don't really want to care about an OS.So I say they stand a very good change of succeeding as long as they can really work well with OEMs and Device manufacturers for the TV and Mobile stuff.

PS: Long live KDE4 the one true DE!!!

Maybe

Well, they are trying to promote their own brand, they are demanding signing contributors agreement so they can go closed source anytime, they have one benevolent dictator, they have plenty of uncritical worshipers... I don't think they have patent portfolio thought. They probably can become next Apple, but I really hope that they will not and instead of that they will became better citizen in open source world and learn how work with others...

Can Ubuntu be the next Apple?

Very unlikely. Apple have so much momentum now and have become such a fashion item with a very wide demographic (judging by the people who visit their stores) they just steamroller through all their critics. And with a multi-billion dollar bank balance and fearsome patent warchest to boot. Ubuntu's a once-great, now not-so-great little Linux distro, despite all the huffing and puffing still the preserve of an outsider group of adventurers and geeks. It's great that they're innovating like mad but it all seems a bit directionless, or rather like they're trying to cater for every market whilst in actual fact not catering for any of them particularly well, least of all the desktop. They really need to find a well-respected, big-name hardware manufacturer who's prepared to put some serious cash on the line and start shipping devices (presumably mobile and/or living-room tech) with Ubuntu pre-installed. Else ditch Unity and reclaim what once seemed their unassailable birth-right: greatest Linux distro ever.

Impossible

A distribution will not get popular just by creating a visually appealing OS. Everyone forgot about the application we need to run on that platform. I have been using Ubuntu for many years. Applications lack quality when compared with respective applications on Windows or Apple. Ex. Name a application which just work like Apple iTune or Windows Media player, there are none. You can argue there are Amarok, Banshee, Clementine etc but non of them is comparable with their Windows or Apple counter part.

At current standard, I see Ubuntu a polished desktops with few glitches, which can be solved if Canonical partner with OEMs. What we need is great applications to make Linux a great distro.

No, they need tovend hardware, too.

Like many commentators so far, they need control over the hardware and software to produce quality, polished products and get as big as Apple. Additionally, they need to do a lot of marketing, I've not seen an Ubuntu ad on telly yet, their mind share outside of the cognoscenti is small. Also, in what has become the typical Canonical fashion, they are ploughing their own furrow rather than contributing to the community with regards to development.

PS @abhijeet, to paraphrase Torvalds (I think it was), I can't hear you being sarcastic here, but I presume when you say things like, "Applications lack quality when compared with respective applications on Windows or Apple. Ex. Name a application which just work like Apple iTune or Windows Media player, there are none," you are being extremely sarcastic. I find iTunes and Windows Media Player to be two of the worst pieces of software I have ever encountered. Thus, Amarok is a far superior music player.

Not the next Apple, but maybe the next best thing...

Firstly, it depends on whether Canonical have got enough money to fund self-promotion, but assuming they do, I'm not sure if becoming the next Apple is a fair goal.

Apple, and Microsoft before them, have both made their mark in the world for doing something differently, but doing it very well (with exceptions, of course). For the Ubuntu brand to gain fame and recognition, their products need to be something that neither Apple nor Microsoft can do better.

"Ubuntu for Android", their latest idea of running your desktop from your phone (when connected to a keyboard and screen) IS different, and follows the simple idea of a single device doing everything you want. Ubuntu TV might just be the functional all-in-one that AppleTV isn't.

How many people have jumped on the Apple bandwagon and become fanboys in recent years (since iOS or OSX) but had previously used older Apple products? I don't know exactly, but I'd guess that very few iPhone users owned an Apple II or perhaps even a later Intel MacBook Pro. The point is that Apple diversified, and maybe not to the satisfaction of die-hard older users, but became profitable and desirable.

It's sad to say, but if Canonical want the same success, then they need to leave the dusty Gnome 2 desktops to history. Their current strategy seems to be looking for new avenues and new users. We, as Linux users, can jump on the new Ubuntu bandwagon and continue the journey, or jump ship now and seethe in anger for eternity.

As far as I'm concerned, Unity is exactly the right way to go. It's fresh, it's different, and for users who aren't carrying tonnes of ancient Gnome 2 baggage, it's very easy to use and learn... and I hope it will be the Next Big Thing (TM)!

What are you selling today...?

The biggest hurdle to jump over is the marketing hurdle. If Canonical or any other big players like Red Hat et al can up the marketing $$$ to promote a KICK ASS desktop OS (like Mint + Cinnamon) then they might have a chance with a hardware partner by their side. Apple is the bully on the block but when you are at the top, there is nowhere to go but down!

Hard to say...

I've got 12.04 installed as a VB guest at the moment. It's quite nice to look at but doesn't feel 'intuitive' (whatever that may really mean...) to use. To me Ubuntu is still transforming from 'traditional' Gnome 2 desktop style to whatever it is M.S. has envisioned.

Mint's nicer by far at the moment & is more likely to fit in with what existing Windows or OS X users might expect of an OS.

Alexanderjb

My question is this.
Who cares??

I am a long term user of Ubuntu, indeed it is the only OS I have ever setup as my main OS, other than windows back when I was in the dark ages.
Theoretically then, I should be kicking and screaming over this, but I am not. Why? Because Linux is customizable, always has been. always will be. I didn't like unity, so after giving it a fair go, I simply install gnome-shell.

Basically:
We should be encouraging canonical all the way, because when the do things like Ubuntu TV/android, They are pushing the limits and could make market break-throughs. If they change the desktop a little, it's ridiculously easy to change it to whatever so who cares?

PS, I hope canonical is the next apple. just open-source.

No . . .

No, Canonical will not be the next Apple, and they shouldn't try to be.They would just appear to be Apple copyists if they did and they probably wouldn't do it any better than Apple have done. To be really successful, they would need to follow their own, original path - perhaps producing something for developing markets, or something great for cash-strapped governments and the public sector. In short, they've got to find their own niche, but a niche that's going to expand rapidly and become a major market sector.

Not the next Apple, but perhaps the Apple of the Linux ecosystem

I agree with others comments about the fact that Ubuntu differs from Apple by not being both a hardware and software manufacturer. Cab's point about drivers etc was certainly very relevant to Linux distros, but that really only addresses the initial disadvantage that Linux systems face in general. To my mind not having a problem with drivers only gets you on a par with the competition, the real advantage of controlling the hardware is the fact that you entirely control the user experience - there in no compromise with OEMs (which will still occur if you form strategic partnerships with a manufacturer).
I'd also point out that none of Cannonical's current products are truly novel/groundbreaking. The Ubuntu TV announcement comes nearly 2 years after Google TV was announced (admittedly the fact that it has not caught on might give hope that Ubuntu might be launching the right product at the right time). And Ubuntu on your Android phone?? I'm not certain what it can really offer the user on the street that Android can't. Currently, Canonical is creating (hopefully) high-quality Ubuntu versions of successful products - and I don't say that in a negative/dismissive way (in fact I think it is a great approach to take at this stage)

Where Ubuntu is Appl-esque is that it is applying commercial principles to Linux (especially mimicking Apple's approach to usability and design). It was obvious that there was a need to do this for years (if Linux usage was to move into the mainstream) and Ubuntu/Cannonical made it happen. To me, this parallels how it was obvious music could go digital (and some had tried) but Apple was the first to put everything in place to make this happen (iTunes/Pod).

And I think it is this boldness and commitment to a vision, that makes Cannonical/Ubuntu the Apple of the Linux ecosystem.

Not likely

It's more likely that Google will be the new Apple.

Ubuntu are just Apple wannabes. They had their moment in the spotlight and failed to deliver. Now they've been overtaken by Mint on the Desktop and Android on the tablet. Sure they can deliver shiny, but no less than their main rivals. It just looks different.

Whatever lead they had, they managed to piss away on left hand buttons, forked interfaces and a "we know better" attitude.

You're joking, right?

Consider that over the last year or so Canonical has managed to take the (arguably) most successful/popular Linux distro and through their heavy handed approach (Gnome gone, push for 75% of music revenue, forcing a buggy Unity onto its users) they've alienated a substantial part of their base. They've caused many loyal users to jump to other distros and put Linux Mint in the spotlight. Canonical has Apple's attitude without the success.

And is the desktop really dead? That's the question you should debate since Canonical seems to have bet the farm on it....but how many of us (despite having a tablet) still want a desktop with a 23 inch screen, lots of computing power and memory at a cheaper price, and a keyboard for getting real work done? A decade from now there will still be plenty of desktop computers around. Canonical lost the plot some time ago...Like Apple? You're joking.

Yes

Since there is a vision at Canonical, they are in a position to lift Linux out of the abyss and into the light of day. Will they trounce Apple? perhaps that is a long shot, but realm of all things Linux will be better off. Is there an aesthetic departure from the 'mainstream'? Of course, and because of the tight cultural community built around Gnome, which by the way,looks a lot like Windows XP according to nearly every non-techie I have converted. I have warmed to the Unity interface and can only imagine where it will be in a few years. I believe the expansion of Linux in whatever form will depend on the non- technical adoption of the GUI. Having Unity across phones, tablets and desktops will be very appealing to the masses.

just another niche OS

Maybe Canonical can suceed in the lesser developed countries, but otherwise no

People buy computers/Tablets not Operating Systems

The general populace just go out and buy a new computer or other electronic device, they don't go out and say, "I'm going to buy a new Windows", (or other Operating System). Mac OS just happens to come with a piece of electronics in a box.

To claim the prize Canonical will need to either get close links with a hardware manufacturer or, become a hardware manufacturer itself.

So far all they have done is disappoint their loyal followers with a GUI that fails to meet their needs on the desktop. I suppose they could always ship with Cinnamon as well in future.

They're in with a good chance

I have Windows and Macs as well, but I use Ubuntu most of the time in preference. The big advantage: I have a huge choice of hardware, at a fraction of the cost, with an easy-to-use interface (where I can drop to a shell when necessary).

The interface is in some respects better, and in some respects worse than the Mac: the desktop is mostly good, Linux supports some functionalities that Apple misses.

But the big challenge is to get the individual applications to a higher level of usability. The reason this is a challenge is that the individual programmers of the applications have to understand why usability is important, and why their apps aren't yet fully usable.

The underlying problem (that Apple addresses structurally) is that programming and user interface design are two completely different skill-sets, and there are very few people who can do both.

What Open Source needs is not only places where programmers can get together to work on source, but where interaction designers can get together to design the interface. Even better, but this would need an architectural design, is to have a standard method for providing the functionality, and creating independent versions of user interfaces to that functionality.

It's not just that they need

It's not just that they need to team up with a hardware manufacturer, but they need to do it well. They tried with Dell and have failed. And can you really see Ubuntu System76 as the next Apple Macintosh?

What Ubuntu need to do is flog loads of Chinese-built cheap hardware in Africa. Get Julius Malema in to advertise it, just like they've got Madiba talking about the concept of ubuntu on their website.

yeah ubuntu can win.

If they get some hardware to go with the devices, what if asus released the first transformer with ubuntu running on it? Remember when netbooks like the eee came with zandros on them? If android with the ics release is fully open source then the linux community won already. Ubuntu should drop the brown look. In the US when some one thinks brown they think UPS shipping. Apple is white and silver, windows is brown, but for different reasons, red hat is red, suse is green, I would say ubuntu should be gray/blue.

Apple have the benefit of

Apple have the benefit of making good things (software and hardware) and selling them. They are making profit all over the place. They can afford (in every sense of the word) to not compromise on anything. Canonical aren't even profitable, so to think they can even create the sorts of uncompromising user experiences that Apple has is crazy.

Nope

while everyone else was shifting their focus to tablets they had the chance to be the best desktop os on the planet. the strategy should've been to get it on every computer in the third world or china, not chasing tablet fanboys.

Conditional

I don't disagree with the need for a platform, but it is less of an issue as more people get hurt in the terrible economy. Every other OS is an annuity causing the average user to hunt for cheap hardware. As the word gets out that Linux can stop the steady bleed of expenses, interest will grow. But one more thing needs to happen, A mechanism for application standards is needed. The OS is way more finished off than most apps. A continuation of 'it just works', when new hardware attached. I love this part of Linux.

So close...

If they could only close ranks and make a distro that replaces the business XP desktop with its Word, Excel, and Symantec crapware, and make it EASY....if only you could buy a CHEAP laptop without the M$ tax....if only there was a driver for my Creative webcam and Hauppauge TV dongle....

Not a chance. They have nothing to offer that people want

All the big players have a niche and Ubuntu just doesn't have one. Google has all their online apps like docs, email, and the ubiquitousness of their search engine. It's a brand people trust and it allowed them to break into the mobile market using Linux.

Apple has managed to convince a portion of the population to fall for marketing over function or value. They broke ground on phones and tablets and they are carrying that touch right now with an iron fist. Ever notice that their commercials are usually just emotional ploys? Look how "amazing" and "magical" it is. How techincal... and expensive.. and detrimental to freedom.

Microsoft has found a market in the buisness sector through vendor lock-in, and not necessarily through just their products. Companies have developed apps and have development teams that only work with Windows. They have also locked in the gamer crowd with the popularity of DirectX and their large market share.

The only market Linux has found a home at, other than as part of Android is on servers, which is something consumers just don't buy or use. There is no killer market or app that is going to persuade people to buy.

Really, Mark Shuttleworth...

Who died and made you Steve Jobs?

Lack of focus

The story goes that when Steve Jobs came back to Apple, the first thing he did was to scrap all products but a few. At the moment, Canonical seems not very sure what they would like to focus on: consumer desktops, enterprise desktops, netbooks, servers, tablets, TVs, Android phones and probably more we don't know about.

If they really want to succeed, they need to put all their strength behind making a great Linux distro, and getting some strong OEMs behind this - that way they can build a solid, trusted brand and start exploring other areas.

At the moment, they are overlooked by the general public, and the tech press considers Ubuntu as some complicated, free stuff that geeks use. People still think that Linux users need to compile their kernel to watch a video, and before that disappears my hopes for Ubuntu are low.

Of course not

No of course not!

However the terms some people are using to discuss this are just plain sad!

"if Canonical want the same success, then they need to leave the dusty Gnome 2 desktops to history"

"As far as I'm concerned, Unity is exactly the right way to go. It's fresh, it's different"

Unless you are a dumb fashion victim you don't choose a user interface according to considerations like "fresh" or "different", you choose one that is relevant to your individual needs. Everyone's needs are different so no OS should restrict users to a single choice. Choice! Choice! Choice! Why don't you get it Shuttleworth?

I think there are two reasons why Canonical aren't the new Apple

1) Apple has always had a killer suite of applications - Quark XPress, Adobe Photoshop, iMovie etc. that make a Mac a tempting proposition. It's a real shame all the resources being directed into making Unity usable couldn't instead have been used to help add some much needed polish, consistency and features to GIMP, LibreOffice and the like.

2) Apple have always managed to take their hardcore fanbase with them, while picking up new fans along the way. With Unity, Canonical have lost their influential faithful.

Can the next Open Ballot of this season ...

... be informed by something other than the machinations of Canonical or Ubuntu? Other Linux companies and distros are available and things happen elsewhere.

Who Died and made me Steve Jobs?

That would have been Steve Jobs...

Yes its a possiblity but a bit unlikely

Canonical have a great desktop OS which can also be used on tablets, from a phone and now from a TV.

I think that pretty much covers all kinds of platforms and it still remains consistent on each of them. The only thing really Ubuntu is missing is some great apps but I have a feeling that void will be filled soon enough.

Since Ubuntu switched to Unity I have seen the usage and talk about Linux multiply and the use of Ubuntu is increasing even more than before!

Everyone that says Unity is destroying Ubuntu is nothing but a hater.

Do they really want to be

After reading you last LXF the question has to be asked, should they aspire to Apples level. Apple has had a lot of -ve press and 4 of my 5 apple fan-boy friends have ditched apple for Linux. Why? simply because Linux does more and has greater freedom. With the gradual shift towards Arm over X86 is it to late for Ubuntu? My answer would have to be no as along as Ubuntu works with hardware vendors closely and in the UK at least does not lock down the hardware the way the android vendors do they would have a chance. For my part I still recommend Unbutu to friend wanting to move away from windows.

Ummm.... no, but kind of see where you're coming from

Way back, when pcs were scary, command-liney DOS things, struggling with asthmatic memory allocation issues The (was it Lisa ?) 'Mac' came along and made it all quite user friendly. They marketed well, packaged the product well and appealed to a certain niche who liked nice things (and could afford to like nice things)(and appreciated the ease of use to be fair). Windows and PCs took a long time to catch up and probably still haven't. Canonical have some of the polished 'look and feel' of Apple, their identity and typo/graphic design is nice (on their websites) but is, tragically, let down (at the moment) by the disappointment of Unity. And, the (I'm feeling) slightly irritatingly clunky core product since 10.10
I'm sure they could do it, from the OS point of view, but they've got a long way to go and, to be fair, they've still got a fair way to go towards cracking Bug #1 if the 'person in the street' is anything to go by, haven't they ?

Yes

Ubuntu has the potential to become the next Apple. The reason is that when we speak of Linux, 40% thinks of Ubuntu. The 2nd reason is because Mark Shuttleworth has a Vision to make Ubuntu available on the Phones, and Tablets. Ubuntu will be a success on the mobile market, maybe not on the desktop at first, but soon people will want it on their PC. The Unity GUI will provide the common ground between all devices, making Ubuntu the easiest most powerful Linux OS.

Eh, wot?

You can not be seriously asking this question. Apple is, principally a hardware vendor. Secondarily (and some will argue not secondarily), it is a marketing company.

Where are the Ubuntu PCs? Where are the media players, the tablets, the notebooks? Where are the corporate partnerships, the (cringe) patents? Where are the marketing blitzes, the television ads, the glossy print spreads?

Ubuntu/Canonical is not even close to being anything like Apple, nor are they on any sort of trajectory to get there.

And thank God for that.

Maybe?

If they can burst onto the tablet scene in a big way. I also think desktops will be undergoing some dramatic changes in the next decade so dont count the desktop market out just yet.

No

The trouble with Mac isn't the stable underlying system or the fancy polish, the problem is their attitude towards their users; They lock them in and throw all kinds of DRM crud in their faces. And though Canonical may not be as idealistic purists as Stalman & Co. they sertainly have a long way to go before they get even remotely as bad as Apple in this respect!

A litle bit.......or byte

I think it's nice to have goals but ubuntu really should have chosen gnome 3. I use ubuntu and felt calm in my heart when i switched to gnome3 (from your disc).

Only if you are an inveterate wanker

Ubuntu is a dog's breakfast compared with OS X. It has always been that way. always will.

It is the apps stupid !!!

It is the apps stupid !!! Where are the quality apps ? Having tried Ubuntu for 4 years, I have given up... There a zillion distros but not single app to compete MS photo gallery, movie maker, etc...

Yes it can

I love ubuntu, because it is different (I don't want all freaking Linuxes to look the same, you can't get away with copying Desktops created by fedora or opensuse and call yourself a Linux distro unless you have some clear goals, can you?), it has clear goals (world domination mmm..), it is beautiful, it knows what its users are trying to achieve using a desktop computer and it has a targeted user group. I love unity, if you don't like unity, you can't force ubuntu to ship with gnome 3 can you? Does it make any sense at all? I hear people ranting about unity is bad, ubuntu should ship with gnome 3 as default or even bring gnome 2 from dead. I am not a shuttleworth fan boy, because when I don't like ubuntu (the whole experience) I simply can install any other Linux operating system that I find comfortable to use. That means when I install say openSUSE I want to feel I am running openSUSE and not fedora. I like the idea mint has their own desktop environment, though it might not be my cup of tea (I forced myself to unity for 10 freaking days, now I am much comfortable with it). E.g if some linuxes are targeted to network administrators (it does not matter what desktop environment they ship with, because they are not a desktop player), however all others who claim as a desktop operating systems must have their own feel and software experience right from boot to shutdown. Gnome 3 defaults to fedora, KDE is a suse thing, unity is ubuntu, mate or cinwhatever is mint. We need to have clear distinction on the user interface experience each distro give, though they may work together as an upstream for softwares.

I believe canonical can be next apple, the stage is set. Graphics drivers working at its best, html 5 ready, basic software works with no crashes, gui is usable, usability and speed increased, ubuntu always creating buzz. The last piece in the puzzle is hardware shipping with ubuntu on everything (tv, android, mobile, tablets, notebooks, laptops, servers, desktop towers etc).

Even if everybody disagrees me with taking Canonical's side, we all I am sure want to reach to a goal where we want more and more people use Linux (openly and proudly), be it commercially or free. We want everybody at least to know about ubuntu or linux (so they can think of it atleast) and if ubuntu can be that thing I am ready for it, what ever ways they reach that goal.

Once upon a time I had a

Once upon a time I had a working desktop, Gnome 2, I had everything arranged to suit my workflow, and I could get things done. Then I was stupid enough to upgrade to Unity. Months later, after backing off the upgrade I am still re-creating my original setup. Unity is fine if you only ever use half-a-dozen programs, and don't mind a display that looks like it came out of Fisher-Price's graphic arts department after a really bad acid-flashback, but if you want to get real work done its a total and complete bag of fertilizer. What I want to see is that Gnome 2 appearance and functionality, I don't care what program supplies it. It appears that if I want 3 series kernels then I have to accept Unity, and I refuse. After a long and happy run with Ubuntu, I am now looking for a new distribution that accepts that SOME users want to get work done, not just stare at the pretty Icons.

Put your money where your mouth is.

Given the difference in revenue, it's nothing short of astounding that we hear of Canonical, Microsoft and Apple spoken about in the same sentence and that their software is being compared.

Canonical have provided an enormous amount of innovation, many of the things we're now seeing being offered by Apple we've had in Ubuntu for quite a while now - a software store, cloud services etc. And all for free.

All I can say to those people who are moaning about Ubuntu is 'stump up'. Send some cash their way, after all it's saved you £140 on a copy of Windows plus £70 on a copy of office. Your data is your own and you can move to whatever OS whenever you like.

If you want Ubuntu to get better, improve Unity or whatever, buy some services. More cash = more investment. We all win.

Why would they want to be the next Apple?

Even with Unity, Ubuntu is about freedom in doing what you want. (I use Mint/Cinnamon)

Apple is about 1)making lots and lots of money and 2)telling the 90% of the computer users what they need, not what they want.

I hope Ubu and the Linux community do not become Apple.

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