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Mark Shuttleworth gives up dream of Ubuntu toppling Windows

11:15 am on Jun 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/05/mark-shuttleworth-gives-up-dream-of-ubuntu-toppling-windows/ [arstechnica.com]

Mark Shuttleworth gives up dream of Ubuntu toppling Windows

When Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth began shipping Ubuntu nine years ago, he created "Bug #1." Its title was "Microsoft has a majority market share," and Shuttleworth said "[t]his is a bug which Ubuntu and other projects are meant to fix."

Today, Shuttleworth has declared the bug "closed," but the bug wasn't fixed as a result of Ubuntu's popularity. It was fixed by the rise of iOS and Android. As for Ubuntu, Shuttleworth now says, "it's better for us to focus our intent on excellence in our own right rather than our impact on someone else's product."
9:25 am on Jun 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Not quite: he has admitted iOS and Android have beaten Ubuntu to it. SO Windows has been toppled, but by other people.
6:39 pm on Jul 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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SO Windows has been toppled

Thats the main thing..
But Ubuntu is still there.. I think that the main problem is that they are trying to make it look like windows, but it still works much better.
There are other Linux distribs out there and not the least Debian which IMHO is the best thing available.
7:06 pm on Jul 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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In a nutshell Selling PC's with linux is not commercially interesting. An example is my local PC shop which used to sell computers with linux pre-installed has stopped, reason being not profitable. No maintenance as Linux just works all the time no viruses etc..
Whereas a windows PC will go back to the shop every 6 months on average for an "overhaul'..
I mean look at Dell that used to sell such PC's They stopped now, but maybe that was a certain kind of pressure from we know who.....

I offer a free linux install to all my 20 odd Web site clients, I never hear from them apart from when there is a hardware failure..

My local server is running Debian for 10 years now never a glitch and its just a P4..

Its a long road.
8:27 am on Jul 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

If Linux were that much better than Windows on PCs I'm sure we'd see a more significant uptake.
10:04 am on Jul 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Ok well how would that be possible as you can not buy a PC (general public) without windows already pre-installed..?
In do not know about the rest of the world but here in France its called "forced sale" and is prohibited but nobody gives a $*$
Imagine buying a car and you can only tank up at a BP service station...
11:02 am on Jul 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Not really bill, people are scared of computers and scared of trying anything new. People also think that learning to use Linux will be as hard as learning Windows was when they first got a PC. Linux does not have the marketing muscle to match Windows and MacOS (MacOS is very similar to Linux in terms of pros and cons vs Windows and has had high uptake).

Most people have not even heard of Linux, and many of those who have heard of it have misconceptions about it (such as that you need to know how to use the command link to use Linux).

The one Linux based OS that has a familiar brand attached to it has been massively successful.

A better test is this: how many people who try Linux go back to Windows?
2:57 pm on Jul 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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A better test is this: how many people who try Linux go back to Windows?

Just about sums it up..
12:18 pm on Jul 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

That doesn't sum up too much for me. I know plenty of people who have tried Linux and gone back to Windows. It would be interesting if there were actual data you could reference though.
7:46 pm on Jul 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member dstiles is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

That also depends on the flavour of linux. Something like Mint or Ubuntu is more novice-friendly than some of the more tech-orientated machines.

Also depends what they want to do with the machine. My brother and my wife have specific requirements which are difficult or impossible to run under linux. My brother's solution is to use linux Mint for most things but keep his soon-to-be-obsolete XP as his off-line "audio/video" center. My wife is about to be forced down a similar route (different apps but same reason) Her machine is 2000 and has been obsolete for several years!

Yes, we know about wine but not all windows programs run on it and in any case it introduces another infection point.

In my own case I need to run IIS, which is almost (not quite) impossible on linux servers. I need to translate ASP to PHP and have about 2 years to complete it before 2003 becomes completely obsolete. Defintely not looking forward to that.

There are technical reasons for dropping back from linux to windows but I suspect many that abandon linux have no linux-knowledgable frinds to offer advice.

It may well have helped if linux had been offered as an alternative OS for the past 20 years but sadly it wasn't. Now, most people already have windows experience and a) have no incentive to change (another virus? Ok, we'll take the machine to the shop); and b) do not use the computer much anyway.

The really sad thing is that if people used linux for on-line access to social networks and other dubious services there may be a lower incidence of viruses.
7:56 am on Jul 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@dstiles, I do not think most people know that using Linux would reduce the need to take the machine to the shop - I know people who say they have to use Windows because that is what the people in the local shop know. If they used Linux they would go to the shop less often.

@bill, one group I think Linux us badly suited to are WIndows "power users": people who have invested a lot in learning Windows, but do not really have an understanding of computers so find it hard to relearn - but they have a hard time every with new versions of Windows anyway.
3:39 pm on Jul 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I don't think that using Linux would result to going to the shop less often. Maybe for the more savvy users, but not those who aren't savvy.

I've used both since the early 1990s. Never had a virus or other security breach on Windows. Neither have *many* people who maintain their systems properly and keep up with security.

The same can be said for Linux and other Unix like variations. The type who tend to have vulnerable systems under Windows will be the same type who don't firewall their Linux boxes properly, don't update packages, etc. Sooner or later they're going to get hacked, and when they do the cleanup is going to tend to be more costly than for Windows for the simple reason there aren't many programs which automate exploit scans and cleanup automatically. Yeah, there's rkhunter, chkrootkit, etc... but the type who doesn't maintain a Windows box isn't, imho, the type who's going to be using those Linux tools.

I've recently taken over for a client who has 4 FreeBSD servers. Their previous admin knew the hardware well and setup a very robust load balancing and fail over system. However, he did not update OS and add-on packages over several years, didn't upgrade the php software packages they used for the site, used the same password everywhere (and some of them are single words in the dictionary!), etc.

The vulnerabilities left wide open on this box would be the same under Linux had he not maintained it as well. I migrated the site over to newer Linux boxes and in the process found numerous exploits had been successful. So my cleanup has cost my client $$$ (ie, it's "in the shop") because a Unix system had not be properly maintained. People can screw up Linux/Unix systems just as royally as they can Windows, I've seen it more than once.

Linux is great for servers, power users, etc. That's why I use it myself. But frankly for the desktop there are some tools which I cannot find equivalents to those I use under Windows. If I were just a developer I'd be using Linux exclusively. But I've also have businesses to run and frankly business software under Linux isn't up to par with what's available for Windows. The *right* business choice for me is to pay a few hundred bucks for a Windows business software package that does everything I need right out of the box without a big learning curve, verses "free" with features lacking, higher learning curves, etc. "Free" in those situations costs me more money in the long run. You can have the easiest Linux GUI in the world to use, but in the end a GUI is the interface for the software people want and/or need to use.

Let's take Android for example. People point to it being Linux under it all. But that's not what is the driving force which has made it successful, imho. It's the Android software built on top of it, the support from Google and the third party software choices available.
5:42 pm on Jul 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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You are missing two things:

1) Its a lot easier to secure desktop Linux. All you really need to do with most desktop distros is click OK when its asks whether to update. Servers are different, but desktop Linux is EASY.

2) I (and most people I know) use Linux because we prefer it NOT because it is free of cost. People who want free of cost use pirated Windows (where I live I have to tell shops I do not want pirated WIndows and software installed when I buy a PC).

You may have particular Windows only software you prefer. I do not, and neither do a lot of other people.

My experience is that people who regularly mess up Windows do not mess up Linux.
9:01 pm on Jul 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Great thread I hope Mark Shuttleworth is following it
Its definatively a hot topic
Operating systems...
I am answering this on an Android phone
If this nix based OS works so good its because millions were poured into it
which is not the case with linux
So its easy for the big guys with all the $
to impose their OS..
They all take advantage of us consumers
Thats why their is such a big community out there software developers from around the whole world working on open source...
I have more remarks on Ubuntu but I will come back later as
1 I hate using this mobile phone ..
2 When are we getting a mobile version of WebmasterWorld ha ha just kidding
10:19 pm on Jul 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Piracy ridden locations do not reflect the entire world. Where I live, finding a shop installing pirated software usually requires visiting seedier parts of town where the owners often isn't proficient with English. The vast majority of shops here won't even consider installing pirated software.

Desktop Linux is easy. Very true. Until you or an important client has the need to use an application not available under Linux. Sure, you can install a VM to host Windows or install Wine... but now you're getting away from what is considered an "average" user.

Linux has had 22 years to catch up in application software offerings for the business world but still doesn't represent even 1% of the business software market share. Application software wins markets, not OS technical superiority. OS zealots on the other hand tend to see their OS as the hammer and try to turn every problem into a nail. Me, I use more than one OS because one size does not fit all - on both the desktop and server level.

Businesses taking advantages of consumers? It takes two to tango and businesses can only sell what consumers are willing to buy. The open source model is great, many of my business needs rely on it, but for some things it's not always a viable option.
6:32 am on Jul 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@pp46, actually Linux has had a huge amount of resources poured into development. Add up the contributions made by IBM, Red Hat, etc. and the total cost is massive.

It has not had much put into marketing.

@motorhaven, yes, as I said that is true IF you need an application that is available only for WIndows, you should use Windows. You need to, but I do not.

Given how many people have switched from Windows to MacOS or even iOS or Android as their primary OS, I suspect that a very high proportion of people could easily switch to Linux - most people only really rely on having a web browser and a office suite.

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