Jack Wallen Gets Some Things Right

Jack Wallen at Tech Republic wrote, “If Richard Stallman had his way, Linux would still be stuck in the ’90s, being used by only CompSci majors and developers. I fully respect GNU and FOSS — but when a camp is demanding 100% GPL software, and that demand gets in the way of evolution and adoption, something is wrong with that camp’s vision.”
see 10 reasons why Canonical and Ubuntu will connect the masses with Linux

That’s just plain silly. The real reason why Ubuntu GNU/Linux is getting onto OEMs’ rosters and onto retail shelves is much simpler than his 10 reasons. They have real salesmen who talk to OEMs and retailers at the same time that Wintel is stagnating. The producers and distributors of PCs know that FLOSS sells and Canonical has packaged things nicely for selling. Other distros could do as well if they had salesmen but they don’t. They are not businesses making money from FLOSS for the most part.

I expect now that Canonical has its foot in the doorway, other businesses will adopt a similar strategy to Canonical and start distributing GNU/Linux through OEMs. It is unlikely that the OEMs in Canonical’s stable will switch distros however so Ubuntu GNU/Linux will likely have the lion’s share for the foreseeable future. New OEMs of PCs, like Samsung, are more open to other distros. Linpus Linux has found a niche in Asia. There may well be particular distros adopted by emerging OEMs in other regions but it is unlikely that any other distro besides Ubuntu GNU/Linux will have the global reach needed to displace M$.

Let’s hope that Canonical gets it right. At the moment, I think they have taken a Cadillac off-road with Unity and display servers. As M$ has found with “8” there are some things that “fit” on a large screen that don’t work well on a small screen. Making one size of shoe fit all feet is not the right way to go. They have a year or two to get back onto the highway before M$ gets its strategy straight.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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5 Responses to Jack Wallen Gets Some Things Right

  1. oiaohm says:

    Maou Sadao you are right it has to be some form of Heavy Weight.

    The heavy weight will require Manufacturing. That fairly much screws Microsoft unless go and buy someone.


    Sailfish OS also has enough hardware backing. Sony of all things. Samsung and Sony have a dual making things going back decades.

    Canonical does not really have a choice. Both Tizen and Sailfish OS at core are design to operate as full desktop OS’s.

    http://lwn.net/Articles/475706/ Fairly much they are stock standard Linux distribution.


    Really Tizen is just a windows manager that does not make the news much any more at base.

    So tizen applications on a normal Linux desktop not a major problem. Tizen being used as a normal Linux desktop not a major problem either.

    We have 3 X11 replacements going forwards.

    EFL, Wayland and Mir. EFL has already declared it will become a Wayland compositor it time.

    Then we are down two. Wayland vs Mir(ubuntu).

    Maou Sadao this is the big problem. Tizen and Sailfish OS are on the path that there will be no difference in the Graphical stacks between full desktop, tablet and phones other than compositor tweaks.

    This is why I refereed to Android a stepping stone. If Tizen or Sailfish is successful Microsoft will have big problem on hands.

    Maou Sadao and like you I don’t see Ubuntu have a good time going against the full might of all normal Linux Distributions and most the Phone/tablet makers as well.

    Even Mir lead developer at Ubuntu has accepted that Wayland compatibility libraries will be a min.

    Basically Ubuntu does not have a choice bar to attempt to get Phone/Tablet makers on side or be crushed.

  2. Maou Sadao says:

    Another LOLWUT?! moment at Mr. Pogson’s.

    Canonical is still deep in the red. They don’t make enough money with Ubuntu.

    Their convergence strategy (“Unity on everything”) is largely untested and could be deemed suicidal if one witnesses how Microsoft struggles with their own convergence based around Windows 8.

    Ubuntu TV hasn’t been adopted at all so far.

    Canonical wants to offer the Apple experience and has seriously overextended itself in the process. Their main product — a PC operating system — has taken a back seat because Canonical has swallowed the kool aid and thinks it must, must, must be present on all kinds of devices.

    Android and iOS are juggernauts. Unless an alternative OS is pushed into the market by a heavyweight (like Tizen by Samsung), it will most likely implode. For an independent like Canonical it’s a really bad idea to want to enter the tablet and phone market right now, especially since their Ubuntu Touch doesn’t really offer a terribly innovative experience that screams “must have!”

    Canonical should have concentrated on creating a real Windows 8 killer. It will be their loss.

  3. Mats Hagglund wrote, “Ubuntu as “the greatest hero of Linux” is a myth created and maintained by Canonical and Ubuntu fans themselves.”

    I am not a fan of Ubuntu GNU/Linux. It’s just more paint on the Debian GNU/Linux barn. Canonical’s success is not a myth. I actually had a salesmen call me when I rolled out Ubuntu GNU/Linux at a school and was interested in seeking long-term support after my departure. In the beginning Canonical had enthusiasts installing Ubuntu GNU/Linux, then Dell, now a bunch of OEMs. They have made GNU/Linux acceptable to OEMs and some retailers. They did that by hard work, knocking on doors and talking with the right people. If they say they shipped on 3% of PCs last year and expect 5% this year, I believe them. They couldn’t get away with that if IDC and the OEMs compared notes and found a different story.

    Besides the OEMs, Canonical has made Ubuntu GNU/Linux acceptable to organizations large and small. They are pulling in a lot of slack left by RedHat and Suse and IBM on the GNU/Linux desktop and providing a reasonable choice for servers too. I am fairly certain Canonical is now profitable and has a choice to grow the business faster by advertising directly to consumers.

  4. matchrocket says:

    Quoting Robert Pogson: “They have a year or two to get back onto the highway before M$ gets its strategy straight.”

    I know it just makes sense that Microsoft will get the message about Windows 8. After all, the message from the public, analysts, poll takers and comments on forums have been unanimous; Windows 8 totally sucks. So the first service pack will address the major complaints and Windows 8 will finally get on its feet…

    I don’t think so. Mark my words. Microsoft is not in their right mind. They are freaking crazy, schizoid. I suspect that there will be some marginal improvements but also some changes that will actually make things worse.

    Windows 8 will not improve and the feelings about it by all those mentioned above will mostly remain the same.

    Date Stamp: Sunday May 26, 2013

  5. Mats Hagglund says:

    The claim of Ubuntu and Canonical making real breakthrough for Linux clients is very controversial and facts behind it rather weak. While i don’t trust much of market share studies by Net Application, StatCounter, Statowl, W3Counter, W3School or Wikimedia, they at least can tell that Linux adopting has been steady increasing trend before, during and after Ubuntu fame of 2004-2008 (while surely not especially fast). Even before first release of Ubuntu (2004) even Microsoft estimated that 2-2,5% of clients were running by Linux. In 2009 Ballmer and Microsoft estimated Linux having some 4-5% market share, slightly bigger than that of Mac OSX.


    So Ubuntu as “the greatest hero of Linux” is a myth created and maintained by Canonical and Ubuntu fans themselves. The greatest hero is of course – Google and Android. But even before that Linux got some 80-90% of all servers and supercomputers, 80% of biggest stock exchange markets (e.g London, NYSE, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Chicago…), IBM, most of internet, Lockheed Martin, NASA…

    Whole IT ecosystem has changed rapidly since 2008 and that change oiled by mobiles has mauled pretty badly Microsoft and putting Linux at the lead: 55% of new devices during first 3 months of this year are using Linux. Canonical has had nothing to do with this change.

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