Nine years ago when Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonical started shipping Ubuntu, he had declared his #1 bug as “Microsoft owning the majority share in the market”. Shuttleworth now declares the bug closed as personal computing market has a healthy amount of competition and is not dominated by Windows any more. Needless to say, it wasn’t the popularity of Ubuntu that has helped achieve this, and he has thanked OSes like iOS and Android. Though Ubuntu has played a very small part in the shift, he thinks it's important to recognize that the shift has taken place and from Ubuntu's perspective, the 'bug' is now closed.
Windows OS market dominance is over
Mark Shuttleworth wrote, “Personal computing today is a broader proposition than it was in 2004: phones, tablets, wearables, and other devices are all part of the mix for our digital lives. From a competitive perspective, that broader market has healthy competition with iOS and Android representing a meaningful share. Android may not be my or your first choice of Linux, but it is without doubt an open source platform that offers both practical and economic benefits to users and industry. So we have both competition, and good representation for open source, in personal computing.”
While the closed bug clearly points out at Windows’ declining popularity, Shuttleworth does point out that Microsoft has contributed to the rise of a new era of PCs and especially cloud computing. He wrote, “If you’re into cloud computing, the Microsoft IAAS team are both technically excellent and very focused on having ALL OS’s including Linux guests like Ubuntu run extremely well on Azure, making them a pleasure to work with. Perhaps the market shift has played a role in that. Circumstances have changed, institutions have adapted, so should we.”
Bradley M. Kuhn, a free software activist writes that though closing makes sense; but close status is wrong. He points out that the originally prescribed goal of this bug was that a majority of the PCs for sale should include only free software. Now Android still includes proprietary software while Apple is even more closed than Windows.
Canonical is also going beyond desktop and has adapted Ubuntu for phones and tablets. It has been steadily moving with the industry shift into the mobile computing world and has also ventured into server software and cloud infrastructure software based on the open source OpenStack.
Publish date: June 2, 2013 11:59 am| Modified date: December 19, 2013 11:50 am