back to article Ubuntu's Shuttleworth embraces tablet terror: Our PC biz will survive, too

Ubuntu spaceman Mark Shuttleworth is embracing the full horror of tablets and smartphones, calculating they’ll do little harm to his Linux distro’s PC business. Shuttleworth yesterday announced a fondleslab-friendly Ubuntu interface for tabs ahead of next week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC). The first tabs running the UI will be …

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Bronze badge
FAIL

History will repeat itself

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/15/ubuntu_cant_access_net/

... these things are dead before they have even be shipped. It will please ubuntu / linux nerds but they're the only ones who will want it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: [linux nerds] they're the only ones who will want it

Hmph. I think you'll find I'm waiting til I can install Slackware on my phone :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Er, no.

"The focus then switches to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, slated for release next year. This will run exactly the same code and binaries for tablets, smartphones, TVs and PCs, with the machine’s screen re-orienting depending on how you dock or set up."

Quite apart from the fact that "PC" usually means x86-64 nowadays, but Ubuntu hasn't to my knowledge dropped support for 32 bit x86, there won't be binary compatibility between "PC" and "ARM" versions.

I also thought there were different ARM variants, that need different binaries to get the best out of them. Or am I wrong about that?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Er, no.

unless Ubuntu 14.04 LTS has some kind of process VM (like java/dalvik) or dotnet layer? doubt it though.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Er, no.

Er, same (source) code (Linux, GNU, X, Mesa/Wayland, Qt, Unity, whatever, etc...) different compilation targets?

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Anonymous Coward

One in five ship with ubuntu?! seriously? from which manufacturers exactly? Because a quick look at Dell and HP sites show no mention of ubuntu, and I dont actually recall EVER seeing a PC for sale in the major high street retailers with ubuntu pre-loaded.

I give ubuntu another 2 or 3 years before they'll vanish completely.

Absolutely no one will want ubuntu on their phone or tablet other than die hard linux fanbois. The only chance it has is in developing markets - but even then I dont see why a phone/tablet manufacturer would choose ubuntu (no apps) over android (every app the user needs)?

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Anonymous Coward

loving the fanboi down votes :)

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Somewhere around 1%

Ubuntu's market share is probably somewhere in the vincinity of 1%, considering data such as this:

http://www.netmarketshare.com/report.aspx?qprid=9&qpcustom=Linux&qpcustomb=0

combined with this:

http://stats.wikimedia.org/wikimedia/squids/SquidReportOperatingSystems.htm

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Stop

One doesn't need to be a fanboi to think you're wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Somewhere around 1%

0.69% if I'm reading that 2nd link correctly?

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Bronze badge

Re: I give ubuntu another 2 or 3 years before they'll vanish completely.

Given that Ubuntu probably has the highest visibility in the high street of all the Linux distributions, that is basically saying Linux (not Android) in the consumer market is dead, unless there is some other distribution that is about to get the consumer spotlight shone it...

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Linux

Dell

I just order a Dell laptop with Ubuntu pre-installed. So you didn't look very hard

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dell @tony2heads

Was that on the UK site? At a superficial glance just now, they don't list any option other than Windows in the cusomise bits. Admittedly, I haven't looked hard but then I was just curious. Doing a search for Ubuntu on their site just turns up printers. Can you post the URL for the model you got?

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Holmes

We just don’t see a world where nobody uses the keyboard anymore

That'll be the difference between the creators and the consumers, then...

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Anonymous Coward

Poll

Does anyone even care about Ubuntu any more?

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Re: Poll

Yes. Next question..?

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Re: Poll

It is a niche product. It is a fine distro of a fine OS but it will probably never exceed a 10% or so penetration. There's a reason that the VC community isn't interested in desktop Linux and without massive financial influx it will not do much more than it already has.

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Re: Poll

No.

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naw

Re: Poll

Once you realise that the *traditional* PC market is shrinking rapidly and massively (as MS, Google, Apple, IBM, Ubuntu already have) then you will see that there is a huge opportunity for Ubuntu / Android and any other non-MS Operating System.

Basically, for most users, what you could _only_ do with a PC (ie Windows or Mac) a couple of years ago, you can now do with a phone / tablet / TV / console. Most users only surf the web (YouTube / eBay / Facebook / porn) and send emails and _don't_ need a traditional PC. For most users, the host OS is irrelevant - the WWW is their platform and with increasing consolidation of standards based web browers (onto webkit Chrome / Safari) the web platform is becoming easier to program for - heck - even MS IE is starting to plat nice.

It won't be long (may already have happened with some isolated products) where your phone will become everything. Dock your phone to a larger screen and keyboard and it becomes a PC. Dock it to your TV and you get a Smart TV. Many Phones / Tablets have better resolution than most TVs so can sure as heck drive a big display. With increasing use of Web-based Apps, the compute power is performed on a server somewhere else, all your phone has to do is render the screen, so any short-comings your phones CPU may have become increasingly irrelevant.

No - Moving Ubuntu from a Linux on a PC distribution to a Linux on Phone/TV/Tablet makes perfect sense simply because the PC form factor will soon be irrelevant and an increasingly niche market. The future of user-based computing is mobile and TV integration. Goodbye PC.

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WTF?

Keyboards....

My tablet(s) use them.

They don't define a PC though.

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Linux

Good Luck To Them

I like the fact that Ubuntu are doing this. The concept is good - that one OS covers every device. However, what would sell it for me is if they can create the ability for people to put the OS on older kit (eg. my Acer Icona a500 which is currently a picture frame and never really excelled at anything) and keep it relevant. To have an all Ubuntu experience instead of android , IOS BB and windows in some combination, would be quite a concept and if it were to succeed, we could actually see the mythical "year of the Linux".

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Re: Good Luck To Them

One OS to cover every device is one thing but I hope they don't go down the same route as Windows 8, and produce an environment that only really works on a tablet and is frustrating to use on a desktop.

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Re: Good Luck To Them

The desktop environment already exists today, it's Unity. The phone and tablet versions are just modified versions of Unity with different emphasis on different elements of the interface and the addition of touch gestures to replace the keyboard shortcuts of the desktop versions. In addition, the SDK they are producing introduces the concept of "grid unit" which allows the developer to size interface elements in a way that is device independant so that you end up with larger icons and touch targets on a touch-based device while having small icons and target like you're used to, in the desktop interface.

One very interesting aspect, that is not mentioned in the article, is that the developer SDK offers two ways to build apps: either HTML5 + JavaScript or native apps using QML. And as Shuttleworth says, the QML elements in the Ubuntu SDK are compatible with what BlackBerry are doing with BB10. You can't build an app that will work out of the box on both Ubuntu Phone and BB yet but the Ubuntu SDK has been demonstrated to work on BB10 and you can see how the two could converge if they keep talking to each other.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good Luck To Them

How did that post from Bruno just earn a downvote? Methinks RICHTO is still skulking about.

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Re: Good Luck To Them

> Methinks RICHTO is still skulking about.

Of course he is, it's just that it took him a few months to discover the 'Post anonymously?' checkbox.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good Luck To Them @Richard Plinston

Check the sentence before the one you quoted. Check what you said again. See the incongruity? Or will it take you a few months? Oh - don't dig yourself deeper by accusing me of being Richto - taking that lame route wouldn't be the great comeback people seem to think it is. Just a bit of charitable advice.

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Re: Good Luck To Them @Richard Plinston

> Oh - don't dig yourself deeper by accusing me of being Richto

You are merely one of the lame ACs. RICHTO has become one of the ACs. Whether he is you is irrelevant, you are hiding for the same reason.

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Anonymous Coward

Interesting

I use Mint, precisely because of Unity. Previous to it I was using Ubuntu and before that what some purists may call 'proper' Linux - Debian. Nevertheless, I do think that Unity is suited to a touch / phone enivronment, and it does open up some interesting possibilities. I am fairly sure that if Ubuntu phone is sucessful, it may just open the door for demand for Ubuntu desktops to increase. Which in turn will hopefully lead to more application development for Linux as a whole, thus benefitting even us Ubuntu deserters.

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Re: Interesting

I've considered Mint, but after that recent article on distros I think I'll go with openSUSE.

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Silver badge

Re: Interesting

Echoes my own experience almost exactly. Except I skipped the Ubuntu phase to go directly to Mint.

How long desktops continue to be big sellers is moot: but for content generators, rather than content consumers, they are what you need and I'd say Mint is the best of the average bunch.

Debian for servers, MInt for the desktop.

I don't have any smart phones or tablets. So I cant say what will run there bets. Neither do I particularly care.

With the cost of actually leaving the house rising 10% a year, I do9nt need any mobile computing power.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Interesting

>I've considered Mint, but after that recent article on distros I think I'll go with openSUSE.

I've always liked SUSE myself. I've been troubled and recommending against it since the Novell implosion and Microsoft (CPTN/Attachmate) acquisitions but sufficient time seems to have passed now for OpenSUSE to look stable. If (when?) Microsoft Inc. does decide to go all SCO on its way out, it'll almost certainly attempt to take Linux as whole down with it, not just SUSE, so I can't see any good reason to avoid SUSE specifically any longer.

Have fun!

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naw

Re: Interesting

If Ubuntu Phone is good it will be successful - most users don't care if their phone is Android / iOS / whatever else. All manufacturers need to do is provide a good phone with Ubuntu on it. I think manufacturers will embrace Ubuntu simply because firstly, it is a differentiator from all the me-too Android Phones and secondly it offers a possibility (not that Android/iOS doesn't) to sell peripheral devices to add functionality to their phone (thinking larger screen, keyboard, printer)

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Bronze badge

Que? PC sales hurting... ?

As the desk bound desktop desirably meets quiet waters in its evolutionary development (some might sigh a "Relief" merely at the thought?) and a new 4th (?) level of evolution takes place only dull-witted chip devs and hardware devs will feel and be threatened no?

1 - PC desktop (excludes earlier roomsize variants :-) )

2 - laptop

3 - mobile computers (ah RIP Newton? Where has Pocket PC gone? Satnav dev? Bring back support for HP iPaq? and WinCE 2003?)

3 - netbook (RIP?)

4 - tablet (ooo - Q: how many kinds? A: One - an iPod silly Q: how many lower cost variants? A: tsk! One silly - an iPad (that is an 'a' where once were an 'o' ok?))

[speculative 5 - multimedia, easily-peasily manufactured prodded out and supports view content only limitations?]

Nope - the IT world moves and moves fast - even a delay is merely a shunting of observable redundancies into earlier than originally planned redundancy? The world of IT at hardware, firmware and software levels are/is as exciting (if not moreso) than ever

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Ubuntu is dead

For me anyway. I am not a hardcore fanboi (using Windows and Linux, but preferring the latter, because I have to do stuff on remote Linux machines all the time). They went off on a tangent with Unity and went totally overboard with the Amazon search debacle. At the moment, if somebody asks me to install Linux for them, I use Mint, but I'm actually strongly drawn back to CentOS. Mint depends on upstream support from Ubuntu, which I consider unreliable (not to mention the fact that the glut libraries shipping with it don't work with OpenGL applications on the old RH servers my computational chemist friends need to connect to).

Shuttleworth thinks that he can get away with anything, because of market share and inertia. This works for MS and Google, but they offer something you can't replace without quite a learning curve (MS) or that's just the best in its field (Google). Ubuntu is just another distro, and after week of using a different one, people will have forgotten it ever existed.

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Linux

Re: Ubuntu is dead

I don't think Ubuntu is dead. From where I sit it looks like one of the healthier distros.

They went off on a tangent with Unity and went totally overboard with the Amazon search debacle.

While there are many good reasons to prefer one distro over another, neither of those really counts as reasons not to choose Ubuntu, as it's easy to change the desktop environment (or to start with one of the Ubuntu versions that uses a different desktop by default) and it's easy to disable the Amazon searches (which you only get with Unity, anyway).

At the moment, if somebody asks me to install Linux for them, I use Mint ...

Mint, itself, is Ununtu-based, so you can't really say that you're choosing it instead of Ubuntu -- it's more that you're choosing Ubuntu in the form of its Mint derivative (unless you meant LMDE, that is).

I've actually recently installed Ubuntu 12.04 (with Unity) on my netbook (replacing 10.04 and Gnome 2) and I don't find it as annoying as I'd expected. I still wouldn't want to use Unity on a big monitor, though so when the time comes I'll probably upgrade my desktop 10.04 setup to either 12.04 with a different desktop or to Debian 7 when it's released.

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Re: Ubuntu is dead

It's a question of trust, and Canonical has lost mine. The Amazon search makes me wonder what they will spring on me next, with or without telling me. You're asked "update Y/n" when you switch your computer on, and suddenly the highest bidder owns your data (not yet, but after the Amazon thing, I think they are capable of it). With Google at least I know that this is the case, and I can avoid it.

I did discuss the Mint/Ubuntu connection. It makes me queasy. It's not a showstopper, but I fear it may creep in the same direction, or be abandoned by Canonical. I want to use a machine for 5 years without installing a new OS (another argument against Mint: no upgrade without reinstall).

I know I can change the desktop and switch things on and off. I can create my own distro it if needs to be, but I have better things to do. But I am supporting maybe 20 (and counting) not overly computer literate Linux users with different requirements and preferences, and this is not my main job. I am trying to point them in the right direction and hope they largely leave me alone from then on.

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Bronze badge

Re: Ubuntu is dead

There is, of course, Mint/Debian or plain Debian. For ease of maintenance it's hard to beat, it's extremely stable (even Testing), and has more packages and applications than any reasonable person ever could hope to use. I've even weaned myself from ye Gnome 2 interface and no longer think Gnome 3 a total abomination.

As for the inevitable whining about difficult installation and the need to get down and dirty with a command-line window, I call BS. Debian is tolerably close to Windows in ease of installation on a wide range of hardware, and is not much different in detail from Ubuntu. The main challenge seems to be for those who want to do a netinstall using WiFi on hardware requiring proprietary firmware.

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Gold badge
WTF?

Seriously?

....claimed on its website something like one in five PCs run Ubuntu or ship with Ubuntu.

Who did they get to produce those figures? Jimmy Hill?

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Meh

Earth to IT...

There are such things as non-IT content creators. We need PCs too. Having been burned by Ubuntu, I won't be looking at Linux again, except maybe in 5 to 8 years time if a Linux OS has developed a real track record as a serious desktop OS for people who aren't full-time OS hobbyists.

Meanwhile, if I have time to indulge my curiosity about Unix, I'll play around under the hood of my Mac. That knowledge, at least, I'll be able to put to some use.

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Anonymous Coward

WHAT UBUNTU PC BUSINESS ? ! !

http://www.pcgamesn.com/tf2/how-install-ubuntu-alongside-windows-grab-your-team-fortress-2-penguin-and-get-hell-out-there

Shuttleworth is and has been as full of shit as a Christmas goose. What PC biz?

If you want to see why there's no Ubuntu 'pc biz' just check out the article shown above to find out how much trouble Ubuntu is for a SEASONED WINDOWS GAMER; he is not a new comer to PC's and had been told HOW EASY TO INSTALL UBUNTU IS!

Check it and his companion article* out for some real entertainment

* Ithink his companion article was about the mistakes he made in trying linux; 1. he used ubuntu, 2. he used the latest version of ubuntu, 3. he used ubuntu at all when what he really wanted linux......

I wont give the ending away, read it for yourselves.

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Anonymous Coward

calculating they’ll do little harm to his Linux distro’s PC business.

...because he's already F'd it in the A.

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Coat

I'm disappointed...

...I was hoping for a story involving John Shuttleworth.

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Boffin

UBUNTU is NOT LINUX; no carbon-based life-form thinks it is.

"I give ubuntu another 2 or 3 years before they'll vanish completely."--I did that last year. Take a number and get in line.

"loving the fanboi down votes :)"--read this comment's title.

" Having been burned by Ubuntu, I won't be looking at Linux again, except maybe in 5 to 8 years time..."--so how do you feel these days about your Lord High Everything Else, Ubuntu cretins? And DO factor into your reply Shuttleworth's latest LINUX-KILLER (READ THE QUOTE AGAIN, BRAIN-DEADs), version 13.04.

"At the moment, if somebody asks me to install Linux for them, I use Mint..."--@Rambler88: UBUNTU IS NOT LINUX!

-

-

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...and on and on and...

...this is too easy; there's no sport involved.

All you folks considering REAL LINUX, read all these comments, and more: start with the articles in PC GAMER for a real eye-opener regarding a real pro's real-life experience with Ubuntu. If anyone ever suggests you jump into LINUX by using ubuntu, tell them you said LINUX, and walk away. Then get Mint LINUX.

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