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back to article Ubuntu's Shuttleworth: Microsoft no longer dominates PC biz

Ubuntu headman and part-time astronaut Mark Shuttleworth has declared victory over Microsoft's domination of the PC industry, noting that the competitive landscape today is far different from what it was when Ubuntu launched in 2004. During the project's early days, Shuttleworth filed Bug #1 in the Ubuntu bugbase with a …

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Devil

Expect orbital chair...

...we have liftoff!

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Holmes

If I could, I would never use Windows again

That time may be very soon. I'm just waiting on 2 key applications to make the port and then I'm there on my home PC.

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Re: If I could, I would never use Windows again

Indeed. I run two apps on windows in a VM. simply because there are no realistic alternatives that work sufficiently well to replace them.

In my personal computing world the three outstanding shortcomings were 3D graphics, a good vector 2D graphics package and a really good page layout program, like e.g. Quark. Scribus looks to be good enough for most typsetting applications, but Inkscape is dire and buggy, so I stick to Corel Draw and there is no 3D equivalent to Rhino.

I think that the application space has matured to the point where these sorts of programs stopped really evolving years ago. What they should do, is more or less defined. They could be recreated - and they are being recreated - for Linux with only a few man years of effort.

OK the Gimp ain't photoshop. It aint even Corel Photopaint, but unless you are using it professionally day in day out, it isn't unusable or too clunky.

And in any case the desktop itself is simply not something most people who use a computing device actually need, anyway. Workstations are to create content: most people consume it. And a slab is good enough.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If I could, I would never use Windows again

If you were comparing LibreOffice to Microsoft office then I would be with you all of the way.

But don't compare GIMP to Photoshop. GIMP is a good replacement for mspaint, not photoshop!

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a good vector 2D graphics package

so you'd tried Xara Xtreme?

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Good Idea

Dedicating so many resources to Windows bashing has not been good for OSS, it puts off managers and decision makers. That kind of thing is never good for anyone really. It's about time the entire movement matured a bit and started to sell themselves and what they have to offer vs pointing out someone else's failures. This is positive.

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Linux

Re: Good Idea

Dedicating so many resources to Windows bashing...

Not done quite professionally, I agree. Well, noway to afford expensive PR companies to do the bashing a la "droid rage" or "don't get scrooggled" , nor to possess the audacity to make up and twist things as in the "get the facts" saga. Finally, not being able to afford numerous NDAs, tweaking EULAs and more.

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Re: Good Idea

"Dedicating so many resources to Windows bashing has not been good for OSS,"......". It's about time the entire movement matured a bit "

Point of order - that behaviour is 99.999% in some of the Linux camps only. There are far more OSS projects that aren't Linux related that have never resorted to windows bashing.

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Re: Good Idea

OK, that's fair enough. I stand corrected :)

I tried GIMP for a while and it couldn't deliver what I needed but I have to give the community credit for trying to help make it happen. Same with the Drupal community. Our web guy wanted to do our new public facing site in Drupal and I hung out there for a while and asked lots of questions and found other business owners who were pleased and supportive, enough to convince me to go that route: I've been pleased.

I should have been more discriminating in my original comment.

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Re: Good Idea

Don, :-) Thank-you!

Mind you, your first sentence was correct: "Dedicating so many resources to Windows bashing has not been good for OSS,"

Yes, the more-rabid Linux MS bashers have tarred other OSS projects as well.

And I agree about support - as long as the topic isn't "which linux distro is best and why", the OSS community is generally quite helpful (I recently had to diagnose a windows fault, and did lots of googling - I found loads of answers, but they all fell to basically "Reinstall package. If that doesn't work, reinstall OS" *bleugh*!)

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More traction...

If Linux (in whatever form) gets an application that ISN'T available for Windows. That will be the attention getter.

This is being done to some extent with Android and its apps.

FTW!

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Re: More traction...

It's not just the applications, it is also all of the appropriate drivers, hardware compatibility, support that is required. It is the entire eco system that has to be be ready, available and capable of providing exactlly what the business wants.

MS Windows is a lot more than just a desktop operating system. It is also the servers, the applications, the usability, the familiarity, the print spoolers etc etc etc .

I don't believe that Linux will ever replace windows but I do believe that a spinoff like Android or similar might.

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Re: More traction...

You don't know anything about, nor did you ever use GNU Linux. Or is it the honesty we're talking about?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: More traction...

Oh yes, Microsoft is the server, the print spooler, the ecosystem, etc etc etc.

Because you can't print from Linux. You can only print from Microsoft, beacuse it has a "print spooler". Nor can you run a web server on Linux. Half the Internet runs on Linux, but you didn't get the memo. And there are no applications for Linux, only for Microsoft.

Android, oh yeah, that would be something totally, radically different. Because Android isn't essentially a Linux-based distro. Android is made by Google and Google is important.

There are only two possible excuses for posting such ignorant drivel with such a high level of confidence:

1. You work at Microsoft - possibly in Marketing or PR

2. You earned an MBA degree - which also implies [1]

Take your pick.

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Re: More traction...

Sorry to disagree but "more than half the internet runs on Linux" is just plan wrong. It's actually "over 90%".

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: More traction...

I was following what you were writing until right at the end. A chrome book is not a windows machine. Second I would never trust my company's private/financial data with Google Docs.

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Holmes

Re: More traction...

>Sorry to disagree but "more than half the internet runs on Linux" is just plan wrong. It's actually "over 90%".

Last time I checked 90% is still more than half...

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Wikipedia shows a completely different story.

Strange, Wikipedia shows a 1.21% for Linux, 6.99% for Apple and pretty much all the rest is MS.

OK, Wikipedia is not an almight being and probably doesn't have exact details but I am sure that it won't be far from the truth.

So what/where are the figures to back up Shuttleworths remarks ?

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Re: Wikipedia shows a completely different story.

....on the desktop, which means you missed the point of the article and Shuttleworth's comments. The TL;DR version is that no-one cares about the desktop any more.

Well, I say no-one. I do, but then I actually *make* stuff, and we long since became the minority of machine users.

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Re: Wikipedia shows a completely different story.

I am quite sure that a lot of business wouldn't agree with that remark.

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Re: Wikipedia shows a completely different story.

I am quite certain that a lot of businesses would actually disagree with that remark... they might use Windows on the desktop and quite possible Windows server with exchange (only because there is no really good replacement for Outlook), but I am willing to bet that a lot more organisations are running web servers that are based on Linux and Apache or one of the derivative web servers out there.

All the backbone of the internet runs on Linux or a *nix derivative as the base OS.

And it's cool-aid drinking winboys like yourself that keeps believing the FUD being spouted by the droneheads at MS.

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A correct position

I met Mr. Shuttleworth once at a Linux conference, a most imposing person he is. He challenges the audience with his every move. It is what one expects in a good racecar driver, a good aggressive entrepreneur is required to be like this if he is going to succeed.

I do not use Ubuntu directly because I use aptosid and I like the control I have with it... but I do understand what he is hoping to achieve with the distribution and the correctness of his comments.

If one thing about Microsoft is to be understood it is that they were aggressive in the marketing of their product and the dictatorial aspects of the heads of that company had much to do with the market dominance they once lorded over.

Linux is a superior Kernel and operating system on technical grounds and given an equally challenging leadership a company can win with it.

Linus is a great manager, like a great general... and leans in a somewhat different direction than Mark... That being said both of these Management Gurus are the type of people needed to lead with Linux.

Linux may not displace Windows on the desktop because there are too many Distros. However that is why it will succeed in the plethora of new devices in general... that is the future. However if you stick with a given Distro of your choice and learn it well... Linux of your choice makes a great desktop system and can utterly make Windows pale into the sunset technically, as it deserves. This is an evolutionary process at work here.

Survival of the fittest. Many technically better products fail because its leaders and proponents are not up to it... Linux is blessed with aggressive leadership, that is what it takes to win, it is already technically better.

Watch it shine.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes and no.

Yes other OS are undermining Windows, but Ubuntu is selling out; other Linux dist are better than Ubuntu now, and it the FreeBSD people would stopped being sissies and aggressively supported new hardware, they could crush Linux!

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Re: Yes and no.

FreeBSD people are just not so driven by fashion, and that's by choice. As for whether any Linux distro is better than Ubuntu now is not important. Although it varies over the months, for most desktop use one distro is as good as another. Pick one, and if you don't like it, try another. I really think that this supposed distro problem is blown out of proportion. In fact I have a feeling that the distro loyalty meme is going to get old soon - and that includes in the Windows world. Good reasons for using Windows aren't going to go away soon, but I think that good reasons for using Linux (any distro) are going to become clearer as people realize that it's got nothing to do with loyalty to anything.

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Re: Yes and no.

FreeBSD people are just not so driven by fashion

Who knows what and who they're driven by. Apple, may I suggest?

Good reasons for using Windows aren't going to go away soon ..

Are you not approving the amended EULA with the decline option now being removed?

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FAIL

Re: Yes and no.

"FreeBSD people are just not so driven by fashion

Who knows what and who they're driven by. Apple, may I suggest?"

Idiot.

FreeBSD has been going long before Apple took an interest in its codebase.

When some company starts using Linux, Linux people see it as a success. When Apple started using FreeBSD, many Linux people think it's a failure. Why is that? Fanboi jealousy?

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Re: Yes and no.

Fanboi jealousy?

Jealousy of would-be-Linux, getting as much attention and support?

When Apple started using FreeBSD..

Was it before Apple declared to have invented the rounded corners and have become a derision of the civilized world?

"Tell me who your friends are and i will tell you who you are." If I were them, I'd be running away from this much more, rather from the ugly GPL-ed gcc 4.5 . Yeah BTW, did iTunes become finally available for FreeBSD by Apple?

Idiot.

Nice to meet you, then.

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Re: Yes and no.

When some company starts using Linux, Linux people see it as a success. When Apple started using FreeBSD, many Linux people think it's a failure. Why is that?

Maybe it's because of the BSD license. Apple freely takes from FreeBSD, but rather selectively gives back. I think, if the FreeBSD people are happy with that arrangement, then that's their business. Vive la différence and all that junk.

The GPL encourages companies to contribute to a community. Sometimes they have to be dragged in kicking and screaming, especially embedded device vendors, but mostly it has led to the greatest cooperative projects we've ever seen in software.

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Re: Yes and no.

"Jealousy of would-be-Linux, getting as much attention and support?"

I suppose people are shocked that Linux has got most of the attention - but to say that FreeBSD is a Linux-wannabee is clearly trolling.

"Was it before Apple declared to have invented the rounded corners and have become a derision of the civilized world?"

Haven't a clue. What's the relevance?

"Yeah BTW, did iTunes become finally available for FreeBSD by Apple?

Idiot.

Nice to meet you, then.

I haven't a clue whether itunes is available for FreeBSD - probably not, and by your comment, I presume Linux does? Please don't go down the "which OS has the most software" route, or you'll lose to Microsoft Windows.

And saying that FreeBSD people are driven by Apple is an idiotic thing to say, but still, nice to meet you too!

(And no, I'm not the one who downvoted you!)

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Re: Yes and no.

"Maybe it's because of the BSD license. Apple freely takes from FreeBSD, but rather selectively gives back. I think, if the FreeBSD people are happy with that arrangement, then that's their business. Vive la différence and all that junk.

The GPL encourages companies to contribute to a community. Sometimes they have to be dragged in kicking and screaming, especially embedded device vendors, but mostly it has led to the greatest cooperative projects we've ever seen in software."

The primary difference is that BSD folks want the best software to be used in all circumstances. If Apple or anyone else is running BSD software, that is considered a win. Feeding back patches and code is a bonus.

And companies give back far more than you seem to think. I seem to recall Yahoo gave us accept_filters (http/data) - Apple submitted many patches. We also have ZFS from Apple. There are many more examples.

The thing is, if a company makes changes, it works out better for them if they can get those changes submitted back into the FreeBSD core - that way, the code is kept current with successive versions of the Operating system. If they kept their patches private, they'd have to update them each time there was a new version of the OS.

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FAIL

Hmmm...closing a bug they didn't fix...and shouldn't have closed either...

It seems to me that the main "fix" for the bug was the emergence of Android, which has nothing at all to do with Ubuntu, so I don't think we can heap any plaudits on Canonical at all for fixing this bug. The very first sentence mentions "the new desktop PC marketplace", which I would argue actually excludes most Android devices anyway (unless you want to get into hybrid tablet arguments I suppose) and hence Shuttleworth's on very thin ground indeed closing this bug.

It could even be argued that from the non-mobile point of view, we're in almost a bad a state as we were a decade or so ago. How many stores have you gone into (or even major online stores) with non-mobile machines running any Linux distro at all? I'd say it'd still be pretty close to zero after all these years. MS's grip on desktop and laptop OEMs is as strong as ever.

It's so bad, that I've switched away from the major OEMs and am buying from whitebox shifters now, who will let me customise both the hardware *and* the OS (in my case, no OS shipped at all). It still irks me that Dell are happy to sell their PowerEdge servers with no OS and yet, as far as I can tell, they've never sold a single laptop or desktop without an OS.

Yes, there's been the odd Dell device with Linux on it, but they don't put them in the main desktop/laptop sections and they refuse to ship them identically spec'ed to Windows equivalents in case we work out what the Windows licence actually costs them. In fact, it often works out cheaper to buy the Windows version (which gets discount offers that the Linux ones never seem to), wipe it and put Linux on it!

Sadly, it doesn't matter how easy it is install Linux (and it's close to trivial now) because the vast majority of people stick with the OS that the device was shipped with and only ever change their OS when they buy a new machine. Until the OEM strangehold is broken and Linux desktops/laptops can be bought right alongside Windows ones (not hidden somewhere else on their Web site), Windows will have a monopoly on desktops/laptops and in my mind, bug #1 should still be open.

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Re: Hmmm...closing a bug they didn't fix...and shouldn't have closed either...

It's probably very interesting, but hey... frankly your comment is way too long.

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Holmes

Wow - so true

Writing this on a Cubox 2inch 'PC' (Xubuntu) - watching Netflix on my Transformer Prime (Android JB) - it's sitting behind my Nexus 4 (Android JB) phone. My laptop (Ubuntu 'Prancing Pretzel') is asleep on the chair - it used to dual-boot WinXP BUT that stopped working a while ago (prolly my error) - and sorry for MS ... I just don't miss it.

This time Shuttleworth is bang on the money - MS is just not as relevant as it once was ... and worse of all for MS - its relevance is ebbing.

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Re: Wow - so true

Let me expand on that slightly for you:

"Watching Netflix (delivered by FreeBSD)

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Holmes

Big donor financial model is nice--if YOU are the big donor

Microsoft has a business model of producing inferior products, evading ALL liability for the problems, and selling AWAY from the real customers, upstream, and just forcing us to use their garbage. It sucks, but it works.

Apple has a business model of attacking freedom and exploiting fashionable fanbois (and fangoils?). I think that's even even worse than Microsoft, but as a financial model, it seems to work even better.

Linux? Good software, gawdawful financial models. For some years I was a heavy user of Ubuntu and I still have it running in a few virtual machines (and native in older versions), but I no longer it poses any real threat in the real world. Shuttleworth has made too many bad decisions. That's what happens with the big donor financial model. It only works until the donor runs out of money and it only succeeds if the donor doesn't make too many bad choices. Ubuntu has not succeeded, and in my opinion has been going the wrong way for a couple of years now. I can no longer recommend it to any new user of the normal sort. (Have you ever met a normal sysop?)

As a small donor, I want something that will let me have something of the feeling of the big donor. If I was donating a million bucks, I would get to ask "How do I know this project will succeed?" Something like Kickstarter, but without the "Let the donor beware" tag. (My best 'theory' is called "reverse auction charity shares", but I'd consider other possibilities...)

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Happy

Re: Big donor financial model is nice--if YOU are the big donor

You never know any project is going to succeed. Success is an historical waypoint that moves in relation to your viewpoint and can never be determined until you've passed it.

I do not think donations are a viable business model for any mainstream IT product though. A donation almost by definition implies an emotional component that is intractable and directly adversarial to a logic driven business like IT. Software users are fickle and whether they like to admit it or not, have a touch of fashionista in them. Hence the tendency by large vendors to try and lock you in: force you into a position where emotions and trends are irrelevant.

What you want are investors. People who will put their money where your mouth is and who expect some sort of tangible return on that investment. People who have enough faith in you to let you make decisions and have limited ability to alter your course.

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The Yardstick By Which Linux Is Measured

Have long stated Microsoft was the yardstick by which Linux measured itself. While Apple and FreeBSD were more concerned about making a better OS, better tools, than just making a better Windows.

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Re: The Yardstick By Which Linux Is Measured

As Theo once said: "bsd is for people who love unix; linux is for people who hate microsoft"

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Re: The Yardstick By Which Linux Is Measured

While Apple and FreeBSD were more concerned about making a better OS...

I would agree about FreeBSD, although sometimes they get too political and get more concerned about other things than quality and performance, like in the case of gcc with GPL v3. Can't agree less about Apple that have been "waging thermonuclear war" for some time now about making more money on ludicrous patents and dirty campaigns, not on better OS.

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Re: The Yardstick By Which Linux Is Measured

"I would agree about FreeBSD, although sometimes they get too political and get more concerned about other things than quality and performance, like in the case of gcc with GPL v3. Can't agree less about Apple that have been "waging thermonuclear war" for some time now about making more money on ludicrous patents and dirty campaigns, not on better OS.

Hmmmmm. The GPL v3 and gcc is the only case I can think of - but note that clang isn't going to replace it until it has the same or better quality and performance.

Generally, the politics seem much stronger on the GPL side - whilst we are on the subject of Apple, don't forget that ZFS can't be included in the Linux core, because:

"Porting ZFS to Linux is complicated by the fact that the GNU General Public License, which governs the Linux kernel, is incompatible with the Sun CDDL under which ZFS is distributed. According to some developers, a single derived work of both projects cannot be legally distributed, as it is not possible to simultaneously meet both licenses' requirements. To include ZFS in the Linux kernel, it would have to be cleanly reimplemented, and patents may hamper this."

These sort of restrictions bite the GPL far more than the BSDs

p.s. none of your downvotes are from me!

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Paris Hilton

What if...

... Ballmerboy is indeed working for Ubuntu? Windows 8 epic fail would then make perfect sense.

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Surprised...

An Ubuntu article and NO comments trashing Unity yet. Well, just for the fun of it, and to be FIRST.

I think Unity is perfectly fine desktop. I use it at home and at work. Does everything I need.

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Re: Surprised...

I thought Unity sucked until I experienced a work mate's Windows 8 laptop and realised its not that bad after all. I also think Gnome 3 sucks due to the things removed from Gnome 2 (basically user choice as Gnome seem to be suffering from the same "users are idiots, dumb it down" fascism that both MS and Apple have) but so far have not had the time and inclination to properly try out XFCE or KDE, etc, to see which I think is better.

But...at least I have a choice!

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Re: Surprised...

>An Ubuntu article and NO comments trashing Unity yet.

Pointless really, the migrating Ubuntu desktop userbase speaks for itself.....Ubuntu users on the whole aren't that vocal - most just sigh and move on - for most it was a free lunch not a lifestyle choice..

To me his comments confirm Canonical are betting on hardware and users that don't exist - as with Vista it's another huge lost opportunity while MS tread water for a year painting Win 8 blue.

Competing with Android? Persuading manufacturers to ship Ubuntu TVs? a phone OS? That's a Lost plot if ever I saw one...

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Just in terms of mentioning Windows 8 and 'fail'

... there are already a lot more installed Windows 8 machines out there than OSX.

All relative isn't it.

The Windows PC won't be dead until businesses decide not to use them anymore, and that's not happening any time soon.

See also games.

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FAIL

A typical Linux response to a bug report - pretend it is something else.

Original bug report:

"Microsoft has a majority market share in the new desktop PC marketplace."

Comment:

"Personal computing today is a broader proposition than it was in 2004: phones, tablets, wearables and other devices"

Refer back to original bug. Microsoft still dominates the desktop PC marketplace. Linux < 1%. Maybe next year will be the year of the Linux desktop. Though I doubt it will.

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Re: A typical Linux response to a bug report - pretend it is something else.

I thought "it's not a bug, it's a feature" was Microsoft's traditional excuse?

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Facepalm

Mark really aggggg

To be frank Ubuntu has made Linux more mainstream (calm down Android fanboi's I am talking in a different context)

If Mark wants Ubuntu to take off, then more Unity crap isn't the way to do it.

Do the following few things

1) Bring out a Office Package for Linux (no not Libre Office) that is on par with at least Office 2011 for Mac

2) Bring out a proper mail application (no Thunderbird doesn't count) even better if it can connect to EWS

3) Easier Active Directory integration

Unity, Amazon Searches are not the way to do it!

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Anonymous Coward

You just keep on feeding Shuttleworth's ego, don't you?

"...Mark Shuttleworth has declared victory over Microsoft's domination of the PC industry...".

Who in the HELL is Mark Shuttleworth to declare victory over Microsoft's dominance? This egomaniacal monomaniac will do and say ANYTHING to stay in the press; and you press-types must be really starved for anything of importance to write about because you just keep lapping it up.

Shuttleworth has no community, developers, softare maintainers, new users (and old ones stampeding away), no fulfilled promises, no phone, no tv, no new operating system, no NOTHING.

When are you going to learn to treat Shuttleworth precisely as Wall Street did when he "made the rounds" a couple of months back trying to con the Big Money Guys?: they summarily ignored and dismissed him--probably as a crank, or git, as you folks say.

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