Ubuntu, its time has come

As Microsoft adds more features in order to justify its existence/maintenance renewals, watch for Ubuntu to fill the gap with an easy-to-use, consumer-facing product line.

The VAR Guy has a great post explicating why Ubuntu's time has come. I was going to write "finally come" but Ubuntu has never demonstrated anything less than continued momentum. It has always grown, expanded, and become more interesting to enterprises.

But now, as Monsieur Le VAR suggests, the stars may have aligned to take Ubuntu into the enterprise big time. How will it find room in an already crowded Linux market?

Both [Red Hat and Novell] bet heavily on the server. Red Hat completely ignored the desktop for years. Novell had some success on corporate desktops, but continues to ignore consumer systems.

As Microsoft stumble on the desktop, Canonical was the rare Linux company that actually stepped forward and pursued a consumer-centric design that even The VAR Guy's young kids quickly mastered in a few hours.

Simplicity, thy name is Ubuntu, as my grandma will tell you . But this isn't necessarily about the desktop.

It's about the ease-of-use and consumer appeal that Ubuntu has learned from focusing on the consumer desktop. These are the exact same traits that made Microsoft successful off the desktop. Ubuntu has the right credentials to make inroads off the desktop precisely because of its history there.

The VAR Guy walks through a few other reasons, all of which are valid and which Ubuntu is even further along with than has been reported in the media. Intel has a team working on Ubuntu to ensure its chips work flawlessly with Ubuntu. Sun, IBM, and others are also actively developing for Ubuntu.

Microsoft's stuttering desktop performance helps, but let's give full credit to Ubuntu. Canonical has built an excellent, easy-to-use distribution of Linux. It has done a fantastic job with branding. It is closing big deals with hardware vendors and increasingly with enterprises looking to take advantage of its low cost and high functionality.

But all this stems from a focus on wringing simplicity out of complexity. Just as Microsoft used to do. As Microsoft adds more features in order to justify its existence/maintenance renewals, watch for Ubuntu to fill the gap.

It all starts with grandma. It ends with world domination. Or is that liberation?

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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