Ubuntu: More enterprise-y than we think

Ubuntu is generally thought of as the preferred community distribution of Linux. But the numbers say otherwise....

Matt Hartley writes in Mad Penguin that Ubuntu has essentially won the Linux war. While Matt seems to be talking about desktop use (he stresses ease of use and only compares Ubuntu to OpenSUSE and Fedora), there's actually more truth to what he writes than he may know.

He reasons:

There are plenty of areas where Ubuntu has fallen flat on its face, but for mainstream users, it has completely eclipsed the competition. And this remains a sore spot for many Fedora and SuSe users. My words to them: get over it, it's a different market.

RPM Based Distros Are Simply Not Popular With Newer Users. One final thing that I would like to point out is that with the exception of PCLinuxOS (based on Mandriva), RPM based distros are solid, but unfortunately, they lack hand-holding for beginners. Okay, now why do you care? Because the growth of Linux as a collective whole is simply not happening with your distributions any longer. Yes, you will always have your existing collective. But at the same time, recruiting new users will become increasingly more difficult with each passing year.

What Matt might find interesting is some data that Alfresco will be releasing next week. I won't reveal that data quite yet, but let's just say that 22% of Alfresco's Linux usage is...Ubuntu. Red Hat makes up a much bigger chunk, but I found it fascinating that 22% of our Linux users prefer Ubuntu. This would be easier to dismiss if our customers didn't heavily skew to the Global 2000, but they do. So it's not (easily dismissed, that is).

I'm keynoting the Ubuntu Live! conference in a little over a week, and will be talking about Ubuntu's steady progress into the enterprise. Frankly, I didn't expect it to happen this quickly. It has everything to do with community, and therefore Ubuntu must do everything in its power to keep that community feel/core sacrosanct. Like making it super-easy to use so that Linux is available to more than developers.

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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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