Ubuntu's rising revenue makes a small dent in Microsoft

Ubuntu is doing a much more robust business now, which has proved to be bad news for Microsoft.

Microsoft may not be exactly suffering right now, but as The VAR Guy notes, Ubuntu's success in the netbook market is having a material, albeit still small, effect on Microsoft's pricing power and profits.

Sorry about that, Redmond.

Ubuntu, which now claims eight million active users, is also starting to make serious money for its commercial parent, as Chris Kenyon, Canonical's director of Business Development, tells InternetNews:

We're not sharing our revenues publicly but I will say revenue growth is extremely strong and we're bullish across the board both at server side and desktop. The difference between now and even 12 months ago in terms of size and volume of deals coming through is a big difference.

Canonical has a long way to go before it catches up with Red Hat's 2.5 million paid subscriptions to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but at its growth rates could it challenge Novell SUSE for the number-two Linux slot? It could happen.

In the near term, however, it's nice to see Microsoft getting some real competition. Maybe the largely Ubuntu-based netbooks competition will mean that Microsoft will deliver something vastly better than Vista to market in the next year or two. If so, maybe Steve Ballmer will be sending Ubuntu's Mark Shuttleworth a thank-you letter next year.

Tech Culture
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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