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Thread: Canonical: Ubuntu To Soon Ship On 5% Of PCs

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  1. #1
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    Default Canonical: Ubuntu To Soon Ship On 5% Of PCs

    Phoronix: Canonical: Ubuntu To Soon Ship On 5% Of PCs

    Chris Kenyon, the VP of sales and business development for Canonical, just spoke this afternoon at the Ubuntu 12.10 Developer Summit about what Canonical does with OEMs and ODMs. He also tossed out some rather interesting numbers about the adoption of Ubuntu Linux...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTA5ODM

  2. #2
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    The biggest problem for Ubuntu and other Linux distros shipping to the masses is that, in a lot of cases, customers are installing Windows after they get the unit. And not just dual booting; they wipe Linux and never come back as soon as they figure out that it won't run whatever exe trash they download from the internet. And then they immediately stick in a Windows CD (often pirated) and don't look back.

    This can actually be a good (illegal) business proposition for individuals looking to buy hardware: instead of the hassle of trying to return an unopened Windows license that comes OEM with your hardware, just buy a computer with a free Linux distro on it like Ubuntu, pirate Windows, pirate all the apps you want, and you get an OS that does what you want it to (in the simple sense of "runs exactly what I want and what I'm used to", not in the sense of running what might actually be better) for free. No paying for Windows and no suffering through learning Linux (ohnoes!).

    I think it's a terrible and extremely hypocritical idea to do it, but still, it's very common. And it hurts desktop Linux each time it happens.

    IMHO we should start doing something like this with desktop Linux :-

    1. When an OEM is building a Linux distro, they should pre-install various things that will make the user's experience much easier. For example, they can pre-install Wine and wire it up so that you can literally download an exe and click it with Firefox and it'll run. Or they can pre-install a licensed copy of Crossover Linux (purchased at a volume discount from Codeweavers) to do the same. They can also ship the Fluendo codec pack and Adobe Flash, so that people will have out of the box Flash video, decoding of all common proprietary media, and Windows file compatibility.

    2. Strike deals with game developers to provide very low-cost games as a bonus/add-on when buying a computer, but only give them the Linux version. So they have an incentive to keep the Linux: you want your game, you run Linux. The OEM should eat this cost out of profit so that they will increase the value of their unit, even though the cost will come out of profit (hopefully it'll be a very low cost if good deals for $5 - $10 per sale can be worked out).

    3. Build up the support infrastructure. Give end-users a number they can call and get very good, robust support for doing things they want to do, even if their particular use case isn't exactly anticipated ahead of time. Hire support technicians who are innovative, think on their feet, and can help out with remote desktop at a very low cost to the customer. Let's not only match the Windows tech support infrastructure; we have to be better than theirs.

    4. Make sure that shipping distros provide the latest stable updates to end-user-visible applications! This is critically important. Firefox, LibreOffice, and anything "of that sort" (where stable updates are released independently of the distro and are generally well-maintained and QAed upstream) should be automatically imported into the stable distro post-production, following a brief in-house testing period. There's really no reason not to. Same goes for proprietary stuff too, unfortunately; people want their Flash and Chrome and Fluendo codec and Skype updates as well.

    Gotta reach out there and grab people and tell them "hey, DID YOU REALIZE that the Linux distro that comes on your PC is so much better than Windows, and all you have to do is give it a little try?" And don't give them much chance to say no -- incentivize keeping Linux. Obviously we can't enforce vendor lock-in quite like Apple or Microsoft can, but we can certainly hold a carrot on a stick... they're free to not bite it, but they'll want to.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    1. When an OEM is building a Linux distro, they should pre-install various things that will make the user's experience much easier. For example, they can pre-install Wine and wire it up so that you can literally download an exe and click it with Firefox and it'll run. Or they can pre-install a licensed copy of Crossover Linux (purchased at a volume discount from Codeweavers) to do the same.
    wine doesn't work in many cases for example this bug: http://bugs.winehq.org/show_bug.cgi?id=20395

    i can't play a 5 year old game because of no mouse and keyboard input !
    because microsoft manage to stay incompatible "RawInput"

    microsoft successfully manage to stay incompatible with wine by pushing out new versions of "RawInput" and new DirectX versions.

  4. #4
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    Almost all people want what everyone else has. They're not going to want something different until it's the cool thing to do, or until everyone else is doing it. Everyone wants to stay on Windows because that's where everyone's at.

    The only people that are going to make the switch are those who are technically inclined enough to see the benefits of Linux and want something better / different.

    But Canonical needs to do something with this God-awful color scheme.

  5. #5
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    Is hard to tell how many people wipe linux and install windows, but, even if thats the case 80% of the time, stills means a huge increase in Marketshare for ubuntu, with all the benefits of it.

  6. #6
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    this would be awsome!!! if it just wasnt ubuntu.

    ubuntu is a linux like windows 8 is a windows

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    they wipe Linux and never come back
    The ironic thing is a lot of basic multimedia tasks like watching videos, listening to music, transferring music to an ipod, etc are far easier on Linux than Windows.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    1. When an OEM is building a Linux distro, they should pre-install various things that will make --
    I'm yelling "NO!" at my computer screen. Not this again. OEMs have been doing this with their Windows machines for years.
    I think the standard, clean Ubuntu experience would serve end users much better. Should an OEM want to improve on it, they'd better do it upstream.

    So it's up to Ubuntu to incorporate the Wine compatibility layer as a part of the operating system whenever it's ready for it (if there's still demand then).

    Just my thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    4. Make sure that shipping distros provide the latest stable updates to end-user-visible applications! This is critically important.
    Couldn't agree more. Everything in the Ubuntu software center should be available as their latest stable version.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnc View Post
    Almost all people want what everyone else has. They're not going to want something different until it's the cool thing to do, or until everyone else is doing it. Everyone wants to stay on Windows because that's where everyone's at.
    Think different.

    Quote Originally Posted by schmidtbag View Post
    I personally feel that linux isn't ready yet for mass production computers. I find it easy and I know how to make it easy for others to use, but there are several problems that need to be fixed first:

    1. GUI standardization. I like how linux has variations of DEs, but it can confuse people --
    2. More importantly, package standardization. We've got .deb, .rpm, portage/emerge, and pacman/AUR --
    3. Consistent, reliable video drivers.
    4. Knowing how to set it up.
    Do you think that when Canonical partners with OEMs to produce Ubuntu-powered machines they will have any of those problems?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1kkko View Post
    Do you think that when Canonical partners with OEMs to produce Ubuntu-powered machines they will have any of those problems?


    Yes and no. If Ubuntu is the 1 and only distro ever sold and they use the same parts from the same companies over and over then sure, those problems will be fixed. But otherwise, once a company like SUSE joins in, they're not going to use unity. They're not going to use Ubuntu Sofware Center or Synaptic. Many things will be drastically different, and obviously since these companies would benefit from getting their distro known, they're not going to advertise the fact that there's an alternative to their own product or default setup.


    Also, I really don't want Unity being the default DE haha.

  10. #10
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    This is very good news !!

    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    The biggest problem for Ubuntu and other Linux distros shipping to the masses is that, in a lot of cases, customers are installing Windows after they get the unit.
    This is not problem at all. We all wiped Windows and installed Linux. This year I have already made 2 Linux Mint-based PCs that are running Linux Mint. This is about choice.

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