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Old 03-08-2007, 06:44 PM   #1
rickh
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Is Ubuntu Linux Slowly Dying?


All right! I've waited four hours for LXer to pick up this link, and I just ran out of patience.

Every time one of Debian's typical little developer spats pushes it's way into the public consciousness, there is a spate of articles celebrating the fact that this time, for sure, Debian is imploding, and anyway people want the flashy derivatives not the old and tired Mama.

This article isn't inspired by anything so titillating, just observation and analysis. Do I believe it? Who knows ... I'm old enough to have forsworn prophecy as an interesting but unreliable exercise.

Last edited by rickh; 03-14-2007 at 11:49 PM.
 
Old 03-08-2007, 08:27 PM   #2
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Hardly earth-shattering. I've been leery from the start
Quote:
I can see Gentoo and Ubuntu co-existing in our household - on separate boxes.
Only concern I have is the involvement of Canonical. After the Redhat "free" back-down that begat Fedora, I have little faith in promises of corporate largesse.
But we can always move to another distro if that happens again.
(me, Jan 2005)
 
Old 03-09-2007, 01:58 AM   #3
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Moved to Linux-News
 
Old 03-10-2007, 10:40 AM   #4
md5
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I agree with everything in this article [because I wrote it].

Here is a bit more clarification that I posted on Digg...
http://digg.com/linux_unix/Is_Ubuntu_Linux_slowly_dying
Quote:
The premises of the entire article is that Canonical/Ubuntu is trying to make a profit [with that word coming right out of the mouth of Mr. Shuttleworth and parties involved]... This will never happen on the desktop, which is what Ubuntu is currently focused on. Many have tried, all have failed. Nothing new to see here.

I think this is finally starting to set in, and from what I have gathered, Ubuntu is trying to make a move server-side. At first they positioned to compete with Red Hat, but gave that up quickly, and are now trying to find the ground between the desktop and the server.

Canonical/Ubuntu is spending millions, iterating through business plans, losing options, and failing to turn a profit. Unless they can find a niche market, Ubuntu will "die", in the sense that "Losing money can only be fashionable for a limited time."

It's also not the community that has made Ubuntu a success, but the paid marketing team and the paid developers [the community does play a role]. Paid is the key word here, and once Mr. Shuttleworth gets tired of paying the bills... You get the picture.

Last edited by md5; 03-10-2007 at 10:52 AM.
 
Old 03-14-2007, 11:46 PM   #5
rickh
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Put millions of dollars yearly into any distro, and it will quickly move to # 1 ... for as long as the money keeps flowing in.

Linspire seems to be finding a niche for itself as a profit maker. Their deal with Ubuntu was very good for them. Whether they use Ubuntu or Debian as the source for software makes very little difference to them. They now have the benefit of Shuttleworth's millions in advertising, and a good base from which to establish CNR. I assume that Linspire gets a cut from every program sold from the CNR store, no matter what distro the buyer was using.

When Canonical folds, Linspire may well be in a position to pick up the pieces.

Last edited by rickh; 03-14-2007 at 11:50 PM.
 
Old 03-15-2007, 09:19 AM   #6
oskar
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Quote:
Just as a side thought, does anyone else think the success of Ubuntu Linux is primarily a result of marketing? It's a great distribution, with many merits, but marketing is *always* king and something that Linux needs more of.
I don't think so. I went from Suse to Mandriva to Debian to Ubuntu. I ran on Suse for about 5 years, but just as things were getting great in hardware support and ease of use, the issues became more annoying. For about a month I couldn't find gcc in the repos(!). And while they have alot of packages not all of then are well maintained. Debian was a pain in the ass to use (definitely because I knew nothing about the package manager), but in Ubuntu the stuff was there and it worked + it has an incredible user group at ubuntuforums.
You'll have a hard time finding a question that doesn't get answered.

I was and am still more put-off by the image Ubuntu is trying to create, but I'm willing to ignore that.

I guess there is money in the desktop market. If it's support for businesses, or for the home desktop - which would be reasonable if pc's will be sold with ubuntu pre-installed.
I bought a support version of suse twice. The first one was 7.0, the second 10.0.
Another reason to pay for it would be for the documentation. Currently you can get Edgy packaged in all big software stores around here (austria).
It comes with a manual, support and a cheesy game... And it looks sharp.

Last edited by oskar; 03-15-2007 at 09:25 AM.
 
Old 03-17-2007, 05:04 PM   #7
md5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oskar
...but in Ubuntu the stuff was there and it worked + it has an incredible user group at ubuntuforums.
When you have 40+ paid developers working on the project it better work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oskar
I was and am still more put-off by the image Ubuntu is trying to create, but I'm willing to ignore that.
Have you seen the new website they put out a few days ago? I think they already changed it once. It's a bit better, in the sense that they got rid of that circle holding hands.

With the new look I assume they are trying to move away from the desktop and onto the Server. Hense the "choose desktop or server edition" main categories.

It still looks sloppy, or half attempted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oskar
I bought a support version of suse twice. The first one was 7.0, the second 10.0.
Another reason to pay for it would be for the documentation.
Sure, if you have 4 million users, a few will pay. It still won't amount to much.

Anyone else see the death spiral pattern here?

Things are finally starting to unwind at Ubuntu.

There is only so much work you can put into a project, while not realizing any meaningful returns, before animosity and/or indifference start to appear [within the project, towards the project].

Last edited by md5; 03-17-2007 at 10:04 PM.
 
Old 03-17-2007, 10:15 PM   #8
DragonSlayer48DX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md5
When you have 40+ paid developers working on the project it better work.
Not necessarily-- Look at Micropatch and Windows.

Quote:
Have you seen the new website they put out a few days ago? I think they already changed it once. It's a bit better, in the sense that they got rid of that circle holding hands.
That's a matter of personal opinion and has nothing to do with Canonical's financial status or Ubuntu's future.

Quote:
With the new look I assume they are trying to move away from the desktop and onto the Server. Hense the "choose desktop or server edition" main categories.
Again, personal opinion. The server edition has been available for quite some time. You just don't need to jump through as many hoops to get to it, now.

Quote:
It still looks sloppy, or half attempted.
That's just a lame attempt to further belittle Canonical. It didn't work. Their site looks as good as most, and better than some I've seen.

Quote:
Anyone else see the death pattern here? Things are finally starting to unwind with Ubuntu.
No, and I've never put much faith in any "Chicken Little". The Ubuntu Team is still quite busy building their latest version, "Feisty Fawn", AND supporting Dapper and Edgy. So far, YOU are the only one even speaking of a "death pattern", and so far, you've not been very convincing.

But what if it did happen?

There's too many distros available to worry about it.

I will admit, though, you're right in that there's no profit in desktop distros; again, there's too many available. If it doesn't work, switch. I certainly wouldn't pay $900-$4000 per year for 24x7 support for a free OS!

Last edited by DragonSlayer48DX; 03-17-2007 at 10:54 PM.
 
Old 03-18-2007, 02:50 AM   #9
oskar
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http://www.google.com/trends?q=ubuntu
Not a downward Spiral in my book.
And Feisty contains some of the most awesome improvements I've seen in a linux distribution. Even if - as unlikely as it seems to me - Ubuntu should go down... It will be taken up by another team, and on we go. The closest it could come to dying is being merged with ex-Lindows (can't they stop changing names constantly!!... I can't memorize all that crap!) or debian.
 
Old 03-18-2007, 02:56 AM   #10
oskar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md5
Sure, if you have 4 million users, a few will pay. It still won't amount to much.
Novell wouldn't create a desktop system if there was no money in that market. If you can make a profit with suse, you can make a profit with Ubuntu.

I think alot of people are getting the wrong picture. Alot of linux code has been written by companies, because they want to sell linux systems and support them. Cygnus, IBM, Redhat, Suse,... There is a Market for linux... until now it has been mostly for the server, but I'm positive that it can be successful on the desktop too.

Last edited by oskar; 03-18-2007 at 03:01 AM.
 
Old 03-18-2007, 09:53 AM   #11
md5
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Quote:
Novell wouldn't create a desktop system if there was no money in that market. If you can make a profit with suse, you can make a profit with Ubuntu.
Novell, the Microsoft partner? That always works out well in the end.

What type of profit have they made from the linux desktop? Excluding the 100s of millions they got from the Microsoft deal. [I have no idea myself, just asking]

Quote:
http://www.google.com/trends?q=ubuntu
Not a downward Spiral in my book.
In my book... thats called good marketing.

Quote:
Quote:
"Have you seen the new website they put out a few days ago? I think they already changed it once. It's a bit better, in the sense that they got rid of that circle holding hands."

That's a matter of personal opinion and has nothing to do with Canonical's financial status or Ubuntu's future.

Quote:
"It still looks sloppy, or half attempted."

That's just a lame attempt to further belittle Canonical. It didn't work. Their site looks as good as most, and better than some I've seen.
For an entity that gets millions of dollars put into it every year, it just seems a bit odd to me that they go for that design. Sure, it is a matter of personal preference/opinion, but what isn't in this context? We are not doing math here.

If they are going for the server market, might as well cater to it.

Edit: I was actually referring to the 1st (?) redesign, with the giant pic of the laptop on it. It looked very odd. At this point I'm not even sure what they have changed and when. It looks ok now.

In my opinion things are not so peachy within Ubuntu core anymore. In a few years we will know. Until then...

Last edited by md5; 03-18-2007 at 10:20 AM.
 
Old 03-18-2007, 12:04 PM   #12
DragonSlayer48DX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md5
For an entity that gets millions of dollars put into it every year, it just seems a bit odd to me that they go for that design. Sure, it is a matter of personal preference/opinion, but what isn't in this context? We are not doing math here.
OK, but your statement was in the context of a post regarding your opinion of Ubuntu's demise. Sorry if I mistakenly considered it relevent to the subject. BTW- I didn't see the 1st redesign.

Quote:
If they are going for the server market, might as well cater to it.
True, and why not? They're only giving it equal exposure.

Quote:
In my opinion things are not so peachy within Ubuntu core anymore.
And maybe your opinion isn't completely without merit.

Yes, they want to make a profit. Yes, they're shifting business practices to reach that goal. And yes, I agree it's not likely to happen by selling support for the desktop to the "average joe", which is admittedly the original target for Ubuntu.

However, again, does it really matter? As Oskar said, another team will pick it up, and on we go. And if not, there's too many distros available to worry about it.

But I've yet to see any real news stories concerning Ubuntu's 'demise', and have a hard time understanding why anyone feels a need to spread FUD.
 
Old 03-18-2007, 12:40 PM   #13
oskar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md5
Novell, the Microsoft partner? That always works out well in the end.
What type of profit have they made from the linux desktop? Excluding the 100s of millions they got from the Microsoft deal. [I have no idea myself, just asking]
Do I look like google? I was just bringing it up because It looks like they were doing more regarding the desktop market than Redhat for example. I might be wrong... Just an example... The microsoft-novell deal has nothing to do with Ubuntu!
I'm just saying it looks like someone is making a profit here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by md5
In my book... thats called good marketing.
And good marketing equals "death-spiral" why exactly?

Also I'm not quite shure what your understanding of "marketing" is.

Last edited by oskar; 03-18-2007 at 12:42 PM.
 
Old 03-18-2007, 01:02 PM   #14
md5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oskar
And good marketing equals "death-spiral" why exactly?

Also I'm not quite shure what your understanding of "marketing" is.
You do know that Ubuntu has a paid marketing team behind it? [And obviously they are good at what they do.]

Spending millions and not getting anything back is not a good thing IMO, for the business or the team.

Anyways, I think at this point there is not much more to discuss.

The future is uncertain at best, by definition... Which is just about what Mr. Shuttleworth has stated himself. Give it another 2-3 years, and we will see.

I wish Canonical/Ubuntu the best of luck.
 
Old 03-18-2007, 01:35 PM   #15
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....................................

Last edited by General; 03-19-2007 at 02:28 PM.
 
  


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