Thursday, July 15, 2010

What is Ubuntu's future plan if the desktop OS is dead?

According to Canonical's Matt Assay,

"...[T]his shift from local bits to web bits derives in part from the market leaders' inability to get excited about their desktop products anymore."

First question that comes to mind is really? The COO of Ubuntu's Canonical argues that the desktop OS is virtually dead, replaced by "a new breed of "desktop" platform." He contends that the big players that have our attention like Google and Facebook are increasingly OS agnostic, thus making the base OS more and more irrelevant.

Being part of the company that sponsors the most popular Linux distro out there, I am tempted to wonder what strategic plans Ubuntu has in place for the future Matt is predicting when the OS is irrelevant. The time when "the petty squabbles over Windows vs. Mac vs. Linux no longer resonate like they once did."

If more than 85% of computers out there today are running Windows, and we all claim one of the biggest weaknesses of Windows is security, will Linux make any headway then when local applications also become extinct? Where we do everything on the "desktop platform" as Matt refers to it. 

What plans are being put in place to ensure that Ubuntu does not become irrelevant when the time comes when we are all in the proverbial cloud since almost all of the strengths of Ubuntu (Linux for that matter) that we tout today will be obliterated?

Are there future plans for more cloud oriented features and functionality in Ubuntu releases? I know there is Ubuntu One and other cloud based services currently available in the Ubuntu desktop offering, but are they enough to survive in the future Matt Assay predicts? 

The future may be Google or Facebook or even Twitter, but that could also mean the end of the relevance of the OS and for that matter Linux on the desktop.

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By Seeraj Muneer with 1 comment


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