IBM, Intel and Dell: Hot for Ubuntu Linux, Canonical
Canonical, keeper of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, is a small company with big friends. The latest example: Dell, IBM and Intel each are taking new steps with Ubuntu. Here’s the scoop.
First up, Canonical and Dell unveiled Ubuntu Moblin Remix Developer Edition. The offering, which leverages Moblin (Mobile Linux) version 2, is available on a Dell Inspiron Mini 10v netbook starting Sept. 24 2009. You’ll find more information at www.dell.com/ubuntu.
The Canonical-Dell news is important for two reasons.
- First, it addresses any lingering concerns about the Canonical-Dell relationship. In recent months, Dell took some hits for failing to offer a desktop PC with Ubuntu pre-installed. Dell kept promising new Dell Ubuntu desktop PC but it has yet to materialize. Still, new Ubuntu Moblin Remix effort may silence skeptics who think the Canonical-Dell relationship isn’t delivering new offerings.
- Second, Ubuntu Moblin Remix Developer Edition could mitigate concerns about Moblin becoming a full-blown alternative to Ubuntu. Moblin is know for its simple, mobile graphical user interface. But running Moblin atop Ubuntu saves Intel and Moblin backers considerable development time since they can simply leverage many of Ubuntu’s existing services.
IBM and Ubuntu
Meanwhile, IBM and Canonical are partnering on an Ubuntu bundle in Africa, notes ZDnet.
IBM has been showing Ubuntu plenty of love over the past year or so. Back in January 2008, IBM announced that its Lotus Notes and Lotus Symphony Suites would run on Ubuntu, notes The Open Road blog.
Sounds promising. But plenty of work remains. Some examples:
- Desktops: Canonical continues to show plenty of Ubuntu momentum on netbooks. But Dell still needs to fulfill its promise to re-introduce Ubuntu desktop PCs in the U.S. market.
- Servers: Sun is one of the rare major server vendors that has offered Ubuntu Server Edition. The big question: Assuming Oracle’s buyout of Sun occurs, will Sun continue to offer Ubuntu-based servers? Elsewhere, Dell in July 2009 told The VAR Guy that it had no current plans to offer Ubuntu Server Edition. But the story is slightly better over at HP, which at least certifies ProLiants to run Ubuntu. Still, most server vendors continue to embrace Red Hat Linux and Novell SUSE Linux rather than Ubuntu.
- Cloud: Here is one of the bright spots for Canonical. Although server preloads would be nice, Canonical can find a back door into the server market through cloud computing. Keep a close eye on Canonical’s Amazon, Eucalyptus and RightScale relationships, among others.
- Channel Partners: Canonical continues to build out its channel partner program and training efforts. Watch for some cloud-oriented training to surface soon.
In the meantime, Canonical is likely smiling today. And for good reason. It’s not often a small open source software company announces progress with Dell, IBM and Intel all in a single day.