Canonical OEM Strategy Deserves Applause
According to Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical, the company has been approached “by a number of OEM’s who want to sell netbooks (small, low-cost laptops with an emphasis on the web) based on Ubuntu.” That’s impressive. Here’s some more analysis on of the news.
Almost universally, Shuttleworth says:
…the OEMs have asked for standard Ubuntu packages and updates, with an app launcher that’s more suited to new users and has the feeling of a “device” more than a PC.
Now, there are a number exciting issues here. First and foremost, official Ubuntu installations on OEM products. This in and of itself shows that the market recognizes the value and popularity of Ubuntu, so much so that they want to make it the default OS on their product. That simple fact, the recognition, is a gigantic step forward.
Second, It means more products such as the Asus Eee PC hitting the market, and future products might just have Ubuntu installed as the default OS. This would only serve to further propagate Ubuntu into the Linux and Windows world.
Third, and perhaps more important, it will force manufacturers and designers to actually design and release current Linux drivers. The lack of stable native drivers, despite the work arounds, complicates the installation and just makes it harder for many people to embrace Linux.
Reading the comments on the linked web page, other people see these benefits as well. This is all around an exciting story for Ubuntu users, Linux users, and fans/users of the sub-compact notebook market.