Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth said Dell’s decision to pre-install the latest Ubuntu client on high-end PCs in North America shows growing acceptance of its revamped Linux client, and Linux on the desktop in general.
At Oscon 2012, Shuttleworth acknowledged that the decision to scrap the old UI for a new Unity user experience for multiple form factors has been very unpopular in some circles but he emphasized that it is paying off.
Dell and other OEMs once pre-installed Linux on some of their low end PCs he dubbed "craptops" but putting Linux on OEMs' premier PCs is proof that perception is shifting in favor of Linux as a Windows desktop alternative, which has been an elusive goal in spite of the Linux server's success.
He claimed Linux comes pre-installed on five percent of PCs globally now.
The next version, 12.10, will offer new font, search and menu innovations and one that will make the web a first class citizen, he said. Unity was designed to run well on desktops, tablets, phones and eventually TVs, Shuttleworth noted.
"12.10 will be awesome," Shuttleworth told a crowd at Oscon 2012. "We leapt ahead of the competition in interesting ways but the core thing for us to do is ... how we embrace the web.
"We want to embrace the web and make it a first class citizen on Ubuntu," he added, demonstrating on stage an upcoming feature in which an email message will launch directly from a Compose Email button on the desktop.