Ubuntu should not copy the Mac

Summary:It is past time for open source to become truly innovative. The Macintosh interface is a nice point-and-click interface, but that's all it is. We need something completely different. How about a high quality voice interface, based on Perlbox?

Perlbox main screenshot from Perlbox.org
Ubuntu is putting serious investment into improving the interface of its Linux.

Mark Shuttleworth wants Linux to become comparable to the Apple Macintosh, quoting the watchwords of Web 2.0:

  1. Make your site visually appealing,
  2. Do something different and do it very, very well,
  3. Call users to action and give them an immediate, rewarding experience.

Good idea. But the Ubuntu Developer Summit is taking the wrong approach.

It is past time for open source to become truly innovative. The Macintosh interface is a nice point-and-click interface, but that's all it is.

We need something completely different. How about a high quality voice interface, based on Perlbox? (The graphic above is from Perlbox.org.)

Perlbox already has a KDE interface, and three years of work behind it. It may not be all it can be. What could it be with a few million development dollars?

My friend Lamont Wood has been working with voice recognition technology and says some of it is now ready for prime time. By that he means it can be 95% accurate at 120 words per minute.

True, he was testing a proprietary product, but I am first contemplating an open source voice interface, not a voice-based word processor. The parts to do something ground-breaking appear to be here.

Besides, there are millions of visually-impaired folks, like my mom and my friend Jim Pettigrew, who have been totally left out of the computer revolution until now. Why not bring them in?

If Ubuntu is ready to be truly competitive, then that says to me it's ready to innovate. And if voice isn't your favored direction, what is?

Topics: Networking, Apple, Hardware, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software, Telcos

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.