Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth sees Linux playing a big role in the cloud and in mobile computing – especially his own server and client software.
In a brief interview with ZDNet after his OSBC panel, Shuttleworth said the Ubuntu Linux server will be a significant platform for hosting thousands of web services and the desktop client will evolve as the best platform for software-as-a-service.
No, he is not worried that Google apps will displace traditional operating system desktops and applications.
“On the [Linux] server side, the cloud is the big thing. It needs connectivity, mobility, and ability to scale up virtual instances,” he said. “The desktop has key value here. By having a desktop that is network aware, you get the best of both worlds.”
Shuttleworth said the desktop and web will meld as one in time. The vision is that the Ubuntu client will become a web browser. “On the client side, we may move to the web as the standard UI.. and Linux is a compelling solution for that," he said referring to Linux’s support for standards.
During the panel, which explored future business opportunities for open source and Linux, Shuttleworth said open source companies must add value beyond service in order to grow their revenues streams. And supporting SaaS is a good way to do it, he said.
“I’m not convinced that service and support will create Google-like, Facebook-like or YouTube-like value. Open source companies have to go well beyond supporting their code. Companies that create the most value will deliver open source based services on the cloud.”
“Linux will be at the heart of the cloud and mobile devices,” he told the packed audience that gathered to hear several top open source execs from Ubuntu, MySQL, SugarCRM, Ingres and Acquia discuss future opportunities.