20-million new Ubuntu Linux PCs in 2012?

20-million new Ubuntu Linux PCs in 2012?

Summary: Ubuntu 12.04 will be arriving shortly and Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth expects big things from it: 20-million new PCs sold with Ubuntu in the next twelve months.

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Will there be 20-million new Ubuntu users in the next twelve months?

Will there be 20-million new Ubuntu users in the next twelve months?

In less than two weeks, the latest version of Canonical's Ubuntu Linux distribution, Ubuntu 12.04, Precise Pangolin, will be released. This new Ubuntu is looking good. How good? In a recent interview with Julie Bort, Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth said, "We expect to ship close to 20 million PCs in the next year."

He wasn't talking about 20-million new copies of Ubuntu being installed. That's easy to believe. True, desktop Linux has only a fraction of the total desktop market, but there are certainly tens of millions of Linux users. Mind you, there are hundreds of millions of Mac OS X users and over a billion Windows users.

A first look at Ubuntu 12.04 (Gallery)

Still, 20-million people buying Ubuntu pre-installed on their computers in the next twelve months? That's a lot! Indeed, in Canonical's own recent user survey, a mere 0.1% of Ubuntu users bought their Linux PCs with Ubuntu pre-installed from such vendors as Dell, System76, and ZaReason.

In analyzing those numbers, Gerry Carr, Canonical's director of communications, said "The low number of [Ubuntu] pre-loads is certainly a concern . [It's] reflecting the continuing lack of availability in the market. We also probably under-counted this as we asked about the version users are currently running versus how they originally acquired a version. Still the good news from the sales team in Canonical is that 2012 should see a turnaround in this availability issue at least in many markets so again, a figure that is worth tracking over time." In short, Canonical expects that there will be a lot more vendors selling a lot more Ubuntu equipped PCs and laptops this year.

20-million or so more though? I asked Shuttleworth about it and he stands by his prediction. "That's what we think, based on projections, tell you how it went in a year :) Globally, with all the big brands, pretty evenly distributed. We ship with Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and quite a few smaller ones."

Well, there you go. Even globally I'll be surprised if Ubuntu can move that many unit. Still, Ubuntu 12.04 is looking great and I really can't see many Windows users switching from XP or Windows 7 to Windows 8 later this year. So, as was the case with Vista, desktop Linux in general, and Ubuntu in specific, may get a brief shot at gaining more desktop users. Yes, conceivably even 20-million more who are willing to buy PCs with Ubuntu ready to go on them.

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Say hello to Canonical's new Linux desktop: Ubuntu 12.04 beta review

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Topics: Software, Hardware, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems

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  • Have some Kool-Aid, Steven

    Are you really going to drink that? If The Mark delivers, it would be phenomenal. When I see a flock of pigs passing over my house, I'll believe it.
    lcafiero
    • person of little faith!

      How do you dare not believe it? This is THE year of Linux.

      Mark Shuttleworth will deliver, mark (no pun intended) my words!!
      markbn
      • The year of desktop Linux has come ...

        and gone. It was the year 2005 I believe.

        Switching from Windows to Linux is not just a choice between operating systems. For many people it is a choice between whether they can continue to use applications they depend on. There is a vast universe of critical applications that are not available on Linux. Unless you just use your PC to surf the web, email, write letters, etc, then desktop Linux is not a valid alternative.

        Around 2005 there was some discussion among major application developers about creating Linux versions of their products. I don't hear any talk of that any more.
        km4hr@...
        • huh?

          "Unless you just use your PC to surf the web, email, write letters, etc,"

          Have you read what you said?

          90% of the user base right there!

          Linux will arrive as comptetion increases and the economy goes to pot.

          Windows is going to struggle with it resource intesive system/s and Mac is too expensive and will be reserved for the few that can afford it as incomes are squeezed.

          Enter Linux! You can make a distro from your own install for gawds sake. You want propogation? You have one the necessary fundamentals of development and evolution right there! Competition will produce a front runner. At the moment we see Mint and Ubuntu unity battleing it out. With Red Hat based distros and slackware snapping behind them.

          Then there is mobile devices, Woh! a whole new ball game right there.
          Nick Heywood
      • Give it a rest

        >For many people it is a choice between whether they can continue to use
        >applications they depend on. There is a vast universe of critical
        >applications that are not available on Linux. Unless you just use your PC
        >to surf the web, email, write letters, etc, then desktop Linux is not a valid >alternative.

        This type of FUD is getting ridiculous in 2012. There are "critical" applications? What? Pace makers? Your implication is that *no one* other than those who would be happy with just a smart phone could switch to Linux, and then when challenged, you'll come back with some exotic setup that needs Windows, and then defeat a strawman. 99% of people can get along just fine with Windows. 99% of people can get along just fine with Linux. 99% of people can get along just fine with OS X.

        This is type of (completely specific-void) claim is typical of Microsoft's old PR, although we also saw it during the UEFI controversy when they only referred to "alternative" operating systems and refused to name Linux. Instead of touting the benefits of the OS, defenders attempt to strike fear into users that their (unspecified) "critical" applications (what? iTunes?) won't function the same way MS used to detect if their applications were running on non-MS DOS and spit out warning messages in an attempt to make users think the other DOS was incompatible.

        Let's see - users can run their Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Google Earth, Libre Office, Vuze, smplayer, VLC, Thunderbird, truecrypt, DOSBox, ScummVM, Gnucash, VirtualBox, Miro, XBMC, calibre, jDownload, octave, scilab, etc. on Linux just like they're running now on Windows. The rest have alternatives. WINE will let you run a lot of the Windows versions that have alternatives anyway, and VirtualBox doesn't even need to be factored in.

        I perform data mining on my PC, and I can run Firebird SQL and sqlite as my database engines, the leading data mining suite RapidMiner, the python programming language with the ERIC IDE, the leading math/statistical programming language R with the RStudio IDE, FreePascal and Lazarus IDE to leverage my old Windows Delphi programming skills for when I need compiled language speed (capable of cross-compiling for Windows, Linux and OS X and some smartphone ability), LibreOffice Calc for spreadsheet duty, Kontact to manage e-mail, contacts, calendar and notes (along with Basket), calibre to organize my reference e-books and papers, recoll for full-disk indexing (integrated with the KDE desktop's KIO function so that I can use the full-disk indexing right from an open file dialog to find files!), GnuCash for keeping track of personal as well as business finances, mondrian for OLAP, Kettle for ETL, JasperReports for reports but trying out SpagoBI, VirtualBox to practice server configurations, SSHFS to transfer data between both local devices and laptop/desktop while on the road. For playtime Banshee can play and stream my music collection as well as manage my audio/video podcasts and sync to my MTP-based MP3 player and XBMC can play my television shows and stream content from the net... and I'm playing Left 4 Dead right now on Linux courtesy of the WINE compatibility libraries. My data is also kept safe with Linux's full disk encryption and I can carry a flash drive with a similar setup to my desktop in my pocket for when the need arises.

        Well, I guess I do more than browse the web and write email but - shock! - Linux was a "valid" (who judges that validity?) alternative for me. The transition was rather effortless, actually, although over the prior two years to the switch I made the conscious decision that when all else was equal to choose cross-platform software, and if all else was still equal, open source, after having been burned by vendor lock-in in the past. When my Windows install developed some corruption and it looked like a full reinstall would be the best fix, I took the opportunity to try out Linux again (I'd been playing with it for about once every year or two since 1999 but hadn't found it feasible/worth it to switch). Well, I started "testing" Linux again and a year later I was still "testing" without having needed to boot back into Windows in the meantime, so I made it official. :-)

        At best, your information is very out of date. Either way, please stop trying to scare people into avoiding Windows.
        jgm@...
  • 20-million new Ubuntu Linux PCs in 2012?

    HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!

    Like linux could move half that, or even a quarter of that number. That's very very optimistic of Shuttleworth and again he'll be proven wrong. If people haven't been buying linux on PC's in the last 15 years its not going to happen this year. There have been no advances in linux technology that make people want to use it much less buy it.

    It won't take long for those few people who were conned into buying it to erase it and put Microsoft Windows on their PC instead. Again I have to say it:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Well, on balance of probabilities

      I'd say Ubuntu has more a shot of hitting their mark than you ever have of being right about anything. You have been spectacular with your fails and the number thereof.
      ego.sum.stig
    • Shall we list your resume of EPIC FAILS?

      The Loverock failure scorecard:

      Zune is going to be a huge success!!
      Zune HD is going to be a huge succes!!
      Windows Vista is going to be the best selling OS ever!
      Windows Mobile is going to take over the market!

      Feel free to add.

      Oh wait, forgot to add KIN to that flop list.
      http404
      • You may wish to add your name

        to that list of EPIC=FAILS.
        :|
        Tim Cook
      • Aww did Lovey flag me?

        Truth hurts doesn't it?
        http404
      • Fascinating

        How many log on's do you have, http404?

        I find it odd that those you personally oppose are scaled down so quickly, at the exact same time yours climb from negative numbers.

        As I said, Fascinating. :|
        Tim Cook
    • Retard alert Retard alert

      Lovie Dovie left home without his helmet on.

      lol...
      ScorpioBlack
    • The only form of Linux that will prevail on the desktop will be Droid

      I agree. Linux is not offering anything dramatically new. Also, the shinny new toy in town is not Ubuntu, Linux or Win 8. The shinny new thing in town is the Tablet, which is eating into all desktop OS sales. I do not go along at all with the idea that Ubuntu will surge forward as more and more users are shifting focus away from the traditional PC.

      As tablets progress and become more capable, eventually the tablet will replace the desktop as the main PC. What we are seeing is the beginning of the shift away from the desktop OS.

      All that is really needed to tip the cart and start the exodus is for PC game creators to code their games for tablets and for some of the more major PC designed programs to be available via browser/cloud or via an app (which is happening).

      One day in the not too distant future, about the time Win 7 support expires, people will be switching their desktop OS to Droid, not Ubuntu Linux.

      Sorry Steven but the writing is really already on the wall.
      John238
      • imho

        Droid is not an OS, it's a phone device. I'd switch my Android tablet for Ubuntu (or any other real Linux distro) any day. Can't get to the bios .. just yet.
        eulampius
      • PC games for tablet?

        Are you having a laugh? Why would you sacrifice your 24inch monitor, kb, mouse and quad core cpu, to use a 10 inch screen with no inputs? What do you envision for the future? That we all stand around like prats tilting ourselves until we are tired? Wow, the future is going to be amazing. Can't wait for my kid to grow up and see it.
        12312332123
    • Repost

      So everyone can enjoy my very truthful comment that the linux community doesn't want you to see:

      HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!

      Like linux could move half that, or even a quarter of that number. That's very very optimistic of Shuttleworth and again he'll be proven wrong. If people haven't been buying linux on PC's in the last 15 years its not going to happen this year. There have been no advances in linux technology that make people want to use it much less buy it.

      It won't take long for those few people who were conned into buying it to erase it and put Microsoft Windows on their PC instead. Again I have to say it:

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!
      Loverock Davidson-
    • But but but

      it is the year of Linux, oh wait that was last year, no wait the year before, or was that the year before that...
      hopp64
      • all these dinasaurs years

        We know It's always been an MS mesozoic era. But wait, what is it there looming in th blue? Meet the Chicxulub asteroid!
        eulampius
      • But indeed...

        ...every year Linux gets better, and every year it spreads out into more areas and gains majority share in *every* *single* *market* it enters that doesn't have a pre-existing monopoly. And it does this with zero marketing. Sounds like every year is the year of Linux.
        jgm@...
  • Curious downloads .... maybe. But actual usage doubtful

    After a few hours, most will wipe the installation (if not using a Live image) and install something that they can actually use.
    wackoae