Shuttleworth makes corporate case for Ubuntu 8.04 on its launch

Shuttleworth makes corporate case for Ubuntu 8.04 on its launch

Summary: UpdatedUbuntu creator Mark Shuttleworth said version 8.04 features a sexier GUI for consumers but it’s the Long Term Support, Wubi Windows installer, server assets and expanding ecosystem that will make it a rising star in the corporate world.



Ubuntu creator Mark Shuttleworth said version 8.04 features a sexier GUI for consumers but it’s the Long Term Support, Wubi Windows installer, server assets and expanding ecosystem that will make it a rising star in the corporate world.Mark Shuttleworth

Ubuntu 8.04 Long Term Support (LTS) Desktop Edition and Server Edition, developed under the code name of “Hardy Heron,” was released as expected today, on April 24. The third leading Linux distributor made a name for itself on the desktop. But now, with its fourth server release, and second LTS offering for desktop and server, Shuttleworth expects Ubuntu will get more respect from corporate customers.

“Red Hat and Novell both articulated a very specific economic niche and Red Hat in part defined that niche and I expect Red Hat will [continue to] dominate. I don’t expect Ubuntu to unseat Red Hat as the primary provider of shrink wrapped commercial Linux on the server, but I would expect seeing Ubuntu on servers in the market for people who would have bought Unix," Shuttleworth said in a phone interview on April 1, in preparation for the global launch this week.

Canonical has a viable corporate strategy with this version and is differentiated from Red Hat and Novell in several ways, Shuttleworth said.

First, Ubuntu’s Long Term Support, deemed necessary for corporate adoption, gives customers five years worth of maintenance and security releases for the server and three years support on the desktop. Customers can upgrade to the next upgrade in october of 2008 or stick with 8.04 for the lengthy support contract.

Aside from this, the software is free and open. There's no unique "enterprise" version for paying customers and lower-end version for users that don’t pay for support contracts. This is a big distinction from Red Hat and Novell, he and other Canonical executives say.

Another big draw for the corporate crowd is the Wubi Windows installer, new to this release of Ubuntu, which allows users to download and test the Ubuntu desktop on their Windows PCs without repartitioning the hard drive. Shuttleworth said getting corporate end users comfortable with a new desktop is critical for its evolution.

“The biggest issue for us [in getting corporate support] is in the evaluation process and this installer for Windows is very attractive,” Shuttleworth said. “It’s a way of reducing the friction of people to try Linux but don’t have the confidence to repartition the drive."

On the features side, the 8.04 server features enhanced security via SELinux, integration with Microsoft Active Directory via integration of LikeWise Open and support for KVM for hosting virtualization for applications and operating systems out of the box. This is another differentiation from Red hat and Novell, which back Xen in their Linux distributions for open source virtualization.

Ubuntu’s ecosystem of partners is also growing, Shuttleworth pointed out.

Canonical announced, for example, that Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Server Edition is certified on several Sun x64 server platforms, including the Sun Fire X2100 M2, X2200 M2 and Sun Fire X4150 servers. Additionally, HP has agreed to ensure Ubuntu runs well on its Proliant servers, Canonical said this week.

“Sun said we’ll certify Ubuntu on their x64 servers and in addition we’re working with all major server vendors to validate and test the platform on their hardware, “ Shuttleworth said. More than 500 maintained and supported server packages are available for version 8.04 including Alfresco, Bacula, IBM, VMWare, Parallels, Qumranet, Tresys, Zarafa, Zend and Zimbra. On the desktop side, support from Adobe, IBM, Skype, Zimbra, IBM/Lotus and others is there.

“The most significant feature is the greatly increased ecosystem of hardware and software third party certifying on the platform,” Shuttleworth said. “We’ve seen an order of magnitude jump in third party applications certified on Ubuntu and an order of magnitude increase in companies that provide services, support and consulting. The ecosystem is growing substantially.”

Topics: Servers, Hardware, Linux, Open Source

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  • UBUNTU Rules

    I have tried numerous distros of linux and have found ubuntu the easiet to use

    I am downloading the latest version now

    Version 7 had drivers for all of the harder on my pc and installed everything automatically
    • over hyped

      It's over hyped to the extreme.
      • Yep.

        It still suffers from the three problems endemic to Linux. A
        confusing directory structure, a confusing way to select and
        install software and zealotry over binary only drivers.
        • Uhhh....

          Ubuntu?!?! Are you kidding? I've been watching this distro for a while 7.10 was the first distro to make it onto one of my laptops. Ubuntu directory structure is pathetically simple for a novice user (you just stay home under your own name). Software? Please... You can select by name or category where do I do that under windows again? And Ubuntu was happy to install the proprietary binary drivers for my nVidia card. Given Microsoft's continued insistence on rolling freshly bloated OS's Ubuntu is starting to look like a no-brainer for low end systems that Mikey is orphaning. Wake up! Ubuntu is starting to make things really easy for the lemmings....
          • Really? One word - Wireless!

            I completely admit that I'm ignorant on Linux. A fact I'm attempting to change by experimentation and subsequent learning. I downloaded and installed Hardy Heron on a Compaq Presarion R3000 laptop (AMD chip) and have had a nightmare trying to get the wireless adapter working. I've visited the forums and Linux helps sites and tried numerous solutions (NDISwrapper, Wicd, etc.). The solution posted are anything but easy for a newbie and as of yet, I have yet to find a single solution which actually works. Until the commmunity/distro gets this sort of thing working simply "out of the box", then these distros are not ready for the mainstream (i.e. - Windows switchers).
          • Yeah, wireless

            I tried to use Ubuntu on my HP ze4420 laptop with Dlink adaptor GWL 650 and -- no luck. Would like to go with Linux, but I'm a newbie with limited time to mess around. It has to be easy.
            it chart
        • Confusing objection

          Try a more objective complaint. Your objection is confusing.
        • Confusing?

          Seems pretty simple to me. Your stuff in in your home folder. You get a feel for where config files live, just like you figured out how Windows kept stuff. Installing software is really really easy. Now, trying to decide what crapware to install and not install (and then TRY to uninstall) for windows, THAT was confusing.
        • Wow, Clearly have no clue

          how long have you been using Windows? and how long have you used Ubuntu? Exactly give it a month and see which OS is better in terms of ease of use and performance. Ubuntu has everything you need out of the box, can you say the same for Windows "NEVER" and you know why because if you have ever done a Windows install you will cry and cry telling yourself why this does not work, what drivers do I need...well how come this did not come installed. With Ubuntu everything and I mean everything is installed for you, in fact the darn thing let's you test it before you install by running the OS from the CD to make sure your hardware is compatible, jesus I honestly don't know how much simple they can make it.
          • I don't know much about Ubuntu

            You seem like you know a few things about Ubuntu so I thought I would ask a question.

            If I have a box running Ubuntu and I want to run an app that is written for Windows, is that possible?
          • Some can using Wine

            It's a really close to hardware level windows emulator. I have had problems where CD based copy protection comes in though. Other than that I've been able to get it to work.

            I'm getting away from it though. The amount of free software that is available is daunting just to get a handle on.
          • It's very possible

            There are three ways to do what you've asked.

            The first is to install Linus and Windows side by side and then dual boot. Whenever you need to run a Windows program you would shut down Linux, probably using a restart option, and then choose to start Windows. When you're done there, you restart and then choose to start Linux.

            The second one uses Wine, which acts like an emulator (but isn't) and allows you to install and run many Windows-based programs right from your Linux desktop. You don't have to reboot to switch to another OS, but not all Windows programs work there.

            The third option and my personal favorite is a virtual machine. I use VirtualBox and have an XP guest machine defined there. Whenever I need to run a program that doesn't work in Wine, I install it in my virtual XP and it has no idea that it's running in a virtual machine. Of course you have to have a Windows install CD available so you can install it into your otherwise empty virtual PC.
            Larry the Security Guy
          • Windoze emulation in Linux

            There's Virtual Box for Linux. There's Crossover for running quite a few Windoze games in Linux and there's Wine which can do the same. Parallel's VM is available for Win or Linux also.Just search with your web browser to the sites and see what each can do. Wine will actually run DX8+ stuff with open source .dll's.

            The list of apps is increasing all the time so it's getting to the point where it makes sense to switch but you should spend a little time reading, to make up your own mind on this. Everyone should do this because the compatibility issue is changing fast.
        • dir structure

          On a spare HD you get to partitioning in Linux and usually (like Mandriva) you click on the drive HDA-HDB and so on and make your partitions. I use /, swap, and Home and resize the way I want. How simple is that? Just remember the amount of space you're gonna need. / <- = boot partition should cover what's on a DVD and later add-ons with 13-14gb. Swap needs about 4 and the reast can go to Home which I set to 8gb. Done
        • "Yep" to What?

          "It still suffers from the three problems endemic to Linux.
          A confusing directory structure,"

          A what?, its a standard directory tree, no different than any other, I suppose if all you have ever used is a WebTV a directory structure would be confusing.

          "a confusing way to select and install software"

          You mean clicking on "Search" and then telling it what you want and then clicking Apply is confusing? yeah its that simple.

          "and zealotry over binary only drivers."

          Ummm... 99.99% of all windows drivers, and Mac drivers come in binary packages, I'm really trying to comprehend why this is an issue? I thought people liked packages that are capable of doing the behind the scenes geeky stuff for them? If not there is always the compile from source option, but not sure why you'd want to do that if you don't have to.
        • Post should be deleted. nt

    • I agree.

      I have most of my family using it now.
      The thing they all share in common is how much they like that it starts up perfectly every time. I no longer have to tech their borked up windows over the phone either, install, set up, show them synaptic, and only handle the occasional "which printer should I buy calls".
  • Cool features!

    Have been looking forward to this release. Ubuntu *is* the leader today - for "normal" desktops.
  • Doomed to fail...

    Please, we ave been through this. First of all, Ubuntu WILL NOT BE Windows Live Mesh compatible. Without formal Mesh support, this is a non-starter. Second of all, it should not be legal to allow non Windows Vista clients to talk to Active Directory. The Active Directory is so robust and so graceful, it should not be forced to store green-screen machines. My rep brought over some Ubuntu CD's and we used them as coasters for our cognac. As my rep says, "Without support for the Mesh, your life will be one huge mess!".
    Mike Cox
    • That's hilarious...

      Thanks for giving me a good laugh this afternoon!