Ubuntu's Shuttleworth: Linux server, client will be big in the cloud and mobile sectors

Ubuntu's Shuttleworth: Linux server, client will be big in the cloud and mobile sectors

Summary: 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.

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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.

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

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7 comments
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  • Mark, YES PLEASE!!

    Create a mobile OS from Ubuntu...anything to untangle the mess that is Windows Mobile would be a godsend.
    itanalyst2@...
    • LOL! ;)

      That was funny:

      [i]anything to untangle the mess that is Windows Mobile[/i]

      Why does it scare you so much? because contrary to all your hopes, it actually works great and people like it?!
      GuidingLight
  • RE: Ubuntu's Shuttleworth: Linux server, client will be big in the cloud an

    Mark, It probably won't surprise you to learn that it's happening right now - just have a look at Desktopondemand.com or Cosmopod.com or GoPC.net and you'll see some of us are way ahead of you ;)

    This is not a wholly new idea but I think what Mark is really alluding to is the whole thing has never been approached right with scalability in mind.

    For our part, we at Desktop On Demand have been working on this for the last two years and have just gone live with our version of cloud computing AND is already proving to be a hit primarily because we seem to have delivered what was asked of us - yep we listened to our customers :)
    pareshm
  • RE: Ubuntu's Shuttleworth: Linux server, client will be big in the cloud an

    The desktop war is pretty much over, isn't it? Didn't everyone apart from Microsoft win - Ubuntu, Debian, RedHat, Apple, and customers?

    Case study from my own small business:

    About 36 months ago, we migrated away from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice and Firefox, running on what we had (a mix of Win2k and WinXP).

    About 18 months ago, we migrated away from Windows clients to web clients for all our business apps (and, of course, the servers run Ubuntu.)

    About 6 months ago, we ditched the email server in favour of a Google-based mail solution, because it gave us access anywhere, world-class reliability, and a mobile solution that worked on a huge number of devices down to my trust 4-year-old Nokia phone :-)

    Next step will, inevitably, to have cloud-based servers rather than wanting to own / manage / support bits of iron. At that point, I really don't care whether they run Ubuntu or not.


    And, for the record, I'm writing this from a Mac Mini. Being a "technology-intensive" business, our new policy is that our staff can have "what computer they want." As I look around, Ubuntu desktop seems to be ahead (4), with Windows XP second (2), and MacOS third (1)...

    ... no-one in the office has chosen Vista.

    And what applications have I got installed on the Mac:

    - Camino (Firefox for MacOS)
    - OpenOffice (platform independent)
    - A GUI admin tool for MacOS called Navicat (roughly equivalent to MySQLFront for Windows, and I'm sure Linux versions exist.)
    MarkHarrison
  • Fix your broken comment system, please?

    Another comment lost to what appears to be a buggy web UI (er... you were saying something about relying on web browsers as application front-end? Not while it sucks like this...)

    I start a comment, add text, click the "Add your opinion" button. I click Yes to run active content when prompted (this is XP and IE7 with the latter set to prompt on active content). I get an "enhanced" editor (i.e. the extra text "The following HTML tags are supported in TalkBack" appears) with a BLANK text field, and am advised "You must enter the text for the body of your message". The text I already wrote is GONE, and clicking the Back botton in the browser doesn't get it back.

    Do I really want apps that behave this badly?
    cquirke
  • Web-as-OS vs, virtual PCs

    There's enough desktop power to shell OSs as "applications" within a host OS, and thus support your applications of choice, regardless of OS. The downside is the extra cost of OS licenses, and the currently non-seamless nature of this process.

    The advantage of this over using the web as application UI/API, is that you don't dissolve the edge between your system and "the cloud".

    Given the current malware situation, including the infection of web host servers, there's a large suspension of disbelief required to swallow the re-packaged "Net PC" concept of SaaS and data held in "the cloud".

    Do you really want to entrust your data safety and privacy to a server under someone else's control - or wherever else this is either subcontracted or maliciously re-directed?
    cquirke
  • One big browser kiosk?

    This sounds, interesting. So the OS may turn into something like a lot of flash elements running in one big browser kiosk? I can certainly envision this happening, with the ability to modify and replace elements of the OS with elements obtained from online sources. The only question is what'll happen when no internet connectivity is possible...

    - John Musbach
    John Musbach