Shuttleworth talks up Ubuntu 12.10, growing acceptance of Linux on desktop and Ubuntu Unity

Shuttleworth talks up Ubuntu 12.10, growing acceptance of Linux on desktop and Ubuntu Unity

Summary: At Oscon 2012, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth defends the project's decision to create the Unity interface for multiple form factors and said Dell's decision to pre-install its latest Linux desktop on high end PCs in North America shows perception about Linux on the desktop is improving.

TOPICS: Linux, Dell, Open Source

Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth said Dell’s decision to pre-install the latest Ubuntu client on high-end PCs in North America shows growing acceptance of its revamped Linux client, and Linux on the desktop in general.

At Oscon 2012, Shuttleworth acknowledged that the decision to scrap the old UI for a new Unity user experience for multiple form factors has been very unpopular in some circles but he emphasized that it is paying off.

Dell and other OEMs once pre-installed Linux on some of their low end PCs he dubbed "craptops" but putting Linux on OEMs' premier PCs is proof that perception is shifting in favor of Linux as a Windows desktop alternative, which has been an elusive goal in spite of the Linux server's success. 

He claimed Linux comes pre-installed on five percent of PCs globally now.

The next version, 12.10, will offer new font, search and menu innovations and one that will make the web a first class citizen, he said. Unity was designed to run well on desktops, tablets, phones and eventually TVs, Shuttleworth noted.

 "12.10 will be awesome," Shuttleworth told a crowd at Oscon 2012. "We leapt ahead of the competition in interesting ways but the core thing for us to do is ... how we embrace the web.

"We want to embrace the web and make it a first class citizen on Ubuntu," he added, demonstrating on stage an upcoming feature in which an email message will launch directly from a Compose Email button on the desktop. 


Topics: Linux, Dell, Open Source

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


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • 12.10 has really inched closer to Windows and Mac Operating Systems

    After using Ubuntu Version 9 briefly some years ago and giving up on it, I gave 12.10 another chance on my new Thinkpad.
    I must mention that I incredibly LOVE the OS... I now use it 90% of the time and log on to Windows only when desperately required (For my DSLR software and other work related things that do not still run properly on Ubuntu - Actually, the blame is on those Software vendors for not considering releasing their software for Linux)

    It amazes me how a free OS beats a 100$ Operating system in all ways... Kudos to the Ubuntu team and Canonical for this..
    One heartburn all this while was that I had to pay Laptop makers for a Windows OS even though I know I can live with Ubuntu alone - things are going to change soon with Ubuntu being available out of the box now.. GREAT news..!
    • err...

      My bad - 12.04 it is... waiting eagerly for 12.10 :)
      • Refund!

        I've been successful in getting a refund from the OEM when I purchase a new laptop. Part of the EULA states that we don't have to use Windows and to contact the OEM for the refund or credit. It takes some patience, but it DOES work.
    • Linux Mint

      You should try Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon. It's simply perfect.
      Sebastian Tristan
  • Shuttleworth talks up Ubuntu12.10, growing acceptance of Linux on desktop a

    Kudos to Canonical
  • Citrix?

    I could take the plunge with an older pc, but first can it use Citrix receiver?
    D.J. 43
    • If this helps

      Install Citrix Receiver on Ubuntu 12.04
      • Thanks

        Thanks, actually it was easier than that. Go to the Citrix receiver downloads, install the .deb version and it will install automatically. It worked!
        D.J. 43
  • Shuttleworth talks up Ubuntu 12.10, growing acceptance of Linux on desktop

    Snake oil salesman tries to sell snake oil. Putting a low end OS like linux on high end hardware. The only one who will profit is Dell, the rest of the people who buy into this are suckers. You don't need to accept linux on the desktop, its a dead OS. Desktop linux is dead, especially when one of linux's most vocal fanboys claims it.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Run along

      You have never used any Linux Distros what so ever, let alone Ubuntu.
    • Uhh, What?

      That's weird because I could have sworn I manage a high performance enclave build on Ubuntu server 10.04 (upgrading to 12.04 LTS soon), Ubuntu deskops, coupled with 3 CentOS/Hadoop HPC's, 3 real-time RedHat/RedHawk simulation platforms, and numerous other open source environments. I could have also sworn it was Centrify that was allowing me to integrate all of this in my AD DS domain of which is slowly migrating to a Satellite/Puppet-ish environment... I must be dreaming I spoze
      Nathan Peek
    • Speaking of sucks...,

      I'm looking at one right now.
  • "We want to embrace the web and make it a first class citizen on Ubuntu"

    Nothing new here. Both Chrome and Firefox have let you create "Web apps" for years now. JoliCloud OS has made Web Apps "first class" from the beginning.

    That said, I am using Ubuntu 12.04 with Gnome shell. It is ironic that everything works in Linux now: graphics, sound, printers, scanners, wireless, reliable file systems -- the only struggle is with the user interface which are in chaos now.
  • Unity

    I had mae doots when Unity was launched. But it now goes like the clappers.
  • Unity is not designed to run well on desktops.

    "At Oscon 2012, Shuttleworth acknowledged that the decision to scrap the old UI for a new Unity user experience for multiple form factors has been very unpopular in some circles..."

    That's putting it very mildly. I've given Unity numerous chances since it first came out two years ago. And from those harsh experiences I can easily sum up why Unity is so hated in just one sentence: Unity is a tablet/netbook interface failing to pass itself off as a desktop environment. And the fact that still no distro other than Ubuntu officially offers Unity in their software repositories is a testament to Unity's failure to be a desirable desktop environment, much less *THE* Linux desktop environment.

    That being said, I still use Ubuntu... with either Gnome Classic or the razor-qt desktop environments.
    Tony Agudo
    • Not sure if...

      I'm pretty sure Fedora already ported it, as well as OpenSuse...
      If it were such a failure, as you're describing it, shouldn't Ubuntu's marketshare dwindle? According to latest reliable sources, Ubuntu is seeing a very solid rise and projected to rise even higher by the end of the year.

      Sorry :/
      • The key quote here is...

        "still no distro other than Ubuntu officially offers Unity in their software repositories". There's an unofficial repo for Fedora, sure, but no distro has adopted it in their own official repositories. And as far as your "latest reliable sources", it doesn't mean that the rise in Ubuntu usage is due to Unity. It may be the case that many install Ubuntu(or it's derivatives (K/X/L)ubuntu) and wind up using something other than Unity due to it's failing to translate from a tablet/netbook interface to a desktop environment on a large screen.
        Tony Agudo
  • Fonts

    Does anyone notice with the latest Ubuntu that fonts in the web browsers are blurry? (despite using any type of fonts available and tweaking anti-alias). This is about as much a deal-breaker for many as Windows 8 is for mouse-users, I would think.
    D.J. 43
  • Ubuntu is going proprietary

    Ubuntu is becoming more and more proprietary and moving away from being true open source so it's no wonder it's starting to look like Mac OS X.
    • I wouldn't call it proprietry...

      After all it is still fully entwined in the gpl and linux kernel, and loads of distros are just rebuilds or desktop changes - for instance where whould you draw the line with linux mint? It's cannonicals repositories that provide the pakages for such distros, and there's been no google style steps to remove their code from being run on other distros - you can install unity on most distros now if you so wish.

      I do agree that branding plays a big part in ubuntu now, but i think this is a good thing- for years linux was linux; you just chose your desktop. - usually flux/open/blackbox, gnome or kde and how you wished to package manage, but now we've gotten to the stage where physically running linux isn't so much of a challenge, the distros are putting more effort into sylising their desktops... And i think choice can only be good.

      I don't really see it as closing off linux, but promoting what it can do with services such as ubuntu one... Sure i don't like all they do... Unity took some real getting used to, but now i'm there i'm already excited about ideas such as hud. After all unity was the point of gtk 3 - allowing each distro to build on it and create custom desktops (it'll be interesting to see where the gnome guys go with it if their distro materialises)

      As for looking like mac... I was also there for the 10.04 window button move fiasco... But vice versa, there's something very unity about (mountain) lion's launchpad no?