Wednesday, October 28, 2009

5 more questions for Ubuntu on the eve of Karmic Koala

Tomorrow, Canonical is going to release Karmic Koala, the latest of the Ubuntu Linux OS. I have tried the beta and it is quite impressive, particularly Kubuntu, which comes with KDE as the default desktop. I have been very impressed with Linux in general and Ubuntu in particular with the strides made relative to MS Windows over the last few years.

Early last week, Workswithu published a  list of 8 questions for Ubuntu's Mark Shuttleworth. However, I still have some questions lingering in my mind which I would also like to put across to Mark and you in the hope that you would help clarify them for me.

1. Why does Canonical market Ubuntu more than it does Kubuntu?

Ubuntu comes with the default Gnome desktop environment which is not that polished and good looking though very resource friendly. This is what Canonical seems to be marketing feverishly though  Kubuntu, which comes with the KDE is very polished, good looking and very attractive. Gnome has a long way to go to catch up with the more advanced KDE. People are likely to give Kubuntu a try than Ubuntu with its dull brown looks.

2. How many people REALLY use Ubuntu according to Canonical's reckoning? 

There is no definite number about the number of people who use the Ubuntu distro and its growth rate. How many people does Mark reckon are using his baby.

3. When will a person be able to use the GUI absolutely on Ubuntu without having to resort to the terminal at some point in time? 

Ubuntu has done a lot to make the use of the OS less reliant on the terminal. You may disagree with me, but one thing is for sure; the terminal is a big determinant of whether people will use Ubuntu or not. When will Ubuntu finally make the terminal absolutely OPTIONAL so that some of us can go all out to recommend it to people without having to inform them of any terminal caveat.

4. This question was beautifully echoed by a reader on the 8 Workswithu list I talked about above and would
like to repeat it here. When will Ubuntu target more aggressively  the more profitable Corporate Desktop deployments. Yes it probably has the most user base, but when will that user base comprise a significant number of corporate desktop deployments.

 5. What does future does Mark envisage for Ubuntu relative to the launch of Windows 7 last week and the critical acclaim it has won over the world?

Does Ubuntu feel threatened? Confident? How does Mark think Ubuntu is going to scale that mega MS missile called Windows 7 to reach more people?

These are the fives questions that are nagging at me and I would love to hear your views on them.

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