Ruminations on the Digital Realm

Jan Stedehouder

Ubuntu won't be next. Won't it?

It seems few people are discussing the Microsoft-Linspire deal, the focus goes to “Will Ubuntu be next?”. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is burned on the stakes by the Ubuntu community for implying that their favorite distribution might be next.

I personally found this quote in Mark Shuttleworth’s blog interesting:

I have no objections to working with Microsoft in ways that further the cause of free software, and I don’t rule out any collaboration with them, in the event that they adopt a position of constructive engagement with the free software community. It’s not useful to characterize any company as “intrinsically evil for all time”. But I don’t believe that the intent of the current round of agreements is supportive of free software, and in fact I don’t think it’s particularly in Microsoft’s interests to pursue this agenda either. In time, perhaps, they will come to see things that way too.

I thought this was a balanced and clear position on the issue of a possible partnership with Microsoft. Sad to say that my comment in hist blog is still held for moderation whereas more “Good for you Mark” comments are already accepted. Edit: This has changed, the comment has been accepted, which is appreciated.

Anyway, Steven wrote another article on this subject. He still clings to the argument that Ubuntu is also a distribution that might jump ship sometime this year. I don’t think so. Mandriva and TurboLinux, yes. Mandriva because of it’s financial problems and TurboLinux because it already dealt with Microsoft a few years ago when paying for the Windows Media codecs. Ubuntu has little to gain from a partnership with Microsoft, but much to loose if it would partner. The community of Linux users is -in general- hardly diehard longterm loyal to it’s distributions (with exceptions a plenty, of course 😉 ). A move like this would push Ubuntu to the bottom of the Distrowatch charts and into a footnote in Linux history.

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