Every time we run a story on FOSS Force touching on Canonical’s financial health, such as Larry Cafiero’s notice a week or so ago about Shuttleworth’s musings on a potential IPO, the Ubuntu naysayers come up from their basements to express the opinion that Shuttleworth is finally getting tired of flushing money down the toilet and is getting ready to put a padlock on the door and go home.
That’s not going to happen, because that would be snapping defeat out of the arms of victory. Shuttleworth knows the smell of victory — that’s how he came to be worth $500 million — and Ubuntu finally seems to be primed for success.
Anyone who needs proof only needs to look at what Dell is doing these days. It’s cutting the chain that has bound them exclusively to Redmond and placing heavy bets on Ubuntu.
This morning Softpedia reported that Dell is releasing another Ubuntu powered laptop aimed at the consumer market. I say “another” because the announcement comes less than two weeks after Dell began shipping a similar Ubuntu offering. Interestingly, these offerings come just ahead of the release of the “much anticipated” Windows 10, a move that probably isn’t to Microsoft’s liking.
It’s important to note that neither of these are high dollar top-of-the-line laptops requiring deep pockets to buy, but affordable Inspiron 14 3000 Series laptops priced for the rest of us. The laptop announced two weeks ago comes with a 15″ screen and sells for somewhere between $250 and $350, depending on the configuration. The laptop announced today, which defaults to slightly lower specs and comes with a smaller 14″ screen, is priced at $219 and up.
That’s not the only good news for Ubuntu coming from Dell, which also announced today the release of the Dell IoT Gateway for Internet connected devices, also running Ubuntu. Add to this the fact that Dell also includes a complete step by step guide for installing Ubuntu on its computers, and it becomes clear that Dell is slowly getting on the Linux — or at least Ubuntu — bandwagon.
Why? I think the mobile revolution is at the core of this change. Consumers aren’t as afraid as they once were of straying away from the Windows farm because Android has taught them it’s not necessarily difficult to learn to use another operating system. This is easy to see from the sales figures from last Christmas, when Chromebooks greatly outsold laptops running Windows — a fact that doubtlessly opened a lot of eyes at all of the OEMs.
If I were Microsoft, I’d be worried. Very worried.
Indeed, the legendary “year of Linux” might sneak up on us and get here when we’re not looking.
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