Mark Shuttleworth: 10 Thoughts On Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic)

During a phone briefing today, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth described the Ubuntu 9.10 desktop, server and cloud strategy to members of the IT media. WorksWithU tuned in and posed some key questions to Shuttleworth. Here are 10 highlights from the call.

As you’ll recall, Ubuntu 9.10 is scheduled to debut Oct. 29. Shuttleworth’s thoughts from today’s call included:

1. The User Experience: “We wanted to bring design and user experience to [the Linux] desktop.” Shuttleworth believes Ubuntu 9.10 achieves those goals.

2. Competition with Microsoft, Windows 7: Shuttleworth concedes that Windows 7 is impressive but “it’s still proprietary and expensive.” Also, he says, OEMs have “no desire” to go back to a single-vendor operating system market.

3. On the Netbook Market: Shuttleworth concedes that Microsoft “clawed its way” back dramatically in the U.S. netbook market with Windows XP. But he hopes once the Windows 7 dust settles, vendors and users alike will realize Ubuntu netbooks are a natural choice.

4. On Oracle’s Buyout of Sun (and MySQL): Shuttleworth sees no reason for regulators to block Oracle’s buyout of Sun Microsystems nor, by association, the MySQL open source database. Shuttleworth doesn’t see an opportunity for Oracle to abuse its database power. Plus, he notes that open source code can quickly fragment if there’s community concern about the governance and leadership of a project.

5. On Canonical’s March Toward Profits: Shuttleworth says he has “no concerns” at this stage about Canonical’s ability to achieve profitability. If necessary, Canonical could quickly focus on specific business areas that are self-sustainable in the near-term, he asserted. But at this point in Canonical’s five-year business journey, Shuttleworth remains convinced that the best strategy is to make Ubuntu an end-to-end solution.

Translation: Shuttleworth isn’t ready to say how soon Canonical could achieve profitability. But he’s basically saying the company is willing to lose money in certain areas as new businesses ramp up and strengthen the overall Ubuntu ecosystem.

It’s a daring bet considering how many different areas of focus Canonical has taken on. But then again, I doubt we would have launched WorksWithU if Canonical only wanted Ubuntu to be a desktop operating system.

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4 Responses

  1. GR says:

    Karmic is the worst ubuntu release I can remember. There are postings of serious problems all over, X freezes, blank screens, no-boot problems, grub2 problems, no console after text-install, KVM guests no longer boot, and plenty more.

    All in all I think Canonical should recall this ‘toxic’ Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic release.

  2. Leo says:

    Being an Ubuntu fan, I regret to agree that Ubuntu 9.10 should be recalled.

    The worst problems I had with Ubuntu were while Karmic was in late alpha. That seemed natural, one shouldn’t expect stability fron an alpha version.

    But waiting for the final release didn’t make things better. No grub, crashes, incompatibilities, you name it 🙁 And of course, booting is much slower than Jaunty.

    And, although subjective, I very much preferred Jaunty’s visual.

    (Most of my machines use Netbook Remix).

    Is there any official explanation for this problems? Some change on management? Changes in the organization?

  3. It’s March 19th now, and I wish I had read some of these posts a few weeks / months ago.
    I wholeheartedly agree- Karmic is disastrous.
    I attempted to install in my Toshiba laptop – well it wouldnt even install thank god! After a couple of the preliminary language / keyboard / partition choice, the CD just sat there, dead.
    I tried this several times.
    Oh, yes- I DLed the karmic and burnt CDs more than once- always the same result. Of course I already had Jaunty 9.04 on the laptop running quite well.
    Of course Karmic trashed it; now March/2010 I have just re-install Jaunty and updated it quite easily, beside my Windows system.
    So a Friend happened to trash his old XP system and brought to me to repair- I re-nstalled Win-XP easily, so easily in fact, I thought Id install Karmic on some some spare room on his hard disk.
    LOL! That was TWO WEEKS AGO!
    And as a hacker techie, once the problems started happening (Windows boot loader lost, Supergrub need to boot Karmic and so many other problems that I can’t remember –
    Today I googled “Ubuntu Karmic worst release” and LOL… got about 125,000 hits.
    That did it. I’m going back to 9.04 – I just hope the old Grub won’t give me to many problems booting the friend’s XP! And I hope he may even try using Jaunty!
    Shhh! Don’t tell him about Karmic!
    He’s been asking for his PC now for almost 2 weeks.

    LOL! I’m starting to feel jaunty already! Just in time for 10.04 “Loutish Llama” to start thinking about. Think it’ll be as great as Karmic? LOL!
    Well at least I had fun learning about menu in Grub2… and Supergrub.. and grldr … and …easybcd.. and …
    Mark Shuttleworth should grab the guys responsible for this Karmic disaster, line ’em up against the wall, and… well…

  4. luke says:

    Karmic beats disastrous, maybe even distrostrous for me. I tried to jump ship to OpenSuSe, but ATi didn’t keep a good repo over there, Fedora is too cutting edge, and maintaining Debian didn’t seem worthwhile to me.

    The KDE version almost saved it, but I can’t bother typing in my username and the default setup (which I am too stupid to fix) leaves me without a user list no matter how I look at KDM’s system manager. I have “User Lists” selected, but nooo, Karmic spits at me and says: Please type in your username…

    There might be a possible fix, but everyone’s too busy fixing more pressing issues. At least it works mostly…

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