Around nine years ago, Ubuntu was launched by Canonical founder, Mark Shuttleworth. Since then, the platform has existed for nearly a decade now. When Ubuntu was first launched, Shuttleworth cited his ambition that the platform was meant to overtake Windows. On May 30, however, he admitted that Ubuntu has been unable to do so.
Shuttleworth stopped short of crediting Windows with a victory. Rather, he pointed out that instead of Ubuntu taking the top crown, Windows has been overtaken by the likes of iOS and Android. And in saying so, he is absolutely right.
Mobile computing is the holy grail of today’s era. And in this arena, Windows has taken a backseat to both Android and iOS, which are relatively recent and yet command hundreds of millions of users. Although Ubuntu originally set out to challenge the ‘closed’ platform of Windows, it is now conceding defeat to yet another closed platform, the iOS. Nonetheless, Android is certainly a silver lining for open-source advocates.
In a post written on May 30, Shuttleworth noted, “Personal computing today is a broader proposition than it was in 2004: phones, tablets, wearables, and other devices are all part of the mix for our digital lives. From a competitive perspective, that broader market has healthy competition with iOS and Android representing a meaningful share.”
He also wrote, “Android may not be my or your first choice of Linux, but it is without doubt an open source platform that offers both practical and economic benefits to users and industry. So we have both competition, and good representation for open source, in personal computing.”
At the time of Ubuntu’s launch, Shuttleworth had titled Windows’ dominance as ‘Bug #1’, something which the new platform aimed to resolve. Now, he has stated that the time for fixing the bug is over and that, “It’s better for us to focus our intent on excellence in our own right rather than our impact on someone else’s product.”