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Canonical Close To $30M Critical Mass; Should Microsoft Worry?

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the so-you're-saying-shuttleworth-has-business-acumen dept.

Linux Business 625

ruphus13 writes "Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical, claims that the company is very close to the $30M mark, at which point, they will be a self-sustaining company. While people feel that this should not worry Microsoft, the real question is whether a 10,000 person effort on a failure like Vista can actually be the paradigm of a long-term strategy. From the article: 'Microsoft had 10,000 people [the article is unclear whether these were all developers, or administrative and support staff were factored in] working on Vista for a five year period ... huge profits in any given year can mean relatively little five years on. Canonical's self-sustaining revenue may not be threatening — but it leaves one wondering how sustainable Microsoft's development process really is.'"

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Marketing MIA (5, Insightful)

alain94040 (785132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26530845)

Developer count is not what matters. Linux has plenty of great developers. Marketing is what's missing to Linux today.

Sadly, if you google "Ubuntu Marketing", you land on an empty page (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MarketingTeam/News). Maybe someone needs to update Google's index :-)

Everyone here knows that Linux has the technical goods to take on Windows. But the cheerleading is missing. Where are the ads (with or without Jerry Seinfeld) and the glossy brochures at Best Buy?

So yes, Ubuntu being sustainable is a step in the right direction.

--
FairSoftware.net [fairsoftware.net] -- jobs for geeks by geeks

Re:Marketing MIA (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26530963)

The longer you guys drag ass on marketing; the longer I get to keep writing code for Windows. Keep it up. I got bills to pay!

Re:Marketing MIA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531085)

Coon, coon, black baboon,
Brutal, worthless, thieving goon,
Often high, thrives in jail,
His welfare check is in the mail,
Some 40 offspring had been had,
Not one will ever call him dad,
And yet he hollers day and night:
"I blames de white man fo my plight!
It's him spreads trash all round my shack!
It's him what makes me smoke dis crack!
He push my kind to burn and loot,
And sends de po-lice dat we shoot!
But inch by inch we takin' hold,
Like when de white bread starts to mold,
We'll overrun yo homes and soon-
Dey be only fit fo de blackassed coon!"

Re:Marketing MIA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531101)

Kike, kike, weasel-like,
Scheming since a hooknosed tyke,
Counts his pennies day and night,
Squeals if one rolls out of sight,
Promotes a thousand social ills,
For which you'll have to foot the bills
Eventually, in love he falls,
And weds a schrew who swipes his balls,
Soon this pair of whining scum,
Will beat their breasts just like a drum,
And lie about the loved ones lost,
In a myth they call "The Holocaust",
Coarse and pushy, greedy and trite...
Beware the Jewish Parasite!

Re:Marketing MIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531951)

It shouldn't take a posse of marketing geniuses to come up with some good copy that sells a superior product. That stuff should write itself considering Microsoft's entries in the race. If you read slashdot for any length of time, you'll quickly get the idea that most contributors think that Microsoft has set the bar abysmally low. For some reason nobody wants to capitalize on that...not even Apple, who refuses to let OS X into the wild. Of course, Apple probably realizes that it's much easier to feed a cat if it's in a cage. And, of course, it does give people some incentive to spend the extra 35% to buy their hardware...I do. Cheers.

Re:Marketing MIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531107)

So, what I got from your post was that Mark Shuttleworth needs to buy some cheerleaders huh? Looks like he has to write a letter to Hugh Hefner then. :P

Re:Marketing MIA (5, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531629)

He has buxom virgin cheerleaders that work for him for free, the only problem is they are all male.

Re:Marketing MIA (2, Insightful)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531147)

I think the major reason people dont use linux is because its still too complicated for most people, even with the efforts of canocial, theres still a lot of things you need to do inside of the terminal.
I dont think linux really needs any marketing.

Re:Marketing MIA (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531221)

Not really. Ubuntu has really removed the need for a terminal. I can easily get a system working (more easily than a fresh Windows installation) without touching the terminal. Sometimes I go to it because it gives me a power and speed a GUI *CANT* provide, but everything that needs to be done in Ubuntu can be done in GUI.

Anything that really can't (fixing a package error, for example) is explained very very clearly and tells the user exactly what to do to fix it.

There's nothing you NEED to do inside the Terminal anymore for a normal user. Just powerusers.

Re:Marketing MIA (3, Informative)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531645)

I disagree. Most guides out there for ubuntu involve terminal commands. If you want to do something simple, like isntall wow, your gonna be inside of the terminal.

Re:Marketing MIA (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531889)

I disagree. Most guides out there for ubuntu involve terminal commands.

Commands that say things like this?


sudo apt-get install foo

Yeah. That's because it's easier and faster to write that than say 'Click System | Administration | Synaptic Package Manager.' Click the 'Search' button and type 'foo' and hit enter. Right click the 'foo-1.0' package and click 'Install'. When prompted, enter your password.

Re:Marketing MIA (0)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531711)

Including installing hardware 3D drivers?

Re:Marketing MIA (3, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531779)

Yes. See 'restricted drivers manager'.

Re:Marketing MIA (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531815)

The restricted device manager craps out when trying to install drivers for my Radeon Mobility X1300. Don't sound so confident.

Re:Marketing MIA (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531935)

Works for all of my nVidia cards. I've never tried with an ATI/AMD card.

Re:Marketing MIA (2, Insightful)

entrigant (233266) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531293)

Funny, I've been using opensuse 11.0 for about 5 months now, and not once have I had a need to use the terminal for anything.

Re:Marketing MIA (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531659)

IMO, SuSE is one of the best (albeit it slightly resource hungry) distro's for not wanting to use the command line. It has a ton of GUIs and they are pretty easy to use. (I use it personally and my parents use it, without knowing what they're doing :) )

Re:Marketing MIA (0, Flamebait)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531641)

Why is the terminal a bad thing?
What I think is WAAAY more confusing and non-intuitive is the Microsoft interface.
All the random and hidden places you have to look for even basic system-related stuff. It should be front and centre instead of hidden under a massive hierarchy of menu options and "advanced" tabs. All windows wants to do is keep shoving media players, photo viewers and useless workflow models in your face.

Also they way Microsoft decided to dispense with accurate/detailed technical terminology and information and replace it with "you're too dumb to understand this" marketing terminology. How useful is an error pop-up that just says "A system error has occurred" ? Even for non-techy types wouldn't it be more useful to know some detail like what failed and why?

Give me Linux and a terminal any day.

Re:Marketing MIA (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531721)

Because you need to have knowledge of the terminal before you enter it or you wont know what to do. You cant just dive into it, where as with GUIs you can see what your options are.

Re:Marketing MIA (2, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531827)

Bollocks. Your average Ubuntu user will spend as much time on the command line as a windows user will, ie, none for most, some for the rest of us, all the time for the superleet.

Re:Marketing MIA (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531879)

Really not true. Most people never once use the command line in windows, 90% of people dont even know its there.

Re:Marketing MIA (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531975)

Probably because you use the terminal for things you know how to do there, even if there's a GUI option somewhere. Similar to how you're more likely to do Windows+R->cmd->ipconfig to find out your IP address in Windows than Start->Settings->Control Panel->Network Connections.

Re:Marketing MIA (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531397)

As for marketing: Market to developers.
I am one, and missing an startpoint as for the package of developing an application. That options exist, i know. But what is *the* drop-in develop environment for say, Ubuntu?

Perhaps i should make this a "axe slashdot":
What IDE should i use install and get going without having to figure out all sorts of things not related to building a new application?

Re:Marketing MIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531687)

The answer is the same for Windows OR Linux: Eclipse.

Re:Marketing MIA (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531411)

And still, we have cannonical approaching 30 million, redhat approaching 500 million dollars in revenue and novell going for 250 million.

Why do you thing marketing is needed?

Re:Marketing MIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531509)

Linux also has plenty of crap developers.

The OSS development model lets both sides contribute.

Re:Marketing MIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531511)

Sadly, marketing != advertising.

The greatest part of marketing is understanding the users, which open source projects have no clue of. How could they, because they shun on working with non-developers (which would bring on the required ingredients to the process)?

The outcome we see: 2,9% market share for Linux desktop. It could be made past 50% within the next 5 years without even breaking a sweat because the competition is quite lax. I even took the time formulating a list of 10 concise action points for reaching that goal, and probed on blogosphere once whether people really care. No one did. Ah well, I am a happy Macintosh user now and they have those 10 points fulfilled :)

Re:Marketing MIA (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531535)

Marketing is on the agenda as they just hired Julian Hubbard [youtube.com] to deal with Ubuntu's marketing strategy.

Re:Marketing MIA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531543)

Where are the ads (with or without Jerry Seinfeld) and the glossy brochures at Best Buy?

They're generally not allowed by Microsoft's OEM agreements. you can only advertise Windows or you pay retail and go out of business. You're not likely to see a Linux ad anywhere that sells a Microsoft OS any time soon.

Re:Marketing MIA (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531547)

Your right but marketing is more than commercials. Everybody knows about Linux. The real issue I see is still the lack of a way to "sell" software.
There really isn't a good way to sell software for Linux.
I still say an ITunes like app store for Linux is the missing piece. Throw in media as well and get people selling software.
The funny thing I always hear is that any simple program will just be copied by the FOSS community. It may but it really doesn't matter. Bejeweled, AstrPop, and Tetris all show that a simple fun program will sell. If every distro came with an iTunes/Steam like client then you would see more games and good software for Linux.

Re:Marketing MIA (1, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531713)

Marketing is what's missing to Linux today.

The lack of marketing is what makes Linux so great. Linux is what it is because it's made by technically proficient people for technically proficient people. We don't need marketing. The fact that it is free, and technically excellent is all that is needed to attract the kinds of people that will make Linux even better.

Re:Marketing MIA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531821)

Patriotism is bigotry.

This is a lie. You are a liar.

Spy vs. Spy (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531957)

But the cheerleading is missing.

I laugh in the face of a Linux cheerleader, for he is ill equipped.

That's right, our side's got freaking Evangelists. [microsoft.com]

I dare you to find a more epic term to describe your purveyors of software :D

Slashdot missing a story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26530871)

Something about some guy starting a new job in Washington, DC? I saw something about it on TV.

Re:Slashdot missing a story? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531049)

Remember, this is slashdot, the story will be posted. Around Friday.

Re:Slashdot missing a story? (-1, Offtopic)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531285)

And then duplicated by kdawson on Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Re:Slashdot missing a story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531425)

To get somewhat back on topic, watching the live Moonlight stream on my Ubuntu box was pretty neat.

Re:Slashdot missing a story? (1)

Sun.Jedi (1280674) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531667)

And then duplicated by kdawson on Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Wiff diffrent speling misstakes one awl thrree dais.

Re:Slashdot missing a story? (-1, Offtopic)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531283)

They're working hard on it. But after a coffee break, it was discovered that some person(s) unknown pried the 'H' key from all Slashdot editor's keyboards. Stay tuned...

Re:Slashdot missing a story? (-1, Offtopic)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531313)

I heard on the Prairie Home Companion over the weekend that there were some concerns about the effect of DC and being the president will have on Obama's kids. Garrison basically said that historically, it's been OK, look at Chelsea, she's doing fine. The Bush twins had some rough spots in the beginning, but have settled down. Patti had her rough days, but is so-so. Carter's kid is doing OK. There's this other presidential kid... but lets not talk about him, he'll be out in a couple of days anyway...

Do you really come to /. for inauguration coverage (0, Troll)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531993)

There are hundreds of other competing sources doing a better job. /. should rather stick to what it can do well.

Ubuntu moves faster (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26530979)

That's what will kill Microsoft (and why I believe Ubuntu has become one of the top distros). Everytime I hear about Microsoft management story, it seems to be an exercise in bureacracy.

But what will hurt Microsoft is the day Quicken or Photoshop have Wine 1.xx on their system requirements, next to XP/Vista/Etc. I'm too cynical to think they'll come out with native Linux version, but eventually they'll want to tap into the 10 million+ users of Ubuntu and other Linuxes, if nothing else but to stop their competition from taking hold.

At this point, there isn't much reason to not be OS agnostic for those type of programs.

Re:Ubuntu moves faster (3, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531477)

Not only that, I'm starting to see a bunch of software written in .Net crap. Why not write it in QT, and have an application that can run on just about every platform out there WITHOUT bowing before Microsoft, who could eat your lunch should you write the "Killer Ap".

Seriously between Wine 1.x and QT, there is no reason to write applications to Windows.

Re:Ubuntu moves faster (0)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531747)

Seriously between Wine 1.x and QT, there is no reason to write applications to Windows.

Unless you want most of the world to be able to use it easily :)

Re:Ubuntu moves faster (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26532015)

Wow, that has to be the most fucking ignorant statement I've ever seen. Try installing Psi for use with an XMPP server. It's just like installing any other Windows (or Linux or OS X) app out there, and works pretty much the same as any other app. Usability is a function of the team coding the app, not the toolkit used to build it.

And Wine... when's the last time you tried it? On Ubuntu currently, you install the package like any other (a simple process), and if your Windows app is supported, you double click your fucking icon. Just like in Windows. It's really that simple, and I was pleasantly surprised when I found it had gotten that easy. The only challenge to using a piece of software "easily" is getting it supported properly by Wine.

Pull your head out of your ass before posting ignorant tripe like this. And who modded this shit up?

Re:Ubuntu moves faster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531783)

>>Why not write it in QT

Perhaps because QT has licensing cost for closed source apps?

Re:Ubuntu moves faster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531977)

>>Why not write it in QT

Perhaps because QT has licensing cost for closed source apps?

Actually that changed just a few days ago [slashdot.org] .

Re:Ubuntu moves faster (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531857)

I'll hazard a guess that there are a lot more .NET developers out there than Qt.

But it's a good point. I think a lot of money could be made on the back of Ubuntu if doing nothing else than filling gaps or perfecting apps that are already monopolized in the Windows world.

Re:Ubuntu moves faster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531931)

Because your developers learned visual basic .net in college and not the QT toolkit. Most will not have even heard of it.

So your management team gets wind of this "cute e" thing, asks the devs, they google it and get scared about having to be quickly productive with a tool they've never seen.

So out comes the sales-pitch as to why vb.net comes from the gods themselves, stories of memory management and other techtalk that your managers dont understand. Your company stays with vb.net

Two years later, new dev comes in and gets a project like "make us a gui calculator" and wants to use QT. Your managers have heard of that, its that silly amateur project that's only for in-bed systems or whatever it was that your microsoft certified vb.net developers told you it was two years earlier. Yeah, screw that, we want that memory management stuff. VB.net for the new guy.

Sound familliar? I thought so...

Condemnation of Agile practices (1, Offtopic)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26530993)

The real culprit here is Microsoft's full acceptance of Agile as a valid development methodology. While for small projects, or projects that can be delivered to a real-world testing environment (like web applications) Agile works great, for large applications with many individual teams working on disparate parts of the system, Agile is simply no match for the classic Waterfall methodology.

You don't get singleness of purpose and unity of design by letting each team work out their parts on their own. That requires architecture and design and a top-down approach.

Expect to see Microsoft move back towards tried and true development methodologies. Many of their smaller projects will probably stick with Agile, but the large products (Windows, Office, etc) will no doubt move back to Waterfall.

Re:Condemnation of Agile practices (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531219)

Ok but save for a few high-profile projects like Mozilla's suite and OOo, the open source community doesn't use waterfall either. In fact, isn't the Linux kernel's model itself somewhat closer to agile?

Re:Condemnation of Agile practices (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531321)

Sure. But will you claim that there is a clear vision and design concept behind the Linux kernel?

Or is it more of a hodge podge of pieces that are added as needed? Is it a gnarled tree or sculpted marble?

Re:Condemnation of Agile practices (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531693)

Its a sculpted tree....

Re:Condemnation of Agile practices (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531799)

Linux's development model is "you make it, and if it is any good, it will go to the kernel". That is closest to agile than waterfall, but even then, calling it agile is a bit stretching.

Re:Condemnation of Agile practices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531433)

Agile development != lack of overall architecture

$30 mil? Seriously? (2, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531007)

$30 million? That's it? That's nothing. That's a regular grocery store. I'll check back when this number is about 100 times bigger...

Re:$30 mil? Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531065)

What do you want for a company that gives its product away? I am honestly surprised they have any million...

Re:$30 mil? Seriously? (5, Insightful)

toganet (176363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531183)

And that's the problem -- people think a product or service has to make tons of $$ to be successful. Something like Ubuntu subverts our capitalist assumptions, because it actually gets cheaper the better it gets, and the more people who use it. Supply and demand work differently.

Re:$30 mil? Seriously? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26532001)

You make a good point that it is very little.

However, I think the good news is that Canonical is now breaking even which means Mark doesn't have to keep shovelling his personal money into it to keep it all working.

It also means if Mark is hit by a bus (hopefully not) then Canonical won't die from lack of funding.

Wrong Question? (4, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531011)

but it leaves one wondering how sustainable Microsoft's development process really is

Only if one ignores all the sales of commercial and support contracts. Otherwise, it's pretty sustainable. A better question might be "How effective is it?".

Microslop Windows: +1, Informative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531031)

The biggest contributor to the LACK of office productivity since the invention of desktop computers.

Microsoft User: A desktop computer user who replicates their industriousness with paper and pencil with software.

Cordially,
Kilgore Trout [exiledonline.com]

Sumbmitters? Editors? (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531073)

They are close to the $30 Million dollar mark! Hooray!

Okay... is that gross sales? Net profit? Payroll? My guess is gross sales, but the summary doesn't say. Without that other piece of information, this summary makes ZERO sense (and you can put any unit you want after ZERO).

Hey, guys, my car goes from 0 to 120 in 3! That makes about as much sense as the summary.

Re:Sumbmitters? Editors? (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531287)

I understood that to be revenue (not profit) but you're right, they should have specified what it was.

Re:Sumbmitters? Editors? (5, Funny)

JavaTHut (9877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531305)

Hey, guys, my car goes from 0 to 120 in 3! That makes about as much sense as the summary.

Was a car analogy really necessary?

Re:Sumbmitters? Editors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531499)

Was a car analogy really necessary?

Yeah that was totally unnecessary. Its like when you're talking about nascar and someone mentions formula one.

Re:Sumbmitters? Editors? (5, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531637)

Can analogies are ALWAYS necessary. The only problem is this one made sense. Mod GP down.

Re:Sumbmitters? Editors? (2, Funny)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531311)

This summary makes zero Ohms of sense?

Re:Sumbmitters? Editors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531657)

So it's a perfect conductor... of idiocy?

Re:Sumbmitters? Editors? (1)

klaun (236494) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531619)

$30 Million dollar mark

$...dollar? Is that from the Department of Redundancy Department?

and you can put any unit you want after ZERO

From the summary:

the company is very close to the $30M mark

The dollar sign is the unit. The units are dollars. It is common usage to have dollar signs precede the number. What are you complaining about? And why on earth did someone think it was insightful?

Re:Sumbmitters? Editors? (2, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531745)

Okay, you got me on using a redundant dollar sign

However, the point remains: $30 Million of what? Gross Revenue? Profit? It makes no sense to not specify what it refers to. You can have revenue of $30 Million and still be losing money hand over fist. You can have small sales, but still be pulling in a $30 Million profit margin. The summary makes no sense without this info.

Re:Sumbmitters? Editors? (1)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531731)

I would say it's gross sales, because having a net profit > $0 would have already made Canonical sustainable.

Re:Sumbmitters? Editors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531765)

The article shows the unit of measurement: $. It misses the measurand! (but that's quite obvious)

My car goes from 0 to 120 km/h in 3 s makes as much sense(it's about the acceleration of the car, but it's not specified).

It's revenue (4, Informative)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531855)

The article clearly describes it as revenue.

Canonical also receives revenue from companies like Dell that ship computers with Ubuntu and work with it on software engineering projects like adding Linux-based features to laptops. All told, Canonical's annual revenue is creeping toward $30 million, Mr. Shuttleworth said.

That figure won't worry Microsoft.

But Mr. Shuttleworth contends that $30 million a year is self-sustaining revenue, just what he needs to finance regular Ubuntu updates. And a free operating system that pays for itself, he says, could change how people view and use the software they touch everyday.

Re:Sumbmitters? Editors? (1)

majpue (1203478) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531921)

In endowment, I suspect. So it can live at least partially on interest (as it's called "self sustaining") and not worry about finances. I'm pretty sure that's what it means.

Um, no? (5, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531105)

MSFT reported revenue of $60.4 billion dollars for 2008. That comes out to about $165.5 million per day.

There are reasons why Microsoft may or may not feel threatened by things like Linux. Maybe netbooks. But I doubt a $30M company scares them much. In fact, I'd say they're much more worried about RedHat than Canonical - not because of their size, but because RH and Microsoft do really compete in the server market. How many Linux notebooks has Dell sold so far? Even by the lowered standards of Vista there's simply no comparison there.

Re:Um, no? (4, Interesting)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531907)

It's not the total dollar amount that would concern Microsoft, it's that a company can afford to compete with them on the desktop. Yes, RedHat already competes on the server, but so far Microsoft has owned the desktop. Now Canonical is competing in that space, on the same hardware, through the same channels, and it might be able to make a buck doing so. Microsoft hasn't faced competition like that since OS/2 died.

And before I get flamed by the Apple users, Microsoft doesn't compete on Apple hardware, and Apple doesn't compete through Microsoft's OEM channels. If Apple sold OSX separate from it's hardware, then it would be a serious threat to Microsoft, but for now Apple can't out-sell Dell, HP, Lenovo and all the budget brands out there.

The REAL Secret (1)

Cryophallion (1129715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531117)

The problem is that Microsoft paid those 10K developers all themselves.

With linux, you have people who either want to contribute for free, or a wide number of companies that pay for development, which spreads the cost around.

A smaller company that is built on the greatness of others, but which it has found a niche for itself is far more likely to succeed than a massive company with tons of overhead that has to do much more to make money.

The power of linux is in the desire of the users to make it better, and in the massive number of people able to contribute (if MS opened up its source code, and made it free, I'm sure things would be much different).

Personally... (3, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531137)

I'd love to have a 'failure' like Vista!

Re:Personally... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531303)

I actually have it, and its definately a failure.

Vista is not a failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531151)

and Thimothy is a moron for suggesting it

Re:Vista is not a failure (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531561)

please explain the rush to market with windows 7.

Re:Vista is not a failure (1)

TurtleBlue (202905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531859)

While your post is probably going to end up in Troll land - this is something that bothers me all the time. Everyone says "Vista's a failure", and from an install base, you'd be right - of about 300 PCs in my office Vista has about 5 adopters, mostly for non-XP compatible software (should this seem biased, we also have over 100 linux machines, so people are aware of the options).

However, from a financial perspective, is Vista still considered a failure? 250 of those 300 machines all have a Vista license. I suppose it would be more realistic to call it a "Microsoft OS license" at this point, but that doesn't change the fact that we still give Microsoft money in wee fistfuls regardless of Vista's success. Microsoft lost some margin because we didn't buy an upgrade for the remaining 50 machines before replacing them, but we're still giving them money hand-over-fist for Vista whether we use it or not.

Now, release enough non-viable OS's in a row, and you'll see that base erode. But already the mantra seems to be changing to "skip Vista, install Windows 7" - at which point we'll be giving Microsoft all those upgrade license fees anyway.

No MS shoud not worry... (2, Interesting)

fprintf (82740) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531159)

Just like RedHat took off in its own direction, after being the darling Linux distro some years ago, eventually perhaps Canonical will see the same writing on the wall and abandon the focus on the Linux desktop. The money is in servers and support contracts, the Ubuntu consumer desktop serves to give a distribution a foothold, to give it eyeballs, to focus developer attention on it. But if Ubuntu is to truly become a business it needs to be a whole lot more than self-sustaining.

I also second comments that $30 million is nothing in terms of revenue. There are thousands of small businesses that do that kind of revenue every year, and yet we don't ask if MS is worried about XYZ business.

What is Canonical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531171)

...and why would Microsoft worry? Background, please.

Re:What is Canonical? (3, Informative)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531757)

Canonical is the company that produces Ubuntu [ubuntu.com] .

Just like:
Microsoft is the company that produces Windows.
Apple is the company that produces OS X.


Ubuntu is the most popular desktop version of Linux, probably because there's a large focus on being user friendly. One of their main slogans is: "Linux for human beings".

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531203)

How sustainable Microsoft's development process really is? Vista, for all it's faults, and there are plenty of them (truckloads), still sells more in a quarter than Canonical will sell in a lifetime. And that developmental process is producing Windows 7 64, which is actually quite stable. A Linux company finally crawls out of the primordial soup, good news, but in terms of marketshare, Microsoft is civilization 5,000 years hence.

...until netcraft... (1)

da_matta (854422) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531249)

Man, I wish I had a penny each time a slashdotter predicts Microsofts demise ;)

How odd .. (-1, Offtopic)

Barryke (772876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531273)

Hey, shouldn't you be watching Obama's presedential ceremony?

FriSt psot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531309)

at thi5` point Effort to address

Ubuntu devs didn't write everything from scratch (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531361)

They had a source code tree that's just over fifteen years old, with bits that go back some twenty five years. Microsoft wrote its own source code tree from scratch. There's kind of a difference, don't you think? So comparing Canonical's $30m/yr cash flow and small staffing to Microsoft's multi-billion/yr cash flow and tens of thousands of staff members is invalid because the two aren't comparable. Apples-Oranges, to use a cliche.

Re:Ubuntu devs didn't write everything from scratc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531577)

>Microsoft wrote its own source code tree from scratch

I think IBM (OS/2 or Windows NT), BSD (IP stack until just lately), Seattle Computer Products (MS-DOS nee Q-DOS), SpyGlass (iexplore.exe, part of the OPERATING SYSTEM according to MS) , among others would strongly disagree.

Re:Ubuntu devs didn't write everything from scratc (2, Insightful)

maynard (3337) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531701)

You have to be kidding me.

How much source code from Q-DOS do you think still remains in the Windows NT tree? The only portion of BSD that I'm aware of that was - at one time - used for NT 3.51 and 4.0 was the IP stack. Which is a pretty dinky part of the kernel, never mind the entire OS tree. SpyGlass wrote a little web browser that could render no more than HTML 1.0 back in the day - how much of that do you think still remains in Internet Explorer 7?

Get a grip.

Drop in the ocean (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531431)

Those 10,000 developers at MS probably spent more than 30 million just on coffee and donuts in the past year.

It could mean there is hope. (3, Insightful)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531517)

If you remember a while back I said something like: There will never be a year of Linux, but it doesn't matter, what matters is that there is never a 'the last year of Linux or 'the Final year of Linux'. The fear never leaves the back of my mind that there will be a day coming when either Jobs or Ballmer or some US politician like Orin Hatch says 'If you are a Linux user, we will come find you, man, woman, child or company. You will use Windows pr you will pay fines, you will go to jail.'

This whole 30 Million, if its true, could mean Linux is here to stay, at least for a while. It could mean that we will continue to see at least a steady development of Linux games and applications. So Linux may hold on if we can for one thing, find a way to keep from losing any more important programmers, while at the same time attracting new talent. An example of this that hits close to home for me is the announcement Pixel would be leaving. I'm a Mandriva contributor. I'm worried about what will happen to Mandriva without Pixel.

So, again, don't celebrate just yet.

Re:It could mean there is hope. (4, Funny)

canUbeleiveIT (787307) | more than 5 years ago | (#26532019)

The fear never leaves the back of my mind that there will be a day coming when either Jobs or Ballmer or some US politician like Orin Hatch says 'If you are a Linux user, we will come find you, man, woman, child or company. You will use Windows pr you will pay fines, you will go to jail.'

That's doesn't sound far-fetched to me. Personally, I worry about my car not starting due to rogue clowns from outer space stealing my spark plugs.

great news and who cares what MSFT thinks (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531539)

What people should care about is that Canonical is getting successful and they are doing so not because they are paying people to take the products, but because people want the products.

So this is great news regardless of what Microsoft thinks. They, Microsoft, have never thought about anything but destroying what others have created so they may maintain their monopoly. Go Ubuntu! Go Canonical!

LoB

Failed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531669)

How much money does MS have in the bank?

Sorry, but that is not a failure in my eyes. They may have wasted money by not maximizing their profits. They may have a development cycle that is flawed, but by no means are they not able to tweak it.

When Linux is as easy as (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26531865)

setting up a Mac, and works as smoothly and as well, with consistent key shortcuts across all commands, a copy/paste that works simply and effectively, a working photo management system that comes bundled that can import my iPhoto collection, and never needs the terminal to ever write a script to do something slightly oddball, then Linux will have a shot.

Every time I've tried Linux, it was only good enough to get about 2/3 of what I wanted, then it became frustrating. Interoperation with Windows, setting up SMB sharing, network logins, etc always became a level of frustration.

Someday someone will get a unified Linux, with all of this sorted, however today is not the day. Tomorrow doesn't look good either.

best quote (5, Funny)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531895)

The best quote in TFA (the original NYT [nytimes.com] one, not the one linked to in TFS):

In his personal life, he continues to test what is possible, requesting that a fiber-optic connection be installed to his house on the border of London's affluent Chelsea and South Kensington neighborhoods.

"I want to find out what it's like to have a gigabit connection to the home," he said. "It is not because I need to watch porn in high-definition but because I want to see what you do differently." (emphasis mine)

From that alone, you can tell he reads slashdot.

The second best quote from TFA:

"Look, I have a very privileged life, right?" Mr. Shuttleworth said. "I am a billionaire, bachelor, ex-cosmonaut. Life couldn't easily be that much better. Being a Linux geek sort of brings balance to the force."

Kudos on reaching the self-sustainable mark Mr. Shuttleworth! Let's hope you really do make the world a better, more free, place.

What worry? (1)

postmortem (906676) | more than 5 years ago | (#26531925)

Assuming that Microsoft has 100K employees, that 30Mil is less than amount that MS pays daily... its employees.
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