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Ubuntu Focusing on Tablets and the Cloud in 2013

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the lightly-braised-cloud dept.

Ubuntu 202

sfcrazy writes "Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, has shared his plans for 2013. It was clear from the Nexus 7 initiative that Ubuntu is eventually looking into the mobile space more seriously. Google created the cheap device Ubuntu was looking for wider testing and development. The initial builds of Ubuntu for Nexus 7 also showed that, despite popular perception, Unity is far from ready for the mobile devices. In fact quite a lot of 'controversial' technologies introduced in Unity don't fit on a mobile devices such as Global Menus or HUD. So there are many challenges for Mark — redesign Unity for mobile, which may upset users again, get Ubuntu app developers to redesign apps for Ubuntu mobile, get top developers to write apps for Ubuntu... Is it all feasible when companies like RIM or Microsoft are struggling or is Ubuntu becoming a 'me too' company which is not brining anything new to the table and is simply trying to claim a pie?" Shuttleworth also wants to do something or other with the cloud: "It’s also why we’ll push deeper into the cloud, making it even easier, faster and cost effective to scale out modern infrastructure on the cloud of your choice, or create clouds for your own consumption and commerce."

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202 comments

What about retina? (2, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#42394337)

This is all well and good, but Ubuntu and other Gnome based desktops still can not deal with retina displays well yet (unless you go to kubuntu, and even KDE is iffy). Why aren't they working on this? There are good laptops out there that we can't use yet, and I haven't seen any indications anyone a Canonical cares. IMHO this is a lot more important than getting it on the Nexus line (as cool as that might be).

Ubuntu vs Android (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394413)

What can Ubuntu do on a tablet that Android can't?

It's not like tablets are full-fledged PCs

Re:Ubuntu vs Android (4, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | about a year ago | (#42394483)

What can Ubuntu do on a tablet that Android can't?

Lots of things. Say you have an app built using the LAMP stack; and want to tun it on the tablet. You can't do that on Android since the APM stack is still not good enough in Android. So you either rewrite your app in Android-Java, or run it in a browser, hosted elsewhere on a proper Intel server. But Ubuntu on a tablet would be a better fit in more than 90% use cases.

It's not like tablets are full-fledged PCs

Why not? Like a PC, a tablet has a CPU, RAM, enough storage, and more options for 100% always-on networking than the PC's LAN or WiFi. Many tablets support full USB so keyboards and mice can be connected when required.

Android is just the Linux kernel without GNU; a full fledged GNU/Linux would be a very useful gadget.

Re:Ubuntu vs Android (4, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year ago | (#42394519)

what is the difference between a tablet and a fully fledged PC? My first response would be that it could run raw linux apps without re-codoing them significantly.

Re:Ubuntu vs Android (4, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | about a year ago | (#42394757)

You can port onto phones with comparative ease. But there are both limitations and enhancements.

You can use the phone's sensors, crowd source data, use location info more meaningfully, and interact with the user with whatever touch mechanisms are supported.

But there are severe limitations: storage is small and not getting larger quickly. User space isn't huge. You're limited to 32bit memory models. There aren't serious math co-pros, but ARM does integer math quickly enough. And despite what you've heard, ARM still uses power, and doesn't magically become a Xeon. Even with multiple cores, you don't get multiple work.

That said, the screen IO gets faster, juicier, and more colorful all the time. I'd love to have Debian underneath, rather than Google anything on my phone.

But I think that Shuttleworth doesn't understand cloud. Civilians aren't going to do much with cloud because Shuttleworth overestimates civilians. They don't have time to program, they just want to use this stuff-- that's why they pay others to do the work in the form of program loads and competitive *native* features. They're just not going to create and port a LAMP stack, then do geophysics array curve fitting. Instead: they're going to play games, and not ones they wrote themselves.

Re:Ubuntu vs Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42395609)

What can Ubuntu do on a tablet that Android can't?

Run natively...

Re:What about retina? (5, Interesting)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about a year ago | (#42394449)

If you find an element of the KDE interface which does not scale, you should report it as a bug!

But the general point is, I guess, that Mark made a big mistake when he went down the GNOME route: picking the technologically inferior option always comes back to bite you in the opensource world.

This is because when everything is free and you are competing for users and developpers, even network efects cannot win in a universe of open standards and source. The best tech wins in the end. Of course, you can keep the bad tech on life support for as long as you have money :)

Re:What about retina? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#42394525)

He didn't just go "down the GNOME route". He left it, trying to walk parallel to the route, hoping to keep it in site, but then some brambles got in the way, and then a ravine, a lake, and suddenly, he couldn't even see the GNOME route anymore.

Re:What about retina? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394713)

You can't say he wasn't given enough warnings (or the GNOME folks for that matter).

Re:What about retina? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394793)

You can't say he wasn't given enough warnings (or the GNOME folks for that matter).

What's with all these the "Gnomal warnings" I keep hearing about?

</EmilyLatella>

Never mind!

Re:What about retina? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42395317)

He didn't just go "down the GNOME route". He left it, trying to walk parallel to the route, hoping to keep it in site, but then some brambles got in the way, and then a ravine, a lake, and suddenly, he couldn't even see the GNOME route anymore.

Soon he stumbles across the remains of an old disused railroad track. Shuttleworth stops a moment to catch his breath and survey the area. A few drops of rain patter on the grass amid the chatter of crickets as dusk slowly settles in, and a humid breeze hints at a coming storm. Carefully tip-toeing along the weathered-cracked timbers, he follows the track a short distance and rounds a bend into a grassy clearing. Scattered around here are remnants of industry; broken barrels, wagon wheels, a headless axe handle, white and splintered from age, overgrown by kudzu. Against a cliff wall there is what appears to be the entrance to a really creepy looking old abandoned mine shaft. Boards are haphazardly nailed across the opening and an aged wooden sign with faded letters warns: "all hope abandon, ye who enters here."

Re:What about retina? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42395219)

The ironic thing about this is that when he picked it, Gnome supported resolution independence. It's yet another thing that got trashed in the gtk2->gtk3 shift. It still works in MATE.

Re:What about retina? (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#42394693)

I'm sure it's more important to you, but what's in it for Canonical? I'm thinking there's very few people who'll spend $1699 (minimum) on a rMBP in the first place. And Linux has around 1% market share, so at best I'm thinking one in hundred of those few people are interested in putting Linux on it. Actually my gut feeling is that the intersection between people willing to buy a very expensive Mac and insisting on putting a $0 operating system on it is even less than that. But yes, let us say it could marginally increase desktop *bunbu market share.

Since we're talking Apple it'd be a cold day in hell before it shipped with *buntu OEM option, so it'd be all self-installs. Does Canonical make any money on the people who download and install it themselves? Well they tried now recently with their Ubuntu lens to great uproar, but I'd say the answer is no. They certainly seem to focus on everything else like smart phones, tablets and smart TVs to make money. Maybe they're getting something from OEM deals like Dell, maybe they're making a bit on desktop support contracts - server support contracts is another thing entirely - but on the whole I doubt getting proper Retina support would contribute anything to Canonical's bottom line. Trying to be a contender to Android has more potential, but honestly they're now far, far behind Google on that.

One condition (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394341)

As long as we can run our own cloud on our own server at home, I'm all for it. Otherwise, screw it. I don't want to give any company control over my own godamn data.

Re:One condition (5, Informative)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#42394399)

As long as we can run our own cloud on our own server at home, I'm all for it. Otherwise, screw it. I don't want to give any company control over my own godamn data.

Then perhaps you want to check out ownCloud [owncloud.org]. It's Open Source. You can host it yourself. They also have a provider you can rent from (which is how they make ends meet.) There are native clients for Android and iPhone. It supports SSL and can encrypt files stored on the server if you choose. It does a rudimentary form of versioning. It can even translate ODF files to HTML for easy online viewing of documents.

Your data, your control, your responsibility. Everything you just asked for.

Re:One condition (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394979)

Tonido is also pretty good in this respect. You can even buy a plug computer from them running their software.

It was fun while it lasted! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394343)

And now the diaspora of real users who need desktops. It seriously escapes me why everyone is on the race to the cloud and tablets when you need real regular computers to develop the apps for them. Even if tools are available, development on anything but a physical keyboard is a chore.

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (3, Insightful)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about a year ago | (#42394473)

Because the desktop is a solved problem, KDE provides an excellent, highly polished desktop experience, which contains a number of innovations -- but remains not-too-different from the desktops of the naughties.

Different devices, with different input capabilities require different interfaces. If you do it the KDE way, the inerface is largely abstracted from the core of the programmes, and you can switch fromone to the other. If you are GNOME, ubuntu of microsoft (or apple), you try to have one interface to rule them all. IMHO, this is a bad idea, but some people seem to like it, so...

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (1)

ichimunki (194887) | about a year ago | (#42394577)

You can polish that [thing] all you want. It's still an overblown piece of [stuff].

If you think you can just abstract the interface, then you don't understand proper user experience design at all. And this is where I have to give Apple some credit (grudgingly)... they aren't trying to cram phone, tablet, and desktop into a single OS.

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (1)

russotto (537200) | about a year ago | (#42394601)

If you think you can just abstract the interface, then you don't understand proper user experience design at all. And this is where I have to give Apple some credit (grudgingly)... they aren't trying to cram phone, tablet, and desktop into a single OS.

When I get my damn scroll arrows back in Lion, I'll believe that. That's sufficient reason not to "upgrade" from Snow Leopard.

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about a year ago | (#42394765)

Clearly, there were not enough pixels in those "retina" display. Alternatively, some dick in the arts department figured that his screenshots looked cooler that way, and fuck the users. Yes I am being potty mouthed, but you can't multiply by four the number of pixels on you screen (yay!), and then try to spare an extra 20 (yay?) or so at the expense of a much less efficient interface (boo!).

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (1)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#42394999)

Apple has avoided the Ubuntu trap of attempting to cram phone, tablet, and desktop into a single OS which thus becomes crap, and has instead written independent crap for each.

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (1)

CimmerianX (2478270) | about a year ago | (#42395363)

I can't tell you how much that pissed me off. There's this race to be 'minimalistic' in the desktop GUI... There's also this 'notion' that scrollbars are wasted space... #1, static scrollbars take a few pixels of space. Why this fukin need to remove it for the sake of 'space' #2, I have no idea of there is more to a page since there are no visible scrollbars with arrows. You have to try to scroll the page just to see if there is anymore to it. And don't get me started on that whole push into the damn Cloud storage thing... I could write pages on how badly it sucks.

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about a year ago | (#42394743)

There is nothing in a mailer in terms of logic which is different between the mobile and the desktop version. only the way you interact with your mails changes. The same goes for the web browser (how is the rendering engine different in the desktop browser and the mobile one?), and so on and so forth. You can absolutely abstract interface and core logic. In fact, you should!

And the reason you do that is precisely because you do not want the same experience on very different devices. Apple is actually trying to merge desktop and mobile, and as far as I can tell, it just makes the desktop interface marginally worse. Of course, in the case of Apple, they are really trying to force the desktop into the walled garden paradigm. But then, Apple being evil is no news...

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (2)

Greg Merchan (64308) | about a year ago | (#42394605)

Because the desktop is a solved problem, . . .

. . . called Mac OS.

That's where many desktop Linux users I've known are now. Many hated going there, because they believe in software freedoms, but they had work to do.

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (0)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about a year ago | (#42394805)

Bullshit. if the solution is OSX, then I'm not too sure what the question was... Certainly not producing a decent desktop, because between the random skeuomorphism, the horrid windowmanagement, the dismal terminal, the meh file manager, the bad managment of multiple screens (with broken drivers in the case of the latest release which won't allow using some screens at their proper resolution), the support of a tiny fraction of all existing hardware, etc., etc. There is not much to be said in favour of OSX as a desktop. The networking is flaky, too.

The apps you need to work may only run there, but that has nothing to do with the fact that it's a pretty bad platform to run on.

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394939)

Yet it is still light years ahead of KDE.

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (1)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#42395135)

KDE seems pretty straightforward. Other than performance/bloat concerns, what's wrong with KDE? It's a pretty ordinary GUI that works pretty well.

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (2)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year ago | (#42394925)

After nearly 10 years of strictly Linux I converted to MacOS in 2005ish. After the initial dreaminess wears off, it turns into quite the nightmare. You learn that it really has all the consistency of Windows and all the application support of Linux. I have moved on to Windows 7 (games) with Cygwin (work) for desktop, Linux for servers and Android for phone and tablet. Unless Windows 9 does a 180 I will likely be going back to Linux for the desktop. That's going to be a couple years away though at least.

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (1)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#42395025)

Really? I'm the other way; I'm a scientist, and my boss coerced me into using OSX. I hated it so much that he finally relented and let me use a Mint desktop. I wanted to use Mint because I had work to do, after all.

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (4, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#42395127)

("coerced" is probably too strong a term -- everyone in the research group uses Macs, so it was more peer pressure. :P)

  Still, I don't see how folks are productive with them. I see people holding the "left" arrow key for five seconds in the terminal to scroll to the beginning of the line since Apple doesn't believe in the "home" key, highlighting things and then doing "command-click, choose copy from menu, command-click, choose paste from menu" instead of having proper middle-click-to-paste support, and other such things that seem a great deal harder than on Linux.

Then there's the fact that Apple seems to have merged the concepts of "show me the programs that are on this computer and let me launch them" with "show me the windows that are open and let me switch to them", with the result that figuring out which of 8 terminals is the one I want is more involved than it needs to be. I'm not sure why it does this; is the differentiation between the actions "switch to my Firefox window" and "launch Firefox" really too complicated for the average user?

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (1)

northar (2801909) | about a year ago | (#42395199)

When i work with a computer i don't want the computer to insult me. Mac OS treats the users like they're retards. I just don't like Mac OS/IOS, it's for people that only want's to do what they'r told to.

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (0)

CimmerianX (2478270) | about a year ago | (#42395389)

>>Mac OS treats the users like they're retards. Honestly, I have to go to the apple store alot to get our user's units repaired or whatever, I hear alot of conversations..... And 90% of those people are idiots when it comes to computing.

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#42394495)

It seriously escapes me why everyone is on the race to the cloud and tablets when you need real regular computers to develop the apps for them.

Computers aren't going away, but most desktops are in a corporate environment, and MS has that market sewn up. Tablets are a good target for Linux, though.

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#42394567)

It seriously escapes me why everyone is on the race to the cloud and tablets

And the farmers in a certain area thought it was silly for a man to waste time and money building a castle until he became their lord, prevented them from leaving the land, and forced them to give him grain and coin taxes in exchange for protection from other lords with castles.

Anyone pushing cloud and tablets wants to be a digital liege-lord.

Re:It was fun while it lasted! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394653)

And the farmers in a certain area thought it was silly for a man to waste time and money building a castle until he became their lord, prevented them from leaving the land, and forced them to give him grain and coin taxes in exchange for protection from other lords with castles.

..and then he gathered up two of every animal and beat the crap out of them. Seriously, where did you learn your history from? I'm guessing it's from a source with "channel" in the name.

WiFi disasters and Ubuntu (1)

CdBee (742846) | about a year ago | (#42394943)

I wish that before seizing new platforms, some focus would go on laptop compatibility, especially with WiFi - which has taken a major downturn since 10.x. People keep bringing me netbooks to put Linux on and I have to send them away disappointed with a reinstall of Windows because current Ubuntu releases dont work with a lot of WiFi chips that worked beautifully in 10.04. I've wasted far too much of my life configuring sketchy 3rd-party WiFi drivers that crash permanently 2 weeks later...

Fuck the cloud, fuck tablets (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394347)

And fuck all the other 'curated' computing for dummies initiatives based around the Cathedral model. Glad not all distros are going this way.

Re:Fuck the cloud, fuck tablets (2)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about a year ago | (#42394493)

OwnCloud [owncloud.org] is a cloud. On your server. your way. And it's great: who does not want access to their data all the time, through the network?

Without some corporation snooping that is...

Re:Fuck the cloud, fuck tablets (0)

multicoregeneral (2618207) | about a year ago | (#42394761)

Has the definition of cloud changed so much that it can even be done now, with a single server?

Re:Fuck the cloud, fuck tablets (2)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about a year ago | (#42394885)

It is not so much the number of servers as the network interface. It can be installed on any number of servers mirroring one another, the server might be running in a VM, which is probably closer to what you think of when thinking cloud.

But from the point of view of the user, the important things are freedom of usage, and control over their data.

Re:Fuck the cloud, fuck tablets (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#42394951)

Has the definition of cloud changed so much that it can even be done now, with a single server?

From the very beginning the cloud has always been the connection medium between point a and b it has nothing to do with what is on the end points. Think back to those plastic templates we used to draw network diagrams with. Once we went out onto a public network the shape was a cloud. Marketers, in recent years, jumped on that because referring to the internet and the web sounded so blah and they needed something new and exciting. Thus, we now have the cloud. New name, for the same thing.

As for whether you can host your data or not on a single server or you need multiple servers isn't really up to the cloud, it depends on your data. Whether you want to host it on a public server or your own (as in owncloud), is entirely up to you, too. The cloud doesn't care, because the cloud is just a bunch of packets streaming around the internet.

Re:Fuck the cloud, fuck tablets (3, Insightful)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#42395053)

Has the definition of cloud changed so much that it can even be done now, with a single server?

The definition of cloud has always been intentionally hazy (pun intended.) Because it's not fixed, it can mean whatever the speaker needs it to mean in the current context. At home, I might define the cloud to be "remote access to my data from whatever device I have at hand". That might mean accessing data stored on my own server, or access to my data stored on other people's servers. At work, many of the app people equate "Software as a Service" with cloud, while our infrastructure guys can use it to mean "scalable on-demand platforms" like EC3.

In the most general terms, the cloud is access to any kind of remote resource via the network. Once upon a time, the old name for it was client/server, but that terminology came from the days of dedicated point-to-point lines between machines, and was too technically correct for the illiterate managers who didn't yet understand that an IP network allowed access to any machine on the network.

Anyway, there is no one precise definition of "cloud". In my experience, anyone who is overly hung up on the word seems to be missing the bigger picture.

Downward spiral... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394353)

Canonical's actions are taking it into a downward spiral. As much as I thought Linspire has messed a good thing up they at least stuck to one thing (the desktop).

Whose perception? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394357)

despite popular perception, Unity is far from ready for the mobile devices.

That must be Shuttleworth's perception. The popular perception is that Unity is not ready for anything, and will likely stay like that because it is a terrible design in the first place.

Re:Whose perception? (0)

northar (2801909) | about a year ago | (#42394365)

No, it's a great design. Most innovative thing to happen in LinuxGUIland for years.

Re:Whose perception? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#42394379)

I am different from most people around here as I don't mind Unity and I don't throw fits over it, but I don't think it's innovative. It's like they put all the mediocre aspects of OS X into one design.

Re:Whose perception? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394445)

It feels to me as though they decided to bring the nokia internet tablet UI(global menus, dock to the left, etc) to desktop computers, only without really thinking any of it through.

Re:Whose perception? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#42394599)

No, it's a great design.
Most innovative thing

The second does not lead directly to the first. It almost sounds like an art review. Imagine a GUI that is all black: the buttons all work, there are menus, windows, etc., but they're all one color. That's innovative. It's art (it evokes an emotional response of frustration). But it's not a great design for an interface.

Re:Whose perception? (4, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#42395171)

I can innovate by putting barbecue sauce on peach ice cream. Doesn't mean it's a good idea.

Re:Whose perception? (4, Funny)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#42394419)

See, that's the one really nice thing about Ubuntu and Unity. You can walk away from them and not even feel like you've lost something of value.

Re:Whose perception? (5, Informative)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#42394661)

The bad thing is, Ubuntu was something of great value just four years ago. At the time, it was the only version of Linux that you could show someone out of the box and get them excited about using a new operating system. Part of the allure was beryl/compiz, but most of what made it special in the Linux world was that it played nicer with the mandatory binary blobs (like wireless firmware and graphics drivers). It was an acceptable compromise between the GNU way and everyone else.
And a lot of us geeks spread the gospel of Ubuntu to the unwashed masses. Now it's turned out that Ubuntu was a false prophet, so we're having to do a lot of damage control (and further explanations of why Ubuntu's off the deep end).

Re:Whose perception? (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#42394997)

The bad thing is, Ubuntu was something of great value just four years ago. At the time, it was the only version of Linux that you could show someone out of the box and get them excited about using a new operating system. Part of the allure was beryl/compiz, but most of what made it special in the Linux world was that it played nicer with the mandatory binary blobs (like wireless firmware and graphics drivers). It was an acceptable compromise between the GNU way and everyone else.

And a lot of us geeks spread the gospel of Ubuntu to the unwashed masses. Now it's turned out that Ubuntu was a false prophet, so we're having to do a lot of damage control (and further explanations of why Ubuntu's off the deep end).

So, if Ubuntu had stayed with Gnome Shell, they wouldn't be a false prophet? I don't care for Unity, myself, but I don't see where Ubuntu defaulting to it negates the other pluses you mention.

Re:Whose perception? (4, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#42395345)

Amazon searches? Deriding users who dislike Unity instead of useful dialogue? Now an admission that Unity was about tablets and the cloud after all?
Ubuntu started by offering candy and jewelry, and now it's getting a little controlling. If we don't leave soon, abuse will be the end result.

Re:Whose perception? (1)

zarlino (985890) | about a year ago | (#42395221)

How is this Informative? It's just an opinion, a totally unsupported one.

And btw, your "part of the allure was beryl/compiz" recollection is telling. Ever you ever thought that maybe Canonical is going after a more mainstream target than people who enjoyed playing with Beryl and Emerald?

Re:Whose perception? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#42395449)

How is this Informative? It's just an opinion, a totally unsupported one.

Beats me; I didn't get to moderate it. :)

And btw, your "part of the allure was beryl/compiz" recollection is telling. Ever you ever thought that maybe Canonical is going after a more mainstream target than people who enjoyed playing with Beryl and Emerald?

My point is that Ubuntu is one of the first mainstream distros to use compiz by default, which appealed to the mainstream audience. I participated in a few Linux fairs where ordinary people happened to be walking through the area, and the geeks were taking our DSL mini CDs, but the mainstream people took the Ubuntu CDs after seeing the spinning cube desktop demo (even understanding that this wasn't a program that worked in Windows, that it would "destroy" their current system in favor of the new one. Most of them said "I've got an old computer to use").

Re:Whose perception? (2)

northar (2801909) | about a year ago | (#42395233)

What's this - Bash Ubuntu-day? Ubuntu is at the moment the only serious desktopcontender for linux.

Mark needs to go to into space again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394369)

I think is time for Mark to take another view of the Earth again, it's clear that Ubuntu is going nowhere at this point. Linux on the desktop didn't happen but it did make it to the hands of many as "Android".

Too little too late... (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about a year ago | (#42394377)

The opportunity to build a tablet with a "free" (i.e. included at no extra cost) operating system has passed Ubuntu by. Google, and Apple for that matter, have already done it. Those two also enjoy a big advantage over Ubuntu - a massive collection of apps optimized for the tablet form factor. If you're a hobbyist then I could see wanting to run Ubuntu on a tablet but otherwise I don't quite see the point of it all.

Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394427)

The Ubuntu desktop and server, presently receiving short shrift, begin to slide downhill towards eventual obscurity.

Re:Too little too late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394433)

day late, dollar short. +1

Re:Too little too late... (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#42394667)

I moved on from Ubuntu to mint KDE thanks solely to unity. There's absolutely no way I'd replace the perfectly function, sane Android interface with that crap.

Non-bullshit non-jargon translation please... (2, Funny)

jkrise (535370) | about a year ago | (#42394425)

"Itâ(TM)s also why weâ(TM)ll push deeper into the cloud, making it even easier, faster and cost effective to scale out modern infrastructure on the cloud of your choice, or create clouds for your own consumption and commerce."

I feel Mark had 3 pegs more than normal when he spoke the above. Can anyone suggest a proper geek-speak version?

Re:Non-bullshit non-jargon translation please... (1)

La Gris (531858) | about a year ago | (#42394689)

Geek translation:

Focusing on tablets = You will get more of the Unity crapbloat
redesign Unity for mobile = We tried to sell it on desktop and...
push deeper into the cloud = there are kids reading you know.
faster and cost effective to scale out modern infrastructure on the cloud of your choice = we are going cheap on giving you a choice between clouds and clouds or clouds...
create clouds for your own consumption and commerce = You know who will consume and who will do commerce.

Re:Non-bullshit non-jargon translation please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394797)

"Itâ(TM)s also why weâ(TM)ll push deeper into the cloud, making it even easier, faster and cost effective to scale out modern infrastructure on the cloud of your choice, or create clouds for your own consumption and commerce."

I feel Mark had 3 pegs more than normal when he spoke the above. Can anyone suggest a proper geek-speak version?

"I have no idea what I'm talking about because I spend too much time windsurfing and training for space, so I'll throw buzzwords in while I try to pretend I'm still relevant to anything in the tech world."

We'll See (5, Funny)

jimbrooking (1909170) | about a year ago | (#42394431)

The tablet thing has worked out well for Ballmer and Windows 8, hasn't it?

Re:We'll See (1)

northar (2801909) | about a year ago | (#42394497)

Yes, hope we'll see Ballmer as a MS leader for many more years. He'll drive the company into the ground.

Re:We'll See (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#42395017)

Yes, hope we'll see Ballmer as a MS leader for many more years. He'll drive the company into the ground.

Be careful what you wish for. The scenario you ask for would also most likely have Apple as the dominant player and I don't think Apple would be prone to make Microsoft's mistakes.

Re:We'll See (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year ago | (#42394789)

I've just wasted 2 days with windows 8. The only positive thing I can say of the experience is that MS were happy to refund my money. Horrible UI, but worse still, it refuses to let you use your (valid!) license. Complete and utter crap.

Re:We'll See (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42395279)

You did a clean install using the upgrade license, didn't you?

Exciting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394435)

Apparently I'm out of touch with popular perception, I though Unity was made for mobile devices.
I wouldn't mind claiming a pie and consuming some clouds with it, too.

Re:Exciting (1)

Smivs (1197859) | about a year ago | (#42394607)

Likewise. I'd assumed that the move towards Unity was aimed at the 'future' ie tablets etc, and that the desktop was yesterday and was to be sidelined. Ubuntu seem to be totally lost at sea now, with what I see as a troubled tablet UI (Unity) and a rejected and stagnant desktop UI.

Re:Exciting (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#42395155)

Likewise. I'd assumed that the move towards Unity was aimed at the 'future' ie tablets etc, and that the desktop was yesterday and was to be sidelined. Ubuntu seem to be totally lost at sea now, with what I see as a troubled tablet UI (Unity) and a rejected and stagnant desktop UI.

From day one, Canonical said Unity was not about tablets, but was to take advantage of computers being almost always connected to the internet and having screens wider than they are tall. Many in the Windows world have been moving the menu bar to the side of the screen for the latter reason. Many in the Linux world, running something other than Gnome 2 were doing so, likewise.

Being a tablet OS takes a lot more than just having a launcher with big buttons. You need to have an interface designed around touch and Unity was never designed for that. The KDE folks are designing KDE Active specifically for that and that is an approach that Ubuntu and even Gnome should have followed: have your core environment with a modular UI that can be made to fit the form factor and use scenario needed. Run KDE on the desktop, you get KDE plus plasma desktop. Run KDE on a netbook or small screen laptop, you get KDE plus plasma netbook. Run KDE on a tablet, you get KDE plus plasma active. One set of core technologies (KDE) but tailored to the interface needed, instead of a one size fits all (or one size fits nobody).

KDE seems poised to be able to handle desktop/laptop/tablet. I don't know how robust Gnome 3 extensions are and whether they will enable adaptations suitable for a tablet. Unity, however, never was designed for a tablet and seems a dead end in its current form. My recommendation for Canonical, would be to modify KDE to provide a Unity like experience (many have already done this, but it isn't as fully integrated as Unity is) and then build on KDE active for their tablet experience. Of course, that will be more difficult since they killed off Kubuntu, their KDE spin (luckily, Blue Systems picked them up and is supporting them, much more than Canonical ever did).

Microsoft once had the slogan "Where do you want to go?" Canonical should be asking themselves the same thing.

Controversial Unity features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394465)

I've been using Unity too long to remember exactly what it was that I originally loathed about it, but I don't think the global menu and the HUD were on my radar. Maybe the implementation of the Launcher? Lack of customizability? Lenses instead of app menus?

stupid marketing fluff crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394471)

Microsoft is already paying for its idiotic cloud and tablet-based design of Windows 8 and Surface. I cannot possibly believe that Ubuntu is that out of touch with what its users really want. How about a computer. That's all they really want is a computer. Let them use 3rd party cloud apps for cloud stuff and install Ubuntu on a tablet themselves if they want a tablet. As long as they just make an OS that works on a real, actual computer, users can't really complain much.

Re:stupid marketing fluff crap (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#42394859)

I cannot possibly believe that Ubuntu is that out of touch with what its users really want.

Shuttleworth doesn't care about his users. They represent only a minor percentage of the market. He wants new users, and is willing to destroy everything for his pyhrric victory.

Hahaha - Unity even fails mobile (4, Interesting)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#42394581)

Clearly Unity is unsuitable for the desktop, so many of us dumped it. We assumed it was designed with myopic focus on mobile, and made jokes about it being for a one meter tablet to be worked with knees and elbows. But now mobile users are saying it is poorly designed for that space also. Canonical needs to toss their UI rubbish in the can, leave that to those who are gifted at it.

Re:Hahaha - Unity even fails mobile (3, Funny)

multicoregeneral (2618207) | about a year ago | (#42394777)

Yes, but then Mark Shuttleworth would need to admit that he's no Steve Jobs. I think the reduction in the size of his ego might cause the tides to rise, which would not be a good thing for the environment, small island nations, or marine life.

Re:Hahaha - Unity even fails mobile (2)

drankr (2796221) | about a year ago | (#42394845)

They cannot do this because that shell (Unity is shell on top of Gnome 3) has for several years been the entire focus of the entire company. They are now hostages of their own mistakes and I doubt it they will recover.

Re:Hahaha - Unity even fails mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42395075)

The smart thing would be to ditch Unity for KDE right now. But I've seen it a hundred times: we've invested x time and y money in this project, we need to double down!

Re:Hahaha - Unity even fails mobile (2)

bobstreo (1320787) | about a year ago | (#42394869)

Unity is not good on a laptop with 1366 x 768 display. I ditched it for xfce which at least lets me use the
whole screen...

I don't want Unity on my tablet. Thanks for listening Mark.

Re:Hahaha - Unity even fails mobile (1)

Xylantiel (177496) | about a year ago | (#42395347)

My question is -- why not target touchscreen desktops? There's already a feature-restricted linux variant for tablets - it's called Android. It would be more efficient in terms of resources to build an open-only non-spyware Android variant than to build something open from scratch.

I think we should target 3 user experiences -- fixed-screen + keyboard + mouse/trackball (current desktops/laptops) -- (handheld) touchscreen only (current tablets) -- fixed-touchscreen + keyboard.

Not likely! (1)

aglider (2435074) | about a year ago | (#42394623)

Ubuntu will focus on a *few* tablets and the cloud.
Tablet are more similar to (smart)phones than to PCs.
First, they have different hardware and, even with the same "model", they can have different variants in order to accommodate different mobile networks (mainly 3G (aka UMTS) vs 4G (LTE) or different SoCs.
So I would say Ubuntu won't focus on the whole tablet market.
Second, they have limited resources. Not the CPU, but the "internal" storage. Yes, it can be grow up to 64GB. But the I/O performances are far from spindles and SSDs.
Third, they don't have a keyboard. It's trivial, but keyboards are still important.
But OK. Let's say Ubuntu will focus just on ASUS Nexus 7/10 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7/10.
Will the "rich" experience Ubuntu promotes fit into a tablet?
Let's say "yes". And then?
What do you use your Ubuntu box for? Email? Browsing? Documents? Development?
would you do the same on a tablet? Likely not.
Email and web bropwsing needs a fairly high amount of input (unless you just read email and browse only by clicks).
In the end, yes Ubuntu will provide a distribution for tablets. But that will not be the real Ubuntu we all love. It'll be a stripped down version for a limited usage.
I would not call the latter "Ubuntu" any more.
And I've not yet put on ther table the issues with installing a modded firmware on a 300/400+ USD tablety. Because Ubuntu for tablets will be seen as a modded (aka aftermarket) firmware by manufacturers, thus no support nor warranty anymore.
And even so, you can rely on a rock solid Linux distribution like Cyanogenmod, that's much more mature than any other.
No, I don't think Ubuntu will REALLY focus on tablets. It will more likely "officially" focus on tables for marketing purposes.

mobile data plans suck for cloud use even unlimite (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#42394639)

mobile data plans suck for cloud use even unlimited ones with slow down after useing X data and don't even think of roaming as well.

I hope Ubuntu becomes viable on tablets (3, Interesting)

characterZer0 (138196) | about a year ago | (#42394707)

I got an Android tablet last week. It is very frustrating. Half of the stuff does not work if you do not have a Google acount or are not willing to tie your device that closely to an advertising company. The one-app-at-a-time UI is constraining. I would much rather a system like APT to manage installed packages. An Ubuntu distribution on a tablet with a tiling window manager and the ability to run Android apps would be awesome.

Re:I hope Ubuntu becomes viable on tablets (1)

drankr (2796221) | about a year ago | (#42394799)

Why would you rather have your device tied to Amazon via Canonical than to Google? What's the advantage from your POV? At least Google has a bunch of useful stuff. For example I use Google Apps extensively for work. Amazon and Canonical on the other hand I find useless.

Re:I hope Ubuntu becomes viable on tablets (2)

characterZer0 (138196) | about a year ago | (#42395225)

You can easily remove all of the cloud integration crap from Ubuntu Desktop. Presumably you would be able to do the same with Ubuntu Tablet.

sad but funny (1)

drankr (2796221) | about a year ago | (#42394783)

So Unity was designed for tablets, but it now has to be redesigned to actually work on tablets? And which tablets? Devices tailor-made for another OS? Comedy gold from Canonical.

Goodbye Canonical, it has been nice knowing you (3, Insightful)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | about a year ago | (#42394833)

What saddens me is that Canonical's roots are in Africa. A huge place where there is sporadic 3G connection.
I'd really like someone to explain to me how their vision of 'the Cloud' can work when there is no universal 3G data connection available to the majority of the people. Perhaps they have forgotten what Ubuntu originally meant?

Then there is the cost of 3G. Don't even get me started on 4G (EE is a joke) data plans.
Until they become IMHO an order of magnitude cheaper then frankly you can forget universal cloud adoption.
Cloud afficitionados seem to forget (or have a blind spot) this (insignificant in their eyes at least) essential feature.

I run my own private cloud but I am under no illusions about the sort of connectivity I will have to it from the parts of the world where I do most of my business namely, the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa.

 

Re:Goodbye Canonical, it has been nice knowing you (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#42395621)

The name "Ubuntu" has its roots in Africa, but I fail to see how either Canonical or indeed any significant part of Ubuntu has their origins there. Despite how people have talked about how Linux would be a good fit for poor countries, market share in Africa has been way lower [statcounter.com] than in the rest of the world, ranging from 0.2% in 2008 to 0.5-0.6% today - download as CSV for the numbers. Pretty much all the drive in the OSS community has come from high-bandwidth countries where downloading hundreds of megabytes of distros/patches/source code has been relatively easy. I doubt it's much of a coincidence Linus started his work at the University of Helsinki, probably one of the only fat pipes in the country at the time. So they're "abandoning" a market they never had in the first place.

Become an ASP (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42394865)

One option Canonical might want to consider is becoming an Applications Service Provider based on Ubuntu server, and hosting their services for customers. They may not be able to compete w/ the likes of RedHat/CentOS/OEL, Debian, Slackware or Gentoo, but if they do it as an apps service, they'd probably have a better chance of keeping the lights on. Maybe target those SMB or smaller segments not addressed by the likes of even a Dell or HP, and they should be good to go.

But I don't see them displacing Android in the tablet arena, and I don't see them displacing either Debian nor Red Hat nor FreeBSD or even OpenBSD in the server arena. And I see them losing desktop dominance to Mint and Mageia as time goes on, and maybe even PC-BSD.

Unity is bigger than just a window manager (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42395059)

A unilateral decision by Shuttleworth to splinter the community and move onto his own thing (Unity) is proof enough for me that he is a fiefdom builder. I've switched back to Fedora which has a track record of quality by and for the community.

erroneus (253617) FatASS needs PIZZA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42395191)

"Oh... to eat pizza again..." by erroneus (253617) on Saturday December 22, @05:20PM (#42371769) Homepage from http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3335159&cid=42371769 [slashdot.org] since that disgusting fatbody pig is a waste of life obese swine with no self-control and no dick.

Ubuntu wants to be on tablets? (4, Informative)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year ago | (#42395215)

Ubuntu is doomed. If tablets are Ubuntu's goal, they fucked up already: first off, Unity, which is drek on the desktop is also drek on tablets - so they alienated a large part of the desktop users in favor of nothing (add the local search beamed to Amazon thing for extra bonus points of alienation).

And in the meantime, KDE waltzes in, almost effortlessly creates Plasma and already now there is a distribution, Plasma Active, running on the Nexus 7, and it's actually usable and easy on the eyes.

I should also mention that the tablet marketplace is cutthroat-competitive, and even Microsoft has its work cut out to get in.

Ubuntu should step back from the precipice right fucking now.

You insensitIv3 clod!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42395275)

to underscore turned over to yet she had no fear about half of the Your replies rather Long term survival had become like Users With Laprge

Whats up with the Unity obsession? (2)

northar (2801909) | about a year ago | (#42395337)

Or could it be that the people complaining about Unity doesn't know how to change to to Xubuntu, Kubuntu and so on? A lot of the comments are "Unity is crap" bla bla. I just don't get it, If you don't like Unity, just use Xubuntu or whatever. Unity has been here for over a year now, it's here too stay, just use Xubuntu or whatever if you don't like it.

Start with Android, Iterate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42395473)

Ubuntu got where it did today by starting with the Debian/Gnome2 "stack" and iterating on it by making incremental UI changes until they had something unique.

I don't think you get into the mobile space by taking the result of that effort and shoving it onto a tablet. (Look how well this strategy worked for Windows CE.)

I think they'd end up with a much better product if they started with the open source parts of Android, a successful mobile OS, and iterated on *that* to improve the user experience as they see fit.

In order to work nicely with the rest of their world they'd probably need to start by replacing Android's build system with one based on Debian's build system that can produce .debs that combine into a working system, but the result would be a mobile OS that works in an open source repo-ish way rather than an "app store" way... Canonical can then wrap an app-store-like "software center" around it like they did in Ubuntu desktop.

I'm not sure that anyone would be interested in such a thing, but I'm pretty sure it would go down better than a port of Unity.

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