Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'open source'

Victor Palau

I had a CR-48 Chromebook for a while, which has recently fallen in disuse. While I have never being totally convinced about Chrome OS being a polished, well designed, interface that simplifies the “always connected” user journey that Google was envisioning, I liked the concept.

Now I am reading in ArsTechnica that Chrome OS is getting a brand new look, that is … basically.. well, not new. While I am sure there are many technical advantages of a fully hardware accelerated windows managers, my issue is with the [lack of] concept.

Google has spent much energy convincing users that they do not need to have local apps, that they can do everything in the cloud and that the portal to this experience is Chrome. Having an OS which the only application that could possibly run, and at full screen, was the browser was a controversial but bold move. More over, it really hit home the user experience they were targeting.

This new UI seems to be sending the opposite message. It seems to be saying: “OK, we were wrong.. but  maybe if we make Chrome OS look more like windows you will like it better?”. Is that really the message? Well if you give me an app launcher in a desktop, I am bound to ask for local apps. If you give me off-line sync for Google apps, I am bound to ask for local apps.

I fear Google is paving the road to [windows vista] hell with good window manager intentions. I am primary an Ubuntu user, and what I like about it is that every single release over the last few years has continue to build on a design concept. Every new release is closely wrap on a consistent user message. Take as an example the HUD introduced in 12.04: it is new and different, but somehow it feels like it always belonged in Unity.

I am bought into the Ubuntu user experience, and I am excited to see what a new release will bring. If I had bought into the Chrome OS experience, I think I will be asking for a refund.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the new Chrome OS UI being available for the CR-48. Maybe I will change my mind once I get my hands on it.


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Cezzaine Haigh

The first Ubuntu Cloud Summit, hosted by Canonical and Redmonk, takes place in Oakland, California on May 8th and the speakers are now confirmed. It promises to be a riveting day for anyone interested in cloud strategy. If you haven’t secured your ticket yet, there’s still time – but hurry. They are disappearing fast.

Presenting on the day will be:

- Mark Shuttleworth, Founder of Ubuntu

- Kyle MacDonald, Director of Cloud, Canonical

- Stephen O’Grady, Principal Analyst & Co-founder, RedMonk

- John Purrier, Vice President of Cloud Infrastructure, HP

- Randy Bias, CTO, CloudScaling

- Patrick Chanezon, Senior Director of Developer Relations, VMware

- Robbie Williamson, Director of Ubuntu Server Engineering, Canonical

The day will cover the role of open-source software in cloud computing, some lessons from real world cloud deployments and an examination of how the cloud technologies in Ubuntu – including OpenStack, MAAS and Juju – come together to form an open cloud.

We’d love the chance to meet you there. To find out more and to book your place, go to  http://uds.ubuntu.com/cloud-summit/

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Jane Silber

If you’re a keen follower of all things open source, you might already know about the UK Government’s consultation on open software standards. In short, the Government wants to reduce its IT costs and improve interoperability across all its departments and agencies; sensible aims, indeed. It is therefore considering making the adoption of open standards mandatory.

 

This represents a tremendous opportunity for open-source suppliers and any software vendor who builds to open standards because, in effect, it enables competition on a level playing field with some of the industry’s biggest players. There are large corporations with plenty to lose, however. So it’s no surprise that some parties are already lobbying against the proposal.

 

As a company with a long commitment to open-source and open standards, Canonical is actively engaging in the debate. We are preparing a formal response to the consultation and we will be at the round table discussion in London on 27th April.

 
This consultation is a public process in which anyone can get involved. If you’re interested in its outcome, whether from a business or philosophical standpoint, I urge you to go to consultation.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/openstandards and make your case before the consultation closes, on 3rd May 2012. We certainly will.

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Gerry Carr

I wanted to know what the reasons were for people choosing Ubuntu. After all there are other better-known choices out there. For the respondents across all three surveys, open source stood out as the key attribute, true whatever the age of the respondents and whenever they adopted Ubuntu. Curiosity was almost equally as important, and clearly the more people we can make curious about our platform the better.

English Language Survey - reasons to choose

Spanish Survey - reasons to choose

 

Portuguese Survey - reasons to choose

 

For what to users use Ubuntu?

There has always been a strong presumption that Ubuntu or Linux in general would be used as a secondary PC, to perform a certain task and largely for less ‘important’ tasks such as web-browing or watching DVDs. So we were interested to find out the degree to which this is true. While there is some regional variation I will just include the English survey in this blog. We clearly see that Ubuntu is strongly figures as the main PC for users with plenty of usage in other categories (users were allowed tick more than one response in the recognition that they likely have more than one computer).

 

As to what it is used for, well as you might expect given the results above it is used for  a mixture of work and leisure. In other words, it is what I use it for what I use a PC for.

Finally, we wanted to check how Ubuntu was shared – whether it was the family PC, whether people used it on their own, or whether it was something they used at work, in the library, in the college lab. Primarily it is a person’s own PC. The exception is the 35-46 where it is likely to be the family PC and shared with the spouse and children.  Overwhelmingly though we are seeing those who choose Ubuntu  being committed to it as the central computing platform they use, something which should inspire and motivate the community and the broader ecosystem around it.

 

How do Ubuntu users like Ubuntu?

We gauged this in three ways. How satisfied they were now, how likely they would recommend Ubuntu and how likely they were to stick with the product. It was nice actually to be able to take a rational view on general satisfaction that seeks to reflect a broader experience beyond the current maelstrom around Unity. The results were strikingly positive in the English survey and stronger in the Spanish and Portuguese surveys. Good and Very Good in the English language survey was at 80% with less than 3% in true negative territory. By any industry measure this is a strong showing. In the other surveys the positives crept over 80% with stronger reports of very good.

As to recommendations, again there was a strongly positive result. Again over 80% either very likely or likely to recommend Ubuntu to others (84 % and 86 % in Portugal and Spain respectively). Wow!

 

And finally I wanted to ascertain ‘loyalty’ to Ubuntu or the likelihood of the user remaining with the product in the longer term. A very positive response to that question and again true in the other markets (83 and 85 %)

One of the really valuable things about doing surveys like this is the insight that it gives into the broader user market. I have already addressed that that we would struggle to get to users who are not self-identifying as Ubuntu users because of the methods we used to reach out. But even with that self-identifying group it is wonderful to hear reflected back that people enjoy the experience of the product, would recommend and are likely to stay with it. The shrillest and most persistent voices are not always the most reflective of the general. Not that this provides an option to rest on any laurels, but it does give some balance to the discussions about the current satisfaction levels in the Ubuntu user base and their likelihood to defect.

 

Conclusion and the links

So thanks again to all those that participated and to all those who have struggled through these blog posts. I hope you found it partially as useful as I have. As promised I am providing full access to the summary results. You can follow the links

English

http://tinyurl.com/c9nmseu

Portuguese

http://tinyurl.com/bnxcae4

Spanish

http://tinyurl.com/bw9xrtu

 

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Gerry Carr

So as promised let’s take a look a the next set of results from the Ubuntu Survey.  I am going to bundle together the broader world of Ubuntu looking at other OSes people use, Ubuntu One usage, whether people are interested in the new products announced and likelihood to purchase Ubuntu pre-installed. As usual where I see significant demographic or geographic differences I will highlight them. Where I don’t I will use the global survey as the data source.  Read the first blog post if you are not clear on what I mean.

Ubuntu One Usage

Simply I wanted to ask what percentage of people used Ubuntu One. The figures are completely consistent across the various regions as you can see in the table.

Ubuntu One? English Spanish Portuguese
Yes 42.3% 42.5% 40%
No 57.3% 57.5% 60%

 

Across ages* there is a skew towards younger people being more likely to use it but not a significant one. We see the same in other geos.

Ubuntu Users by age in the English Language Survey

 

So while Ubuntu One is a freemium service integrated into the product and provides a lot of services for free, I was still pretty impressed by the level of usage in the surveys given the number of perceived and actual competitor for a great many of Ubuntu One’s services.

Interest in Ubuntu’s announced new products

In the last few months Canonical has announced its intention to find partners to release a number of new form factors for Ubuntu with details released on two (Ubuntu TV and Ubuntu for Android) and less detail on the the Ubuntu for tablets and for phones. None are in market so we are asking about intention here with the understanding that they have not yet seen a product on which to form a definitive judgement.

Ubuntu English language respondents intention to use new Ubuntu products

 

There is no significant variance in age or geo. We are seeing strong interest in products especially as these products will by and large need to be purchased – that is I need to buy a TV,  phone or tablet in order to experience Ubuntu on it. Again, we are polling intention and clearly a large amount of weight on the final decision to buy will depend on the quality and cost of the hardware, the software and the data. But let’s couple this with willingness to purchase Ubuntu on any device.

Willingness to purchase Ubuntu on a new device

 

Without specifying the device therefore including PCs, netbooks etc we see the willingness to buy, by region, by age in ascending willingness over the next 3 images

So for once we are seeing significant variance internationally. There is a much higher predisposition to purchase in the Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking nations. It is hard to speculate as to the reason for this based on the data we have, but if we take it as a fact it gives even more often incentive to our partners looking to supply those regions. In fact there seems to very much be a global demand that is  currently unmet. Quality machines featuring Ubuntu appear to have a ready market.

A broad church – other technologies our users use.

Finally for this post – just to show we are not monotheistic in our technology but recognise other gods beyond Ubuntu, who thought it would be useful to get a picture of other operating systems that people use. Some OSes are specific to certain types of devices so we see a picture of Ubuntu users preferred mobile devices also.

 

Windows clearly is still in wide usage amongst our user base – whether at work, school or home would need further investigation. This might be somewhat surprising to those who think of Linux communities as ‘fringe’ or ‘zealots’. Clearly there is a lot of living in the real world and whether by choice or not there is a considerable use of other operating systems by the Ubuntu user base.

Android is racing into second place overall and a clear favourite for mobile devices amongst our users. Mac usage is strong but is one OS that drops significantly from English to Spanish to Portuguese users and is probably less prevalent overall than it is in the general population but it is hard to get reliable numbers on that to compare.

Stronger though is other Linux and other Ubuntu. Where Linux Mint is placed between those two categories is unclear – perhaps we will call it out specifically next time. Symbian/Nokia has a surprisingly low reported usage. Probably somewhat ahead of world trends. However it all reinforces the moves that Ubuntu has made through Ubuntu One, Ubuntu for Android, and other initiatives that to succeed in the broader marketplace, the more solutions that embrace other platforms and work well with them the better it serves the Ubuntu user base also.

Conclusion

So the survey is telling us  that there is a strong propensity in the user base to buy an Ubuntu machine and perhaps not a single machine but multiple devices featuring Ubuntu. This propensity only seems to get stronger in Latin America and Iberia. Given the heterogeneity of OS usage it is also important to make sure that we continue to develop a platform that plays nice with others which seems to be correctly prioritised on the product roadmaps.

I should say that it is taking me slight longer to extract these data sets and write the blog posts than I expect so we will have to push the remaining one until tomorrow. Thank you also for the comments so and I will continue to respond to them as I can. Final installment tomorrow

*you might note that the age data tables do not include the over 55′s. This is because a limitation of the Cross tab tool I user only allows me to select 5 categories to cross tab by. As 55 and over had the smallest response rate I decided to sacrifice it. Full results avaialble tomorrow.

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Gerry Carr

Yesterday we looked at the demographics of the respondents to the survey and some observations about the validity of the date. I recommend you read that post first. Today though we are going to dive a little more into how people first discovered Ubuntu and installed it.

How long have you used Ubuntu?
I wanted to establish if there were changing patterns depending on the length of time and/or the age of the respondent. That is, do relative newcomers to the platform or younger users use different tools to acquire the platform.

First of all the length of time that people have used the platform was remarkably consistent across the surveys. Given this level of consistency and for simplicity I will focus on the English language version.

 

Table: Length of time for which people have used Ubuntu

<2 year 2 to 5 years 5 years or more
English Survey 19.6% 42.7% 37.7%
Spanish 20% 43% 36.9%
Portuguese 21.1% 43.2% 35.6%

 

How did people first hear about Ubuntu?
So do people who have come to the platform more recently discover it in different ways to to the those who have been on the platform longer?  Well let’s see:

 

 

Table: How did new versus more more experienced Ubuntu users first hear of Ubuntu

< 2years 2-4 years 5 years or more
Magazines, etc 6.9% 7.9% 9.4%
Work 3.9% 4.8% 4.9%
Friends/Family 27.2% 25.2% 20.5%
School/College 11.7% 11.2% 8.9%
Forums, irc etc 46.2% 48.5% 54.8%
Social Media 4.2% 2.4% 1.5%

 

 

So the shifts are not seismic but we are looking at shifts information sources over a fairly short time period (approx 5-7 years) so I think we are justified in picking out patterns. The traditional tech forums of irc, chat rooms etc are becoming less influential as a first contact for Ubuntu. Social media as you might expect is increasing  as its reach becomes more pervasive. We might also conclude with qualifications, that this indicates a slight shift in the type of user coming in to  one that is less likely to hang out in a tech forum. But these shifts are slight and will be interesting to track over time. If we run it for age of user – do we discover anything there?

 

 

Table: How did different age groups first hear of Ubuntu?

<18 19-24 25-35 36-45 46-54 55+
Magazines etc 8.1% 6.0% 6.9% 10.2% 14.8% 18.7%
Work 0.8% 1.4% 5.5% 8.6% 9.1% 6.9%
Friends/Family 31.9% 28.1% 23.2% 18.1% 13.2% 18.6%
School College 7.2% 18.1% 11.4% 2.6% 1.8% 1.2%
Forums 47.6 44.2% 51% 57.7% 58.9% 53.2%
Social Media 4.4% 2.1% 2.0% 2.8% 2.2% 1.4%

 

 

We certainly see the trends repeated with regard to the remaining great importance of the tech forums but that the diminish at the younger and older end of the spectrum. Social media is still small but much more important for the under 18s – again in line with broader terms. The significant importance of school and college for 18-24 years olds versus the under 18s shows that Ubuntu has so far been more successful at permeating tertiary education than it has at high schools especially in developed markets. India for instance has 16% of under 18 respondents discovering Ubuntu at school showing its greater penetration in high schools there.

How did you acquire the version of Ubuntu that you have?

The result here is consistent across the survey and across age groups so there is no value in breaking this out. It does however put a number on a question that we have wondered for some time – how many users do a fresh install of Ubuntu versus upgrades in place. And now we know that is roughly 2:1 that do a fresh install. The low number of pre-loads is certainly a concern – reflecting the continuing lack of availability in the market. We also probably under-counted this as we asked about the version users are currently running versus how they originally acquired a version. Still the good news from the sales team in Canonical is that 2012 should see a turnaround in this availability issue at least in many markets so again, a figure that is worth tracking over time.

How easy/difficult was the installation process? 

Something our platform engineering team and the web team have always put considerable focus on is the ability to install Ubuntu easily. After all, the work in making a great product is wasted is people cannot install it. The good news is that the people have in general expressed a strong degree of satisfaction with the install process.Again there was no significant difference in either the Portuguese or Spanish response so for those languages at least there appears to be no  translation hurdle.

More to come

On Monday if I can get it all in one blog post I am going to look at the reasons for choosing Ubuntu and we will look at regional and age differences in response to that question. Also interesting in other and upcoming Ubuntu products such as Ubuntu One and the more recent announcements like Ubuntu TV and Ubuntu for Android. And we will look at the all important satisfaction questions, just how happy are existing users with Ubuntu.

Gracias, obrigado and thanks for reading

Gerry

 

 

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Gerry Carr

Ok, we got a lot of response to the user survey poll, so thank you to everybody that took part. I will publish access to all the results through the fantastic Survermonkey site on Monday, but to make it easier to digest, I’ll split the results out over three blog posts. Before I delve into the results we should discuss a little bit of the methodology in order to pre-empt some questions and also to help better understand the data.

Languages.
I decided to run the poll in three languages – Spanish, Portuguese and English. There were a number of reasons for these choices. Firstly to do it in English only would obviously bias the poll to Anglophone responses so the US and UK would stand proxy for the whole world and that would be clearly unsatisfactory. Secondly those language groups (S,P,E let’s call them) tend to be disproportionately monolinguistic for those that have them as a mother tongue so seemed the most relevant to having a poll in their language. Thirdly, Latin America is a very hot location for open source and I wanted to capture usage in those nations as best as possible. Finally, we had to draw the line somewhere. If you add French then why not German, or Chinese, Japanese, or Hindi etc. Anyone interested in translating the poll into their language and promoting it to their language group need only contact me and I am more than happy to accommodate – the story need not end here.

Methodology
I deliberately set out to contact existing users through existing channels for purposes of cost, speed and also because I think we can learn a lot from people who are at least minimally involved in the world of Ubuntu. So we reached out through Facebook, the forums, Planet, our Twitter feeds, UWN and OMGUbuntu. Thank you to all who helped make that happen. The result is that the response is broad but self-selecting. We are undoubtedly missing people who simply use Ubuntu as a ‘tool’ and have no engagement with the user of contributor community. But that’s cool. Even with a self-selected audience we have built up a pretty comprehensive picture.

Let’s see what we discovered
Firstly the number of responses. These numbers in each language groups give us terrific statistical confidence in the results, something we will see borne out by ‘normal’ distribution of responses to each question each survey – i.e. there are no huge or inexplicable variances in response which would lead me to question the validity.

Total responses to each survey:
English (15,653)
Spanish (1,825)
Portuguese (1,751)

How old are you?
If you are the mythical ‘average’ user you are between 25-35. That does not vary if you are Spanish or Portuguese speaking although you are less likely to be under 18 in those language blocks. In fact almost 70% of you are under 35 in each language group. And you are male. Overwhelmingly male. The average number of women responding is <4%. Here I do wonder how much the bias of the sampling methodology has affected the response rate  - i.e. is that for whatever reason the way we reached resulted in fewer women responding than is actually reflective of the user base. We can’t extrapolate from this data, but certainly such a hugely weighted response means we have to look at how we make the product, the community and probably both, more appealing to both genders.

Where do you live?

No great surprise that in the English language survey the US and UK were strongly represented. India appeared strongly too showing the growing user base in that country and we then once past the other anglophone nations of Canada and Australia we get quickly into the long tail of other nations responding. Northern Asia hardly appears at all which is not surprising but perhaps calls out for a survey in Chinese, Japanese and Korean to discover user preferences there.

The Portuguese Survey was 93% Brazilian and only 7% from Portugal. Spanish language is more interesting as I think we get a good picture of relative usage in various countries of that language block for the first time. And here it is.

Interesting to note (and again SURVEY BIAS ALERT) by population size for the top 5 it should read in order of population size (source http://www.spanishseo.org/resources/worldwide-spanish-speaking-population):

 

Mexico (23%)
Colombia (9.9%)
USA (9.80 %)
Argentina (8.99%)
Spain (8.95 %)

Allowing for relative IT infrastructure and broadband availability etc, the placement differences compared to population size are probably understandable with perhaps the exception of the US responding so low compared to its Spanish-speaking population. Use of Ubuntu is not so widespread that it should map 1 to1 with population spreads but again, like the gender bias these do perhaps offer insight into areas where, with some focus, we can help push Ubuntu into new ground.

 

More tomorrow

So that’s your taster for today. Tomorrow i will delve into the meat of the survey and look at the triggers for usage, satisfaction level, social media preferences of Ubuntu users across (as least part of) the world. And full results for everyone on Monday, I promise.

PS – a very special word of thanks to Tiago, David and Ayrton for the translation  and promotion help – gracias y obrigado!

Regards and thoughts welcome,

Gerry

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Martin Stadtler

At World Hosting Day in Germany today, Dell announced its partnering with Canonical to deliver and support Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution with Ubuntu in the UK, Germany and China. This is a great opportunity for enterprise customers who want to deploy their own private clouds with the same features and capabilities as public clouds. So whether you are considering, actively planning or in the process of deploying an internal open cloud, you can count on Canonical and Dell for support in your work.

 

We know that when you’re building private clouds, you want access to a full feature set and the confidence that vendor support provides. With Dell’s OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution, users of Ubuntu Server 12.04 Long Term Support (LTS) will be able to take advantage of the cost savings and flexibility of the open-source cloud, without the risk.

Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS is being built with the latest Linux and OpenStack technologies. Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS is undergoing rigorous integration and quality assurance testing with OpenStack. So a Dell OpenStack Cloud customer can deploy the best open source technologies with confidence.

At Canonical, we have extensive consulting and deployment expertise on our global engagement teams. We have more than two years’ experience of bringing up, deploying and supporting mission critical private clouds. In fact, most major public Openstack clouds are built on Ubuntu – for the simple reason that Ubuntu and OpenStack were built to work together.

Dell OpenStack Cloud users can rely on enterprise grade support of their private clouds with the Canonical Ubuntu Advantage support offering. Ubuntu Advantage provides users with global support, 24/7 coverage for their production cloud environments.

With Ubuntu Advantage, you can now have your cake and eat it too, with the latest Dell Data Center Solutions, Ubuntu and OpenStack technologies, deployment expertise and enterprise support options.

You can find more information about Ubuntu Advantage for Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution on the Canonical and Dell websites. Important announcements about Ubuntu Advantage for Cloud are made on the low traffic Ubuntu Cloud announce mailing list as well as on Twitter @UbuntuCloud, #WHD_global and #Dell

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Prakash

“Good artists borrow, great artists steal!” — Pablo Picasso said it. So did T.S. Eliot. And, more recently, Steve Jobs. Let’s face it: If something makes sense and succeeds, it gets imitated.

Though Windows 8 and Linux distributions differ greatly from each other in design, ideology and — last but not least — their primary audience, they’re all built on the same basic principles of OS design so there’s bound to be some overlap. And while Microsoft has long been accused of stealing from the open source community, according to some Linux fans, it’s getting to the point where Microsoft simply appropriates good Linux features.

I have noticed many features in Windows, which came into Linux first and Windows users don’t even know them..

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Gerry Carr

The Ubuntu Server Survey is finally ready to be published it makes for a fascinating read. It is the third survey of its kind and again it has been an overwhelming response with over 6,000 completed surveys throughout 2011 and a heartfelt thanks to all who took the time to complete the comprehensive survey.

The overwhelming impression is the widespread use of Ubuntu both geographically as you might expect with respondents from across the globe. but also in the broad range of workloads in which Ubuntu Server finds itself used. Every category from web and data servers to cloud shows up strongly albeit with a strong bias towards traditional workloads.

As we approach an LTS, again we see evidence of the popularity of the extended support releases. Given we have run this survey three times now over the past three years now we begin to see strong evidence of the switching from one LTS to the next, particularly as the deployment platform, so our user base is certainly staying with us as as we introduce new features and support them in the long term.

Virtualization and cloud are now key elements of Ubuntu use, and for the first time we see KVM overtake Xen as the preferred virtualization technology for Ubuntu users, significant as the platform was the first to make the switch to supporting KVM as the native technology. With that though, VMWare remains the most cited virtualization technology showing a healthy mixture of open source and other technologies at use in the Ubuntu user base.

The respondents consideration of cloud makes for interesting reading too. There is significant interest but the use of Ubuntu Server on bare metal remains the primary use case for most users today. There is strong recognition though of the emergence of this powerful technology and with the plans for ease of installation and orchestration in 12.04 LTS it will be interesting to see how this moves the dial in regards to uptake in the Ubuntu base. A deeper analysis  shows a bias towards larger companies (i.e. respondents with more servers) using cloud technologies which is to be expected and overwhelmingly there is recognition of the suitability of Ubuntu Cloud as a basis for those efforts.

Enjoy the full report, it would be very interesting to hear your comments.

 

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Prakash

Build on VMWare CloudFoundry, IronFoundry offers .NET support in the Cloud. Cloud Foundry is VMWare’s PaaS solution which is open sourced. Tier 3 (the company behind IronFoundry) has take the code and added support for .NET.

 

 

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Prakash

After the success of Open Courseware, MIT is planning to launch free online learning courses. MIT Open Courseware is now 10 years old, wow! The online course will be called MITx. It will not earn you an MIT degree however it will still give you a certificate of completion. The course will be free, the certificate will attract a small fee which is yet to be determined.

It will be built on Open Source and the technology developed for this will also be Open Source.

Time to learn something new ?

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John Bernard

The ‘VMware View Client Tech’ Preview for Linux is now available through the Ubuntu Software Centre. This reinforces the great work done by ecosystem partners in making their latest and greatest technology available on Ubuntu.

New devices are proliferating across all industries, with the Education sector being particularly strong. Ubuntu is the natural choice within Education for virtualization products like VMware View. PC Repurposing, getting prolonged use from existing PCs, is an obvious use case for virtual desktop technology and Ubuntu is the perfect platform.

VMware View Client Tech is available now for all Ubuntu versions from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS through Ubuntu 11.10 and works with VMware View 4.6 and 5. It incorporates VMware’s latest View Client technology with PCoIP which provides end users with top performance regardless of network conditions. Download the VMware View Client Tech Preview now at the Ubuntu Software Centre.

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Sonia Ouarti

Juju is Devops Distilled

Cloud deployment is different. It involves tighter devops handovers, the ability to scale services both up and down, and hybrid cloud computing: moving services between your private cloud and multiple public cloud providers.

Accelerated provisioning through IAAS has put the spotlight on friction in the deployment, configuration and management of services. This friction can only be overcome via a change in emphasis, from configuring machines to connecting services that can then be scaled independently. In other words, service orchestration.


With Juju, services can be deployed, connected, upgraded and re-used by defining them as Juju charms. Encapsulating service intelligence in charms enables you to separate deep service-specific skills from broad operations management skills.

This webinar, jointly presented by Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth and Clint Byrum, a devops expert, will cover cloud deployment and devops with Juju.

 

Register Now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Prakash

I have been using Quicktext as an addon for Thunderbird for a while now and find it very useful.

Recently I upgraded to Thunderbird 7 with Ubuntu 11.10. The Quicktext download doesn’t work beyond version 6. So I modified it to work with Thunderbird 7. It has been working well for me, if you want it try at your own risk.

Download Quicktext 0.9.11.1 for Thunderbird 7.

What does Quicktext offer?

Quicktext is the powerful tool to automate routine and repetitive emails. You can define actions such as Hi [FirstName], and it will pickup the first name to whom the email is addressed to. Similarly you can define templates for standard email replies. You can even define where the cursor should stop.

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Prakash

Looks like HP is going to kill webOS. HP webOS as a part of the Palm acquisition. I sometimes wonder why did HP acquire Palm in the first place?  anyways,  webOS is the new operating system which Palm decided to ditch their OS kernel use Linux as their kernel as Linux has mult-tasking. Since webOS is already based on Linux, they should open source the layer on top. How will this help?

It will make webOS live, there are thousands of applications for the Palm platform which will continue to have moment. Open Source developers can continue maintaining webOS without any cost to HP.

It will give the market a new alternative to Android, where there isn’t really much options today for phone makers. iOS is by Apple only, Symbian isn’t going anywhere and Windows Mobile is a non-starter.

If it gains Momentum, HP could start offering it to their customers. If not people could at-least use the good bits for their applications.

HP TouchPad Wi-Fi 32 GB 9.7-Inch Tablet Computer

 

 

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Prakash

Patents, Copyrights & Trademarks For DummiesEarlier Microsoft sued Android phone makers, now Oracle is suing Google for Android. Patents were to protect innovators instead its being used to stop innovation.

The big old daddies of the IT industry are going after the new companies.

The old ones have nothing new to innovate. Thy are too comfortable in their zone to make the big bold moves. These companies are eventually going to get extinct and are only resting on their past laurels. They are utilising their patent portfolios to make money and stop other companies from innovating.

HTC is paying $5 for every Android phone to Google Microsoft , yes Microsoft! Microsoft makes more money than Google on every Android phone for patents! The business models is similar to the Mafias asking for protection money. The patents hoarders are the new age Mafia.

If you don’t believe me they are going to be extinct? Do your maths. If you bought Microsoft stock 10 years back for $60, today it would be worth US$28. You would have lost more than 50 percent of your value in 10 years. This is for a company that controls the software on 90 percent of the computers.

Now Google is buying patents, not because they need them. But to have a defensive patent portfolio. You see in the tech industry the big 800 pound gorillas never get sued by other gorillas because they have a patent portfolio.

From Google’s Blog:

The tech world has recently seen an explosion in patent litigation, often involving low-quality software patents, which threatens to stifle innovation. Some of these lawsuits have been filed by people or companies that have never actually created anything; others are motivated by a desire to block competing products or profit from the success of a rival’s new technology. The patent system should reward those who create the most useful innovations for society, not those who stake bogus claims or file dubious lawsuits. It’s for these reasons that Google has long argued in favor of real patent reform, which we believe will benefit users and the U.S. economy as a whole.

Google wants to purchase patents from Nortel Network, a company now gone bankrupt (you cant live on patents for too long you see). Microsoft has a license from Nortel Network and fears Google may cancel their license.

Reuters:

Microsoft, which claims a “worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to all of Nortel’s patents” following a 2006 deal, said in a filing with a Delaware bankruptcy court that existing agreements should be transferred to any new owner of the intellectual property, which spans many fields.

Google has bid $900 million to buy more than 6,000 patents and patents applications belonging to Nortel, a once mighty Canadian network equipment maker that filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2009.

Glyn Moody says:

I mean, let’s be consistent here: if you want to abuse the patent system, expect to be on the receiving end of similar abuse. On the other hand, rather more laudably, why not stop abusing, in which case you can take the moral high ground when others start abusing the system to attack you?

Its high time we replace the patent system with open source and let the innovation happen again.

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Prakash

What is special about the Open-PC?

  • Hardware and Software is selected by the Linux Community
  • The PC is preconfigured and easy to use by everybody
  • Telephone and Email support is included.
  • Only free software is used, including the drivers
  • Only fully documented hardware is used
  • There are different manufacturers who build and sell the Open-PCs
  • A part of the price is a donation to KDE
  • Everything, including the software, is developed in the open. Everybody can contribute.

Open PC.

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Gerry Carr

One of the benefits of the direction that’s been taken with the next release of Ubuntu is that there is no longer a need for a separate netbook edition. The introduction of the new shell for Ubuntu means that we have a user interface that works equally well whatever the form factor of the PC. And the underlying technology works on a range of architectures including those common in netbook, notebooks, desktops or whatever you choose to run it on. Hence the need for a separate version for netbooks is removed.

To be clear, this is the opposite of us withdrawing from the netbook market. In fact looking at the download figures on ubuntu.com interest in netbooks is not only thriving but booming. It’s us recognising that the market has moved on and celebrating that separate images are no longer a requirement as the much anticipated convergence of devices moves closer.

A return to the Ubuntu name

Which actually got us thinking about our naming conventions in totality. ‘Ubuntu Desktop Edition’ arose in 2005 as a response to the launch of Ubuntu Server Edition and our desire to distinguish between the two. But desktops are no longer the pre-eminent client platform. And actually naming the the ‘edition’ after any target technology is going to have us chasing the trend. Also we were tying ourselves to some ungainly product titles – Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server Edition for instance. User feedback also told us that people thought the edition was not for them as they had a laptop and spent time looking for a ‘Laptop Edition’.

So we are going back to our roots. From 11.04 the core product that you run on your PC will be simply, Ubuntu. Therefore the next release will be Ubuntu 11.04 and you can run that, my friend, on anything you like from a netbook to a notebook to a desktop. Ubuntu Server will be maintained as a separate product of course and named simply, Ubuntu Server 11.04.

We think this will make things simpler. When we mean Ubuntu for notebooks we will say just that rather than the more confusing, ‘Ubuntu Desktop Edition for notebooks’. We are retaining the concept of ‘remixes’ for community projects and the naming convention therein. And we would love to hear what you think.

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Neil Levine

We made a small flurry of announcements last week, all of which were related to cloud computing. I think it is worthwhile to put some context around Ubuntu and the cloud and explain a little more about where we are with this critical strategic strand for our beloved OS.

First of all, the announcements. We announced the release of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud on Dell servers. This is a hugely significant advance in the realm of internal cloud provision. It’s essentially formalising a lot of the bespoke work that Dell has done in huge data centres (based on a variety of OSes) and making similar technology available for smaller deployments. We attended the Dell sales summit in Las Vegas and we were very encouraged to meet with many of the Dell salespeople whose job it will be to deliver this to their customers. This is a big company, backing a leading technology and encouraging businesses to start their investigations of cloud computing in a very real way.

More or less simultaneously, we announced our formal support for the OpenStack project and the inclusion of their Bexar release in our next version of Ubuntu, 11.04. This will be in addition to Eucalyptus, it is worth stating. Eucalyptus is the technology at the core of UEC – and will be in Ubuntu 11.04 – as it has been since 9.04. Including two stacks has caused some raised eyebrows but it is not an unusual position for Ubuntu. While we look to pick one technology for integration into the platform in order to deliver the best user experience possible, we also want to make sure that users have access to the best and most up to date free and open-source software. The increasing speed of innovation that cloud computing is driving has meant that Ubuntu, with its 6 month release cadence, is able to deliver the tools and programs that developers and admins want before any other operating system.

Users will ultimately decide what deployment scenarios each stack best suits. Eucalyptus certainly has the advantage of maturity right now, especially for internal cloud deployments. OpenStack, meanwhile, continue to focus on rapid feature development and, given its heritage, has appeal to service providers looking to stand up their own public clouds. Wherever the technology is deployed, be it in the enterprise or for public clouds, we want Ubuntu to be the underlying infrastructure for all the scenarios and will continue to direct our platform team to deliver the most tightly integrated solution possible.

Finally we saw our partner Autonomic Resources announce UEC is now available for purchase by Federal US government buyers. This is the first step on a long road the federal deployment, as anyone familiar with the governmental buying cycles will realise. But it is a good example of the built-to-purpose cloud environments that we will see more of – with the common denominator of Ubuntu at the core of it.

Which actually raises an interesting question – why is it that Ubuntu is at the heart of cloud computing? Perhaps we ought to look at more evidence before the theory. In addition to being the OS at the heart of new cloud infrastructures, we are seeing enormous usage of Ubuntu as the guest OS on the big public clouds, such as AWS and Rackspace, for instance. It is probably the most popular OS on those environments and others – contact your vendor to confirm :-)

So why is this OS that most incumbent vendors would dismiss as fringe, seeing such popularity in this new(ish) wave of computing? Well there are a host of technical reasons to do with modularity, footprint, image maintenance etc. But they are better expressed by others.

I think the reason for Ubuntu’s prominence is because it is innovation made easy. Getting on and doing things on Ubuntu is a friction-free experience. We meet more and more tech entrepreneurs who tell us how they have built more than one business on Ubuntu on the cloud. Removing licence costs and restrictions allows people to get to the market quickly.

But beyond speed, it is also about reducing risk. With open-source now firmly established in the IT industry, and with the term open used so promiscuously, it is easy to forget that the economic benefits of truly free, open-source software. The combination of cloud computing, where scale matters, and open source is a natural one and this is why Ubuntu is the answer for those who need the reassurance that they can both scale quickly but also avoid vendor lock-in in the long-term.

More specifically, and this brings us back to the announcements, there are now clear scenarios where users can reach a point where even the economics of a licence-free software on a public cloud start to break down. At a certain stage it is simply cheaper to make the hardware investment to run your own cloud infrastructure. Or there might be regulatory, cultural or a host of other reasons for wanting cloud-like efficiencies built on internal servers.

The work we have done with OpenStack and with Eucalyptus means Ubuntu is an ideal infrastructure on which to build a cloud. This will typically be for the internal provision of a cloud environment but equally could be the basis or a new public cloud. It is entirely open as to the type of guest OS and in all cases continues to support the dominant API of Amazon EC2, ensuring portability for those writing applications.

And as we have seen, Ubuntu is the ultimate OS to deploy in a cloud and with which to build a cloud. No-one provides more up-to-date images on the most popular public cloud platforms. Our work to ensure compatibility to the most popular standards means that those guests will run just as well on a UEC cloud however that is deployed – either internally or for cloud provision externally.

So technology moves markets. Economics does too, only more so. Ubuntu has come at the right point in our short IT history to ride both waves. The scale is there, the standards are emerging and the ability to provide an answer to the choice between running a cloud or running on a cloud is more fully realised on Ubuntu than on any other OS – open source or not.

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