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The Almighty Buck Linux

Canonical Halts Ubuntu CD Free-for-all 324 324

Barence writes to tell us that Canonical plans on limiting the number of "free Ubuntu CDs" that people can mooch from the company. The growing popularity of Ubuntu has seen a dramatic increase in the number of CDs being shipped via the free "ShipIt" scheme. The only people able to take advantage of this program now will be the usual community teams, contributors, and first-time Ubuntu users. "'While these CDs are often referred to as 'free CDs,' they are of course not free of cost to Canonical. We want to continue this programme, but Ubuntu’s growth means that some changes are necessary. Therefore we are adjusting how we handle CD requests to try to find the right balance between availability of CDs and the continued viability of the ShipIt program,' [Canonical's chief operating officer Jane Silber] adds. Extra CD copies of Ubuntu will still be available for purchase through the Canonical store, although they need to be bought in bulk. Five copies of the open-source operating system will cost £5 exc VAT and shipping."
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Canonical Halts Ubuntu CD Free-for-all

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  • by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Monday October 26, 2009 @02:24PM (#29875185)

    Ubuntu seems to have hit the big time, riding off the Win7 release.
    There's half-a-dozen mainstream news sources that are mentioning Ubuntu in their coverage of Win7, some are even holding it above MS's OS

    Eg.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/oct/26/kellner-linux-hits-user-nerve/ [washingtontimes.com]

  • Just torrent it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Monday October 26, 2009 @02:31PM (#29875279) Homepage Journal

    I just used the torrents. This way I get a disk in under two hours and shared the bandwidth.

  • by King_TJ (85913) on Monday October 26, 2009 @02:38PM (#29875359) Journal

    I would think they'd have some success starting a fund people can optionally donate a few bucks to, to help offset shipping and production costs on the free CDs they send out. Then simply tell people that if the fund runs dry, shipping of CDs gets halted until more donations are made.

    I suspect the majority of people requesting the free CD are doing so because they're in a situation where downloading and burning the ISO image is too troublesome (limited bandwidth like some corporations have, or someone using satellite broadband where they have a transfer cap before getting charged per K downloaded, etc.). Asking them to kick a few dollars back into the fund after they install and start using the product doesn't seem like a big deal.

    Obviously, it'd still be a good idea to track addresses and enforce a "one copy per mailing address, per release" rule....

  • Ubuntu CD's (Score:4, Interesting)

    by uneek (107167) on Monday October 26, 2009 @02:40PM (#29875411)

    I would happily buy them from Amazon, if Amazon had up to date Ubuntu CD's. Its especially useful when you need a DVD and don't want to wait

  • by kraemate (1065878) on Monday October 26, 2009 @02:44PM (#29875465)

    Stopping the shipping of free CDs is a long overdue but unfortunate move.

    CDs were absolutely the only way to obtain a linux distro for me, and canonical's generous free shipping saved me(and countless others in 3rd world countries) by providing the discs.

    However i have seen enough rampant abuse of this, so much so that i would rather see a few thousand people unable to use linux because they cannot obtain CDs than canonical shutting down because of the greedy unscrupulous jerks.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday October 26, 2009 @02:47PM (#29875499)
    I sent a suggestion that Canonical make their CDs/DVDs available through outlets like Netflicks for people that want physical media to install, but don't need it to keep (or to burn their own copy). Let those for-pay outlets take care of media distribution and return via their established infrastructures.
  • by camperslo (704715) on Monday October 26, 2009 @02:52PM (#29875547)

    Ubuntu seems to have hit the big time, riding off the Win7 release.

    Maybe we can help Ubuntu a bit this week, burning and giving away Ubuntu 9.10 CDs through places like craigslist.

    I haven't figured out the ad text yet, but I think a title along the lines of "free upgrade for Windows users" would get people to read the ad.

    I figured the text could mention the ability to try it before installing, the ability to dual boot, the included memory tester (something that would avoid one of the problems with Win7 installs), the speed boost seen on some machines due to it being leaning and not having the overhead of antivirus software, the great free apps included, the easy of finding adding/removing apps, freedom from registration keys and ads, freedom to copy.... great additional effects/features with a modern GPU... should include something about minimum RAM requirements. Maybe mention that Mac switchers could keep the old PC around to run Windows games, and be safely used for net access through Ubuntu.

    Something simple looking, like a list format might be easily understood?

    A bunch of us working on this could have an impact.

    Ubuntu : The New Efficiency (an MS slogan that fits Ubuntu much better)

  • Get it in the stores (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Smivs (1197859) <smivs@smivsonline.co.uk> on Monday October 26, 2009 @03:07PM (#29875737) Homepage Journal

    One of ubuntu's (and Linux in general) main obstacles is the lack of public awareness. You go to a computer store and everything on offer is pre-loaded with windoze...it's as if no other O/S exists. What Canonical really need to try to do (and I appreciate that this would not be without cost) is get the CD's in the stores so that punters buying a new computer will see it as a viable alternative to M$ products. Ideally, of course it would be nice if manufacturers could offer it pre-installed across their ranges as well. Also, as many people are hugely suspicious of anything 'free' and anything 'new', packaging it with a (sensibly priced) support service might be another way of 'selling' Linux to the masses.

  • Re:Oh no. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Misch (158807) on Monday October 26, 2009 @03:34PM (#29876069) Homepage

    I just got an AOL CD in the mail this past weekend.

    First time in ages.

  • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Monday October 26, 2009 @03:58PM (#29876359)

    Are trying to build your own CD chair?

    http://www.geeksugar.com/688643 [geeksugar.com]

  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Monday October 26, 2009 @04:28PM (#29876813) Homepage Journal

    It occured to me that it would be fun (and possibly significant) to ship ubuntu with a tool to make new ubuntu CDs. Of course you can do that with the built in CD burning tool but I mean making the process a bit more explicit with a prominent menu option (Make new Ubuntu CD) which asks for the install CD, extracts the ISO, burns a new CD ancd optionally prints the official CD label.

    Its the kind of functionality you won't be seeing in Windows 7 any time soon.

  • by westlake (615356) on Monday October 26, 2009 @04:55PM (#29877239)

    You go to a computer store and everything on offer is pre-loaded with windoze...it's as if no other O/S exists

    The OEM system install has been the gold standard in the consumer market for the better part of thirty years.

    Hardware and software ships as a factory-tested and generally well-balanced system for its intended - advertised - use.

    The buyer has a warranty - the toll-free number for support. He doesn't need to google for a solution. He doesn't need his son-in-law.

    The DIY Linux OS install is never going to happen in numbers which matter.

    The FOSS app for Windows is already there. There is almost nothing of interest in the home and SOHO markets that is uniquely or distinctly Linux.

    By the time the Linux product hits the retail shelves - with licensed media play and other essentials - the "free" OS is a trivial discount at best. The retailer needs more to justify maintaining a dual inventory and support structure.

    Most users want the OS to recede into the background. To be undemanding of their attention as possible.

    That is why geek memes like "Windoze" work to Microsoft's advantage.

  • Re:Ubuntu CD's (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PeterPlan (1304775) on Monday October 26, 2009 @06:49PM (#29878639)
    Because it would be convenient for people who buy stuff from amazon all the time and have an account there. Plus it would mean free publicity if many people buy from there and Ubuntu gets listed as a top seller.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday October 26, 2009 @07:51PM (#29879217) Homepage

    Because handing a screen printed real CD in a full color printed sleeve looks far more professional than some dork giving you a burned one with marker writing on it.

    Honestly, when you introduce a new os to someone, making it look really professional goes a very long way.

  • by Thing 1 (178996) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @01:19AM (#29893425) Journal

    That's a really good idea. I hope someone from Canonical is reading. A SHARE button somewhere that burns a Ubuntu disk.

    Bonus points if it has the ability to burn the same desktop theme and layout. Some when someone says, "Hey, your desktop is really cool." You can click a button and hand it to them, minus your data hopefully.

    You won't see that in Windows 7 any time soon, either.

    Agreed. Even cooler, especially considering the clusterfsck that the XP-to-7 "upgrade" process is: be able to put the CD in a drive on a Windows system, and it'll "convert" the system to Ubuntu, with all applications and data still available via WINE.

    Any apps that are known not to run would be flagged prior to clicking the "point of no return" install button.

    And, if it can identify the current OS and set a theme that is similar if not identical to it, then there will be pretty much no retraining required. A great selling point when Microsoft itself is saying "$2,000 per seat"...

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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