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Shuttleworth Says Canonical Is Not Cash-Flow Positive 304

eldavojohn writes "Mark Shuttleworth, the millionaire bankroller who keeps Ubuntu going strong, has revealed 'Canonical is not cash-flow positive' just as version 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) of the popular Linux distribution is released today. In a call, he said he 'had no objection' in funding Canonical for another three to five years. He did say, however, that if they concentrated on the server edition of Ubuntu that they could be profitable in two years."
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Shuttleworth Says Canonical Is Not Cash-Flow Positive

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  • Re:Really (Score:3, Informative)

    by adamruck ( 638131 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @11:09AM (#25569771)

    Perhaps huge companies still use Redhat and Novell just for the name, however all of the linux sysadmins I know for smaller companies prefer ubuntu hands down.

  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @11:16AM (#25569897)
    Red Hat itself has made it public that the desktop market is a very difficult one. Ubuntu has made very decent inroads to the desktop market for Linux

    It depends, I suppose, on how low your expectations are. Top Operating System Share Trend []

  • Re:Slack vs Ubuntu (Score:3, Informative)

    by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @11:30AM (#25570131)

    "how often it requires updates"

    I am uncertain what you mean. No Linux distribution 'requires' updates, although you are certainly encouraged to update them from a security (and stability) point of view.

    If you on the other hand mean operating system upgrades, then the Long Term Support releases from Ubuntu which comes out once a year are supported with security and stability fixes for three years (same time scale as Debian I think). This may be slightly too short for you, in case you might want to consider for instance Red Hat Enterprise Linux, who have 7 year support cycles.

    Neither Ubuntu or RHEL will stop working after the support cycle is over, although no more security updates will be released by Canonical or Red Hat Inc.

    I have no idea how long security updates are released for Slackware.

  • by MrNaz ( 730548 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @11:35AM (#25570201) Homepage

    Linux is nice but I recommend keeping it far away from any bank account. It's a black hole for money...

    I'd agree with you if you weren't a) an idiot and b) wrong.

    You've totally missed the point of the open source model. Linux doesn't *need* a profitable parent company. Projects like PostgreSQL, FreeBSD, the Linux kernel itself and others prove that companies are not needed in order to create excellent software. Debian existed long before Ubuntu, and will live long after it, should Ubuntu die. If Ubuntu dies, you can be damn sure a community will spring up to take the slack up now that demand for an apt based distro that isn't 3 years behind has been proven and an appetite created.

    As for the impossibility of Linux profitability, Red Hat's financial statements [] show a consistent, increasing profit, quarter over quarter, for the last 2 years. Go troll elsewhere please.

  • by Legion_SB ( 1300215 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @11:36AM (#25570227) Homepage

    Wow. Did anyone else notice that Win2K is actually going up? Maybe folks burnt on Vista are going back to the fugly goodness that is Win2K Pro. ;-)

    You might want to double-check the dates on that chart, friend. Win2000 is only going "up" when reading in reverse chronological order.

  • Re:Really (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anarke_Incarnate ( 733529 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @11:59AM (#25570607)
    Quoting bullshit figures is not an alternative to having an argument. 99.999% is a made up number. When the kernel that ships with the product has flaws with the configuration that is being used, for whatever reason, the vendor should try to do their best to fix the situation.

    When I was administering a Novell/SUSE network, and we had issues where SAMBA would drop kerberos tickets in our environment, Novell provided us with a custom package for SAMBA to fix the errors.

    In another situation on RHEL, Red Hat provided patches for OUR company to fix issues we had with Red Hat Cluster.

    Just because you have never hit on interoperability or configuration issues that make and break business does not mean it is not important. Just because you think having an instance of Apache running, without load balancing application routers doesn't mean that is how the enterprise world works. There are a LOT of Oracle App and DB servers on Linux. RAC is very popular as is Oracle 9i and 10g database. Being ignorant does not make you right.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 30, 2008 @11:59AM (#25570619)

    Uh, Mac OS X running on Intel Macs.

    Any local shop selling Macs these days.

  • by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @12:06PM (#25570739)

    Note that the stats you provide are from -- that excludes any users of adblock and any other crapblocker worth its salt.
    Windows users will typically use MSIE and thus will be included unless their net admin installed some DNS or squid-based exclusion list. The rest of us are quite likely to have cesspools like hitslink blocked.

  • Re:Really (Score:3, Informative)

    by EagleRock ( 973742 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @01:12PM (#25571921)
    I've been using Debian for about 8 years (since version 2.1) and I tried Ubuntu 7.04 and 7.10 for about four months. In my personal opinion, Debian is a superbly-stable server OS, even when you use Testing as opposed to Stable. I've run a Debian Testing server for roughly 4 years with absolutely no problems before the hardware became too old and I decomissioned it. Debian would be an excellent contender to the corporate Linux server market, but the Debian Project is obviously not interested. As far as Ubuntu, I've tried the three major flavors of Ubuntu of versions 7.4 and 7.10. I've also tried Ubuntu server, but was not really impressed. I found nothing that Ubuntu server had that Debian Testing didn't, with the exception that you could select a preconfigured LAMP setup during the install. From my experience, Ubuntu offers little on the back-end of the OS that Debian doesn't have. The quicker release-cycle and detailed attention to the GUI certainly do make things easier, but the added bloat and instability isn't worth it for me personally. As far as the corporate world, Ubuntu still has very little to offer in terms of the server market, except for sysadmins that know little about Linux in the first place. But of course, that's just my opinion.
  • by Teun ( 17872 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @06:10PM (#25576327) Homepage
    Bad math indeed :)

    (.91-.57)/.0057= 59.65% increase in less than a year.

    With this nearly 60% increase of market share you need 8 years to get over 50% market share and only a year later it would hit 95%.

    Of course Linux market share does not only depend on it's own pick up but especially later also of the number of people leaving other systems.

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @07:34PM (#25577225) Homepage

    I'm not surprised the ubuntu fabois would be out in force in this thread spreading FUD. You are seriously trying to argue that the ubuntu lts 18 month support is somehow longer than the debian stable support which is 1 year after the release of the next version and new stable release do not happen within the same year so it's always more than 24 months?

    Pot, meet kettle. Debian has typically has a 18-24 month release cycle + 12 months, so 30-34 months of support with a low of 12 months. Ubuntu LTS has 36 months (3 years) support on the desktop with a low of 12 months and 60 months (5 years) on the server with a low of 36 months. Yes, that's right - install a Debian and Ubuntu LTS server right before a new release and you'll get three times as long support on the Ubuntu server. The 18 month support you refer to is the support on the regular 6-month releases, that Debian just doesn't have and is most equal to debian testing which has *drumroll* no support. Of course, there's also the small matter of quality of support but on duration Ubuntu has Debian beat every which way, sorry.

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith