EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Canonical’s Grave Strategic Errors Can Make Ubuntu the Next Linspire (Circa 2007)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Linspire, Microsoft, Ubuntu at 9:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mark Shuttleworth wants us to think Microsoft has changed

Shuttleworth and Mono

Summary: Canonical’s founder is making controversial moves which are helping Microsoft’s PR, such as the nonsense constantly heard from full-time PR staff and moles like Rebellino

UBUNTU used to be a nice project when it was portrayed as “all community” (with branding done accordingly) and some humanitarian cause, as implied by the literal name, “Ubuntu”. I loved Ubuntu when I became an early adopter. I had been told by a colleague (another Ph.D. student called Patrick) that Ubuntu was Debian-based and funded by a man who had visited space. Another colleague of mine, the man who created the first GNU/Linux distribution (MCC) helped me find a copy of Ubuntu 4.10, the first release. Back then it was just an easy-to-install Debian with GNOME loaded by default. It was long before Ubuntu became a branding venture of Mark and his ego trip (not the trip he made to space). I don’t approach this post from a position of hate, only sheer disappointment and a sense of being back-stabbed (betrayal) after sacrificing a lot of my personal life to Ubuntu. I am not alone. Follow reporters privately say the exact same thing.

“The other day Mark crossed out one of his recruitment tools — the promise he would try to make GNU/Linux ubiquitous on the desktop.”The other day Mark crossed out one of his recruitment tools — the promise he would try to make GNU/Linux ubiquitous on the desktop. Many followed his lead, contingent on this philosophical view or implicit promise. But he let us all down. Do not trust opportunist billionaires saying they’re out to get other billionaires. You would be fodder in their Turf Wars. I should have known this even a decade ago.

At the moment, Mr. Shuttleworth seems to be part of that "dick-sucking" contest/competition which Torvalds alluded to. He had been saying a lot of positive things about Microsoft recently, so he turned from pretending to be “against Microsoft” to “working with Microsoft”. What a sellout, what a weak compass of principles. Jono Bacon and his flattery to Microsoft as of late (Microsoft is now a partner) has also been noteworthy. This is like Linspire all over again.

Canonical wants us to think Microsoft monopoly is over, but it is not. Cisco is now complaining about Microsoft monopoly in yet another area. To quote: “The Cisco Systems (CSCO) Jabber vs. Microsoft (MSFT) Skype video conferencing war has pushed beyond product features and functions, and now includes a new word: Monopoly.”

Ubuntu.com was promoting Skype in its front page even after Microsoft had bought it. Skype is insidious spyware after Microsoft changed the infrastructure and put it in the land of the NSA. Here is more on the monopoly allegation; “Last year, Cisco took its case against the Microsoft-Cisco merger to court in Europe. While it didn’t oppose the merger, the networking giant wanted EU regulators to impose rules about “standards-based interoperability.” In a blog post, Cisco VP Marthin De Beer said the very future of video communications was at risk.”

“Canonical wants us to think Microsoft monopoly is over, but it is not.”Never mind other monopolies, eh? The Italian press prints some Microsoft lies from Rebellino, a sort of Microsoft mole whose purpose seems to be seeding puff pieces like this one, printing Microsoft’s lies to portray its actions as ‘open’. Canonical does the same thing now. iophk called it “Microsoft appeasement” and cited this discussion about it. There are many comments there, almost exclusively hostile towards Canonical. Adrian Lopez wrote: “Microsoft is losing market share to tablets and smartphones, but these are shut tighter than the PC platform ever was. I’m not sure that’s something to celebrate.”

With leadership from Microsoft inside Ubuntu, this should not be totally shocking. It is almost like Ubuntu got abducted. The Microsoft booster says Shuttlewoth gave up and in Ubuntu Forums an interesting comment says: “This seems like kind of a missed opportunity. I would have liked to see this bug closed with some fanfare, maybe in conjunction with the announcement of a big OEM deal or somesuch. As it is, it sounds like Mark just sort of said, “oh, yeah, that bug. I guess we can close that now or something.” If anything, the closing and his comments about it reflect less on Ubuntu’s success and more on Canonical’s waning interest in the PC platform.”

The Shuttleworth position can be summarised as follows:

  • 2004: come join me, we’ll beat an illegal monopoly together.
  • 2013: I’m friends with Microsoft now, never mind that monopoly.

The news got covered even by NPR and some big channels, not just technology sites that offer no criticism. A few years back, Shuttleworth was comparing Microsoft criticism to racism (false and derogatory analogy, akin to him calling his critics "trolls"), showing he was starting to treat Microsoft disdain as the problems An article on this subject by John C. Dvorak, who told me he was exploring Ubuntu, is actually expressing unease at IDG. Dvorak says: “Ubuntu’s maker says Linux will never achieve the goal of overtaking Windows. This because computers—and users—are dumber than ever.”

“If you were tasked with destroying Ubuntu as quickly as possible, you would do more or less what Mark Shuttleworth is doing right now.”This is sarcasm. iophk says “Dvorak is always a bit flamebaitish, but he brings up good points from time to time. In this case his points hit home. However, he forgets about the OEM lock-in.. no-one has gotten past that yet. It could happen but restricted boot makes it harder even at the OEM level.”

If you were tasked with destroying Ubuntu as quickly as possible, you would do more or less what Mark Shuttleworth is doing right now. Pro-Linux sites covered this and Linux expert Sean Michael Kerner chose the headline “Shuttleworth Fixes Ubuntu Linux Bug #1 – But It’s Not Really Fixed Is It?”

As put by Kevin Granade in his reply to me, “setting aside portable devices (irrelevant) and MS being nice now (bullshit), Ubuntu bug #1 isn’t “fixed”, it’s “wontfix”.”

On the closing of bug #1, one person sent me this photo by E-mail. “Microsoft still has a lock on the desktop and via restricted boot is trying to complete it and make it permanent,” he said.

“Is Microsoft extorting Android? Yes, and even Mark cannot deny this.”Recently, Shuttleworth has been aiding criminals rather than fighting them. “The closure comment reads like something agreed to as part of a deal with Microsoft,” iophk told me, thinking whether it is “deal or entryism?”

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, a leading GNU/Linux pundit, says “Shuttleworth, a top business Linux leader, praised Microsoft for its support of Linux.”

Carmony #2.

“Of course, I disagree,” Pogson writes. “No thanks, Mark. I will continue the fight as long as I can whether it is convenient to continue or not. Wintel survives on ignorance.”

Here is some more coverage of interest:

  1. Angst and Anxiety Over Ubuntu’s Chosen Path

    Of course, “people and distributions do evolve,” Google+ blogger Gonzalo Velasco C. pointed out. “Definitively, Ubuntu is no more than just a ‘friendly Debian.’ But in their quest to become a successful ‘Linux for human beings,’ they (specially guided by Mark Shuttleworth) took a very particular path.”

    Specifically, “they have made some concessions, they have sort of imposed some changes to become ‘a huge (commercial) success,’ and we can see where they got,” he added. “Many users (especially the more GNU/Linux FLOSS, community oriented) have left, and many new users seeking something that works and is easy to use have come. C’est la vie.”

  2. Ubuntu’s number 1 bug is fixed: Microsoft is no longer the enemy

    It’s really worth reminding ourselves of how, in many ways, open source won. True, it’s still hard to walk into a store and buy a PC that doesn’t have Windows preinstalled – one of the key complaints in that original bug report – but, in a way, that doesn’t matter anymore. Microsoft may still dominate the PC market, but what we traditionally think of as a PC is no longer the default personal computer. Heck, these days we even have a market-leading and (largely) open-source browser, in the shape of Chrome, that has become a significant operating system of sorts in its own right.

That’s hogwash.

Let’s recall, putting aside whether GNU/Linux ‘won’ or not, how Shuttleworth used to speak about Microsoft. Two quotes from half a decade ago:

  1. “That’s extortion and we should call it what it is. To say, as Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that’s just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game.” –Mark Shuttleworth
  2. “Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering.” –Mark Shuttleworth

Has any of this extortion stopped? No.

Is Microsoft extorting Android? Yes, and even Mark cannot deny this.

So, Mr. Shuttleworth, why have you befriended the Mafia? You are rapidly becoming an advocacy tool for that Mafia. You became what you hated and those who point it out are anything but “trolls” (a term he recurrently uses to describe critics).

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. NotZed said,

    June 2, 2013 at 4:05 am


    I just thought it was a baffling decision.

    Although i’m no real fan of ubuntu, it was basically just a fun ‘mission statement’, and removing it doesn’t seem to have anything positive associated with it at all.

  2. lozz said,

    June 2, 2013 at 11:46 am


    Linspire, yes, but even more so, Novell.

    Remember how there was this bloke called Ron Hovesepian, who thought that the Free Software Community and M$ could get down and boogie together.

    Where’s Ronnie now? Where’s Novell? Both lost somewhere in Linspireland.

    Anyone who thinks the Free Software Community and M$ can ever live in peace together is a fool, or a knave, possibly both.

    Anyway, Mark can get together with Miguel de Icaza and they can both front the new M$ Ubuntu Division.

    Ballmer will be very happy. He’s already used the Unity desktop as the basis for Windows 8.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Unity is actually more or less usable (I tried it a few times). Whenever I see VIsta 8 at the airport (and play with it for a bit as a form of research) I just find myself using a laptop as though it’s a useless phone.

  3. Needs Sunlight said,

    June 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm


    closed/won’t fix


  4. rosem said,

    June 2, 2013 at 4:18 pm


    Web apps (e.g. Gmail, Google Docs etc) and alternative post-PC devices for accessing these apps and services (e.g. smartphones, tablets) are dwarfing the traditional desktop PC and its .exe apps.

    So the desktop has become less important for mass consumers, and so for Canonical.

    On post-PC devices, Microsoft are Canonical are two notable wannabe’s, eyeing Apple and Google’s duopoly.

    I think Canonical has done, and is doing, as much as can be done for the opensource desktop, and does need to shift Ubuntu’s footprint to these other devices.

    Canonical is creating a unified platform for both desktop and mobile, with Mir, and one that caters for traditional native apps, web apps, and new “mobile” apps with its new packaging format. (As i understand, this format will safely sandbox “native” apps that consumers choose to install from a appstore.)

    Ubuntu’s strategic growth is on either side of the desktop segment, i.e. cloud on one side, and mobile on the other.

    Regarding the closing Bug #1, and language used, i believe this is strategic olive branch for Canonical in strengthening it’s relationship with Microsoft in terms of supporting Ubuntu as a cloud OS.

    Ubuntu cloud serves IT professionals, and Ubuntu on devices serves the mass market.

  5. Ken_Ham said,

    June 3, 2013 at 10:50 am


    Has Dietrich weighed in on this? I can’t form an opinion without help from Dietrich Schmitz.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    “Linux Haters”, aka “Linux Advocates”, is beyond the scope of this post. After I had been invited to contribute about a dozen articles to this deceivingly-named site I learned what that site was really about.

What Else is New

  1. Responses to Software Patents in India Though Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions

    India's famous skills, which revolve around software services and software development, are under attack by new laws which strive to grant foreign corporations de facto monopolies on software, even inside India

  2. Mobile Linux (e.g. Android) Still a Victim of Software Patents, No Peace in Sight

    A look at recent developments in the fight against mobile Linux (notably Android these days) and whoever is behind the patent attacks (not always as obvious as people are led to believe)

  3. Bad News for the EPO's Judicial Independence and Due Process in Next Week's Administrative Council (AC) Meeting

    A quick update about what's expected to happen next week when the Administrative Council holds a two-day meeting

  4. More Back Doors Found in Microsoft's Entrapments (Proprietary Software)

    Security flaws and even blatantly obvious loopholes for surveillance are identified in several of Microsoft's so-called 'products', which turn users (and their data) into the real product (to be sold to private companies or shared with spies)

  5. NASA Gives Back What It Took Away in the Form of Patent Monopolies for Private Gain

    Criticism of NASA's habit of clinging onto patents when it is actually the public which pays for everything

  6. The Coup D'état of Benoît Battistelli Follows an Imperialist Model, Threatens Opposition and Dissent

    SUEPO, the staff union, and boards that are independent from the EPO are both under attack and are constantly threatened by Benoît Battistelli and his goons

  7. Links 8/10/2015: Manjaro Linux Releases, Linksys WRT1900ACS, FOSS at NHS

    Links for the day

  8. Links 8/10/2015: KDE Plasma 5.4.2 Released, Linux Drama Queens

    Links for the day

  9. EPO Staff to Disrupt Administrative Council Meeting With Public Demonstration That Raises Awareness of Abuses

    The perception of collusion between the Administrative Council (AC) and the European Patent Office (EPO) leads to staff actions demanding investigation of illegal Board of Appeal (BoA) suspension/s (among many other things)

  10. OIN Turns 10, IDG Floods the Web With Puff Pieces That 'Normalise' Software Patents

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) commissions or helps produce puff pieces in the corporate media because it has an anniversary and corporate interests to push forth (including the idea that software patents can coexist with Linux)

  11. Hypocrite Forks the Linux Kernel Because of Cultural Characteristics That He Himself is Guilty of

    Forking of Linux is misleadingly reported in the media because of a couple of very loud people, who are not even quitting their jobs

  12. Željko Topić Attacks EPO Staff for 'Daring' to Legally Challenge the EPO's Management Over Its Gross Abuses in Europe

    Benoît Battistelli's right-hand man, Željko Topić, is under the false impression that yet more threats against staff of the EPO will help contain the crisis rather than further inflame it

  13. Media Reports Based on New Patents Suggest That Microsoft Continues to Attack Google and Android/Linux, Trying to Tax and Delete Android

    Reports and patent applications serve to show that Microsoft not only tries to infiltrate ("embrace") Android to put its apps there ("extend") but ultimately to delete ("extinguish") Android

  14. Commenters Provide Possible Explanations for Mr Van der Eijk Being on Unlimited Sick Leave

    Rumours are swirling around Wim Van der Eijk's absence, suggesting that he too may be a victim of Benoît Battistelli's iron fist

  15. Links 6/10/2015: Linux 4.3 RC4, HP OpenSwitch, Wind River Linux 8

    Links for the day

  16. With Software Patents in Europe (and Pushes for the Same Thing in Australia and India) Patent Trolls Now Come to Europe, Attack Android/Linux

    Worst-case scenarios are becoming a reality as Android backers officially attacked by patent trolls using standard-essential patents in London, England

  17. New Information on Limbo in the Enlarged Board, Courtesy of Illegal Actions by the EPO's Benoît Battistelli

    Battistelli's bullying of people whom he is not even allowed to bully turns out to have gone on for a lot longer than promised, and there is no sign of light at the end of this tunnel

  18. Microsoft Customers Complain About 'Inevitable' Vista 10 Because Microsoft Nearly Forces Botched 'Upgrades'

    In a desperate effort to spread Vista 10, sometimes even against people's will, Microsoft really upsets loyal customers, who are eventually eager to explore alternatives

  19. Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna Explains Why the UPC (“Unitary Patent“ System) is an Undemocratic Sham Whilst UPC Silently Advanced by Patent Lawyers and Politicians

    European patent laws are being covertly overridden so as to allow broader scope of litigation, higher financial damages, speedy injunctions, and even software patents; the European public is intentionally kept in the dark about it, hence kept unable to express scepticism or issue truly effective objections

  20. IRC Proceedings: September 13th, 2015 – October 3rd, 2015

    Many IRC logs

  21. Article Explains Why SUEPO Went Silent Well Over a Week Ago: Nobody is Allowed to Talk to Journalists Without Permission From Battistelli

    More threats from Benoît Battistelli (threats of termination and legal actions on top of it) help hide the abuses of Battistelli and his fellow thugs at the EPO

  22. A Linux World: After Billions of Dollars in Losses Microsoft Changes How It Reports Financial Results

    The abusive monopolist is trying very hard to hide its growing difficulties, especially in an effort to bamboozle non-technical shareholders who cannot understand how Linux has essentially taken over

  23. Microsoft Continues to Extort Linux and Android OEMs Using Software Patents, This Time ASUS (Forced to Pre-Install Microsoft Spyware With OOXML)

    A roundup of news illustrating that Microsoft is still very much in a total war against Android, (mis)using federal regulators and even software patents to get its way

  24. Links 4/10/2015: Linux 4.2.3 , 4.1.10; MPlayer 1.2 released

    Links for the day

  25. Links 2/10/2015: Qubes 3.0, Linux.Wifatch

    Links for the day

  26. Microsoft-Connected Firm Net Applications Used to Mislead About Vista 10 Share and Mock GNU/Linux

    People who are connected to Microsoft (some being former staff) link to a firm that is connected to Microsoft in order to create the illusion that Vista 10 market share grew to 6.63%

  27. Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) and EPO Vice-President of DG3 Suspiciously on Unlimited Sick Leave After Benoît Battistelli's Unprecedented Attacks on Other EBoA Staff

    Rumours suggest that Benoît Battistelli's affairs at the EPO may have something to do with Wim Van der Eijk's longterm absence

  28. Microsoft's Secret Special Relationship With EPO Illustrates Serious Corruption at Microsoft and the EPO

    A big story about the EPO and Microsoft working in a sort of collusion-type setup so as to serve Microsoft's patent agenda, which involves aggression, even against European software that is Free (as in freedom)

  29. Links 1/10/2015: LFS 7.8, Calculate Linux 15 Released

    Links for the day

  30. The 'Microsoft Loves Linux' Baloney is Still Being Floated in the Media While Microsoft Attacks Linux With Patents, New Lawsuits Reported

    Despite Microsoft's continued assault on Linux and on Android (using software patents, which it still discreetly lobbies for), some figures in the media are perpetually peddling the Microsoft-serving lie that 'Microsoft loves Linux'


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts