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

06.01.13

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

7 Comments

  1. NotZed said,

    June 2, 2013 at 4:05 am

    Gravatar

    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

    Gravatar

    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

    Gravatar

    closed/won’t fix

    typical

  4. rosem said,

    June 2, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Gravatar

    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

    Gravatar

    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. Mozilla Will Relay Firefox User Input (Even Keystrokes) to Microsoft and the NSA Through Yahoo in the US

    Mozilla is letting Microsoft manage users' data in Firefox, including keystrokes in the address bar



  2. Microsoft Found to Have Broken the Law in China (Tax Evasion), Just Like Practically Everywhere

    China is reportedly taking action against Microsoft's notorious habit of tax evasion and fining the company well over $100 million



  3. Links 26/11/2014: Docker Patched, New DragonFlyBSD

    Links for the day



  4. Message to the Corporate Media: Bill Gates is Not an Ebola Expert

    Brainwash in the corporate media, including media that the Gates Foundation bribes in exchange for sheer bias, paints the super-rich as the solution rather than the problem



  5. US Government Finally Probes Microsoft Over Financial Fraud, Microsoft Then Bullies the Government With a Lawsuit

    Microsoft is finally being investigated -- perhaps properly too -- for its well-known tax abuses that have so far proved that Microsoft is "too big to jail"; Microsoft is suing the investigator, exerting its abusive power to discourage further investigation



  6. Gagging Critics: Micro Focus-Run SUSE Bribes Journalists in Exchange for Positive Coverage

    Amid the takeover by Micro Focus, SUSE pays journahayess (especially critics) who in turn become some kind of advertisements feed of Novell



  7. Links 25/11/2014: Tizen News, Jolla Tablet Past Million

    Links for the day



  8. Links 24/11/2014: Linux 3.18-rc6, Qualcomm Eyes GNU/Linux Servers

    Links for the day



  9. Boycotting Micro Focus International

    Microsoft's "Partner of the Year" is taking over the patron of SUSE and all of Novell's remains, except the patents (Microsoft has already grabbed those)



  10. Vesna Stilin's Remarks on Željko Topić: Part XI

    Vesna Stilin speaks about her confrontation with EPO Vice-President Željko Topić, who has criminal lawsuits against him in Croatia



  11. Links 22/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1, Ubuntu MATE

    Links for the day



  12. Links 21/11/2014: Problems at Debian, Jolla Tablet

    Links for the day



  13. Links 18/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC 5, New DigiKam

    Links for the day



  14. Special Report: Many Criminal Charges Against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić

    The abuses of Željko Topić, who has gained notoriety in his home country, are rapidly becoming public knowledge across all of Europe



  15. Links 16/11/2014: Xfdesktop 4.10.3, GNU Hello 2.10

    Links for the day



  16. Microsoft is Going Into the Anti-Whistleblowing Business, Dodges Criticism Over 19-Year Bug Door in Windows

    With Aorato acquisition Microsoft helps protect the criminals (from whistleblowers) and with lies about .NET Microsoft distracts from a bug that has facilitated remote access into Windows (by those in the know) for nearly two decades



  17. Reaffirming Microsoft's Long-Known Hostility Towards Net Neutrality, Microsoft Crashed Juniper

    Steve Ballmer is ranting against net neutrality and Juniper's business is in trouble after a lot of executives from Microsoft took over most top positions there



  18. Another Massive Step Towards Elimination of Software Patents as Even CAFC Rules Against Them

    After SCOTUS gets involved in the Ultramercial case, the CAFC finally decides to actually serve justice rather than dogma



  19. The GOP's Patent Reform Plan Not Effective Enough to Stop Massive Patent Trolls Like Microsoft/Nokia

    The corporations-serving GOP says that it wants a patent reform, but another reminder is needed of the futility of the suggested changes



  20. How the EPO's Executive Branch (Battistelli and Topić) Banned Scrutiny and Created Authoritarian Model of Control: Part X

    A look at highly dubious moves by EPO President Battistelli and his right-hand man Topić, whose abuses are becoming hard to oversee or even report



  21. Links 15/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1 Release Candidate, Popcorn Time 0.3.5

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2014 – November 8th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  23. The Terrible Joke Which is Microsoft 'Loving' Linux: Nightmares With UEFI 'Secure' Boot (i.e. Windows Monopoly Imposed) Continue to Affect GNU/Linux Users

    A reminder of Microsoft's sheer hostility towards GNU/Linux and long-reaching sabotage of GNU/Linux installations



  24. Patent Lawyers Worry About Section 101 in 'Alice' (and Other Patent News)

    A quick roundup of news of interest regarding software patents



  25. Will Write for FUD (Against FOSS)

    Black Duck rears its ugly head again, serving to show that it is in the business of changing perceptions and not in the information or analysis business



  26. Debunking Several Days of Never-Ending Lies About Microsoft and .NET

    .NET is not "Open Source", it cannot be forked (there remains patent threat), Visual Studio is still completely proprietary and it is expected to come to other platforms only because Windows has lost its dominance and Microsoft wants to perpetually control APIs (with software patents) and hence reign over developers



  27. Links 14/11/2014: LibreOffice 4.3.4, Ads Now in Firefox

    Links for the day



  28. Links 14/11/2014: GNOME 3.14.2, PulseAudio 6.0

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft Windows is Still Designed as a Paradise of Back Doors, Intrusion, Wiretaps, and Interception

    At many levels -- from communication to storage and encryption -- Windows is designed for the very opposite of security



  30. Forget the FUD About Bash and OpenSSL, Microsoft Windows Blamed for Massive Credit Cards Heist

    Home Depot learns its lesson from a Microsoft Windows disaster, but it stays with proprietary software rather than move to software that is actively audited by many people and is inherently better maintained (Free/libre software)


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts