Linux versus Linux, not Linux versus Microsoft
Summary: Canonical is turning attention to a Linux competitor it wants to beat, setting aside its old aspiration of beating Microsoft
BACK in 2006 a company called Novell was struggling against Red Hat. It hadn’t caught up with the leader in GNU/Linux, so it liaised with Microsoft against Red Hat and started using patent FUD against Red Hat [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] (in later years Novell finally realised this was counterproductive). Novell helped Microsoft normalise ‘Linux tax’. Canonical is going down a similar path right now. Having already starved a lot of GNU/Linux companies (e.g. Mandriva) and insulted them by saying there is no money in desktop GNU/Linux, Canonical is going after yet another Linux-powered rival.
Don’t expect to see any of this emphasised in the news. Failure of the press can have serious consequences. If the press helps oversight, then it sure is failing in a major way. Most of the coverage found is dodging the obvious observations and instead it does the easy job of reprinting Canonical’s claims.
Canonical is trying to tell us a story which helps it excuse Microsoft and start cannibalising Linux, instead. Here is a case of moving goalposts. FOSS Force wrote: “If you want to know why it’s considered fixed, you can read Mr. Shuttleworth’s remarks here for yourself. Or, you can save yourself the trouble and read what a Ubuntu user had to say: “The closure comment reads like something agreed to as part of a deal with Microsoft.”
“With Microsofters having infiltrated Ubuntu/Canonical at the top levels the distro can be led into complacency (bug #1) or down dead ends and controversy (rolling release).”
–iophkiophk says: “Complacency can still lose the desktop. Bill Gates has had only two tactics, leveraging his desktop monopoly and bluffing. Bluffing will always be an option, but the other goes away when the desktop monopoly goes away. Until then, it is a big threat. With the arrival of restricted boot, complacency can still lose the desktop, if not permanently at least for a long while. With Microsofters having infiltrated Ubuntu/Canonical at the top levels the distro can be led into complacency (bug #1) or down dead ends and controversy (rolling release).”
Here is Noyes having a go at it and the British press too. Not good enough. All the articles that we found about it neglect to challenge the claims. It’s like PR. Here is a good example of mere reprinting of damage control.
John C. Dvorak, a pundit, actually added an opinion of his own and so did FOSS Force . Dvorak must not be keeping up though. As someone told me, “Dvorak says that Shuttleworth says that linux won’t supplant windows, but android will. He means GNU, not Linux, since android is Linux as well. Dvorak fell at the first fence. He’s just a hack writer for NE corporations.”
“So basically, they move goalposts by going after Linux rather than Microsoft.”English press reports (or London-based branches, i.e. near Canonical’s main office) are not doing enough journalism. Why are they afraid of being sceptical? One British site says “Ubuntu claims to have fixed Microsoft” and another “Ubuntu closes first bug: Microsoft’s computing dominance”. These headlines don’t convey the story. Here is one article that dares question the wealthy messenger. It says: “It depends on how you look at it. On desktops and laptops, Windows is still the most dominant OS out there, and that’s not likely to change any time soon. But if you want to include mobile devices, which most research firms will say are cannibalizing PC sales, the numbers start to get interesting.”
So basically, they move goalposts by going after Linux rather than Microsoft. See “Ubuntu founder credits Android and iOS for reversing Microsoft’s dominance” (similar headline here). There is no doubt about Android becoming a major Linux player. Linux Journal has just dedicated a whole issue to it. As this article put it: “Instead of toppling Microsoft, Mark Shuttleworth says the Ubuntu community must focus on a Google Android alternative for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.”
“So cannibalising Linux is Shuttleworth’s priority now.”So cannibalising Linux is Shuttleworth’s priority now. Never mind if Microsoft is the abusive monopolist which even Mozilla has just dumped (like users) but onlu after public pressure (myself and others chastised it for it, as well as for similar deals in Thunderbird search).
It has become evident that even companies like Mozilla (platform-agnostic) are with better principles than Canonical’s. I really don’t know what happened to Ubuntu; it’s no longer about ubuntu. The only explanation I have for it is that Ubuntu is now run by former Microsoft staff. █