Sunday, January 13, 2013

Something very interesting shaping up in the IT world

For somebody like me who has been very critical of Ubuntu and its founder Mark Shuttleworth (I particularly hate Ubuntu's "Unity" desktop environment), it is a huge pleasure to see that the Ubuntu community is doing something extremely interesting which, I really believe, has a huge potential.

Please watch this excellent presentation by Mark Shuttleworth about what Ubuntu will be doing in 2013:

Now I will be honest with you, I am not ditching my Android phone (HTC One S) yet, nor am I going to change my desktop (GNOME 3).  But I will be watching Ubuntu very, very closely from now on.  Most importantly, I hope that the day will come soon when I will be able to recommend Ubuntu as an all-in-one platform to those of my friends who are not GNU/Linux users and who are still stuck in the "Windoze vs iThing" nightmare.

Real geeks and hardcore techies are are unlikely to adopt the all-in-one Ubuntu solution, if only because the Ubuntu stack will probably end up having as much proprietary elements as the current Android stack (for them, the future will probably be the Debian-phone and the FreedomBox).  Besides, the very idea of an all-in-one solution is really aimed at either corporations or at the, shall we say, the "technologically challenged".  Geeks and techies *like* to deeply adapt and configure their tools and folks like that will probably never be attracted to a single platform everywhere.  Still, even geeks and techies could immensely benefit from applications and protocols developed by Ubuntu in the process of their work on their universal platform.  It is really a win-win situation.

To be honest, I consider Windoze. iThing, Maemo, Symbian and probably even MeeGo as either already dead or dying.  Android, however, still has a huge potential and the industry leaders are firmly behind it.  And while I don't see Ubuntu as a real competitor for Android in the foreseeable future, I can be a very useful runner-up or challenger which will keep the folks of Google on their toes.

Finally, and this is a big concern of mine, if Google suddenly does "turn evil", then Ubuntu would provide a far more credible alternative that any other platform.

Bottom line: listening to Shuttleworth's presentation put a very big and happy grin on my face.  At a time when 99% of the news is either disgusting or depressing, or both, it is a real pleasure to share this presentation with you.

The Saker