The Ubuntu Tipping Point – Maybe

I got a big shock today when I looked at the analytics for my humble little YouTube channel. I posted a rather dry video showing off some of the new features of Ubuntu 16.04 just before it went to beta and in less than three weeks it has gotten more than 25,000 views. Wow! That’s a lot for me, folks. It isn’t my wry wit on easy-going-going personality or my outstanding production that is pushing that video to be semi-viral, it’s the subject matter: Ubuntu.

“Ubuntu? What’s that?”

“Oh, that’s Linux. It doesn’t work and nobody uses it. It’s for computer nerds and weirdos. You just need to stick with Windows or Mac.”

 

If you were to ask someone in the mainstream tech media about Ubuntu, the above answer is most likely what you’re going to get. Sad but true. There are many who seek to marginalize the impact Linux is having on the PC world. Why there is this cognitive dissonance toward Linux is a question that is up for debate. It could be just that they are out of touch or it could be that they don’t understand the Open Source philosophy that drives Linux. Honestly, I think they’re scared of it. Linux represents a challenge to the status quo and many who have built careers around MS and Apple products don’t want to move out of their comfort zones and embrace something so radically different.

I think we are getting to a place where it really doesn’t matter what the pundits say. People are getting savvy to the tricks and scams that the proprietary software moguls are pulling on users and they don’t believe the hype anymore. They simply do not trust the companies that Mr. Jobs and Mr. Gates built anymore and with good reason. They are seeking alternatives and the one name that they may have just heard about somewhere is Ubuntu. I know that my saying that will ruffle the feathers of those who are not fans of the Ubuntu distribution but it’s true… Newbies learn about Ubuntu first.

Canonical has done a piss poor job of promoting their desktop product but it really doesn’t matter because the product itself has proven itself to be a fantastic and flexible platform for all kinds of computing. It took them ten years to do it but they built a better mousetrap and the world is beating a path to their door. The Ubuntu mousetrap became clearly better with the release of 14.04 and Ubuntu 16.04 is shaping up to be a big improvement.

Linux may never be the dominant OS in terms of market share for desktops but I think it’s more than safe to say that the days of it being just for computer nerds and weirdos are coming to an end. Economics alone is enough to drive serious computer users and businesses to open source solutions but what’s really pushing it along are all the shenanigans happening around Windows 10. People want off the Microsoft Merry-Go-Round but they don’t wanna drop $2500 for a new Mac, either. Ubuntu and all of its children represent a viable alternative to them. Once they get a taste of the freedom Linux gives them, they’re hooked.

The revolution continues…

Homepage photo by DudeOmega

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Joe Collins
Joe Collins worked in radio and TV stations for over 20 years where he installed, maintained and programmed computer automation systems. Joe also worked for Gateway Computer for a short time as a Senior Technical Support Professional in the early 2000’s and has offered freelance home computer technical support and repair for over a decade.

Joe is a fan of Ubuntu Linux and Open Source software and recently started offering Ubuntu installation and support for those just starting out with Linux through EzeeLinux.com. The goal of EzeeLinux is to make Linux easy and start them on the right foot so they can have the best experience possible.

Joe lives in historic Portsmouth, VA in a hundred year old house with three cats, three kids and a network of computers built from scrounged parts, all happily running Linux.
  • The releases of the os from now on of ubuntu unity will not be ground braking like in the past and the interface will stay like be the same unity 7. In my opinion unity 8 will be realese after the first phone with ubuntu convergence. And that will be in a year or 2 (a final release not a beta) . And yes you will say that are soo many things change in the code (behind the scene) but for old users, they will get tired of the same interface.
    From now on will see others destro shine like ubuntu mate, kubuntu, lubuntu etc maybe elementary (when i say maybe is because the elementary os freya after 2 years is still in beta for me).

  • Eli Cummings

    If you were to ask anyone in the mainstream media about almost anything else you would get the same answer. What’s that ? It’s not in the press release.

  • fookoffdisqus

    The whole Microsoft force updating Windows 7 to 10 can only help with the switch.

    Even thought I’m a Ubuntu-MATE user I always tell people, that are thinking of switching, to go try Ubuntu.

    • crhylove

      Mint is better. The Mint devs listen to end user feedback. Ubuntu rarely if ever does, and the community is also way more hostile. The Mint community on IRC/forums is unbelievably tolerant and helpful. Also Mint Mate is better out of the box (though they are pretty similar). Also Mint has nicer wallpapers and other theme stuff imho.

  • MightyMoo

    I send people to Linux Mint. Especially if they’re looking to stay with something familiar like Windows 7. Mint has that same desktop paradigm unlike Ubuntu which is something I’d send them to if they wanted something like Windows 8’sh. For me, Mint has worked out of the box better then Ubuntu has in the past though Ubuntu is no slacker in out of the box either. I just had one or two machines Ubuntu couldn’t handle that Mint picked right up on.

  • bcpoet

    Between myself and my adult daughter who lives nearby we have 7 pcs – 5 running LinuxMint, one Android and (sadly) my daughter’s new Win 10. She’ll come around eventually but is still under the corporate spell. Importantly the 6 and 9 year old have no problems using Mint and Android. Apple is just plain overpriced and will never be an option. My point is, much like cosmology, once the present generation dies off (or slips into irrelevancy), the simple truth of the superior nature of open source verses corporate greedalism will be obvious to all.

  • John Tilghman

    Quote from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia..

    ZFS was originally proprietary closed source software developed internally and unpublished by Sun as part of Solaris. In 2005 Solaris, including ZFS, was licensed under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) and became as OpenSolaris open-source software. In 2010 Oracle ended the development of OpenSolaris and ZFS as Open Source project, which lead to the fork OpenZFS.

    OpenZFS is an umbrella project aimed at bringing together individuals and companies that use the ZFS file system and work on its improvements.

  • Charlie Henson

    Nice write up.

  • crhylove

    Fine, but Linux mint is literally 1,000 times better.

    • Meaning that you really know very little of what are talking about.

      • crhylove

        20 years professional IT support, including data center architecture, ISP design and support, KVM clusters, Custom bash scripts, virtualization, programming, hardware. Yep. Totally ignorant here. Unity is an unmitigated catastrophe for end users. Mate is perfect. 1,000x better might be a low estimate.

        • Thank you for confirming my judgement. One of these days you should try running at-get install cinnamon or apt-get install mate-desktop on your Ubuntu. There is also something called Ubuntu Mate out there. Cheers.

          • crhylove

            Mate and Cinnamon are both developed by the Mint team, or ex Mint team members. Why would I bother? Especially when Canonical has a history of making egregious anti-user decisions all the time? I spent my time with Ubuntu when it was still hot back in (2006?). It’s been a decade, Ubuntu is way out-classed by several other distros now, chief among them mint. Especially if you consider how friendly and responsive the whole Mint community is, versus the Ubuntu community (forums, IRC, etc..). It’s funny, actually, your first comment was super rude, and you’re an Ubuntu defender. It’s almost like you proved my point before I made it!

        • matthartley

          Your past comment was approved, but isn’t appearing for some reason. I’ll check back later. Worse case, retry it. No idea what happened.

    • James Van Damme

      Only if you use the European meaning of the comma.

      Disclaimer: I got hooked on Mint and still use it for some PCs, sometimes.

      • matthartley

        Been working with Mint for an article (again). It’s a solid distro, however man, 17.3 has its minor gotchas that have to be worked through. MDM weirdness on a Live USB (can’t login, keeps refreshing to login page – solved by using safe graphics mode. Can’t login once installed, had to drop to a shell and update…then it worked great. Again, MDM was the issue. Got it themed pretty, so far it’s growing on me. With my PPAs added, I could live here for awhile. 🙂

        • James Van Damme

          Cinnamon suffered a bug a month ago that totally hosed it on my system. They got it fixed last week. I used the hiatus to get reacquainted with MATE. They fixed it pretty quick considering this was the same time as The Big Hack.

          • crhylove

            Mate is awesome. I can’t justify Cinnamon really, because Mate is so perfect. Linux Mint Debian Edition Mate version is the fastest, cleanest, most stable OS I’ve ever used. Besides maybe Debian 6/7 stable on servers or something.

  • I could not care less if Ubuntu is the most used OS around. What is important is that it stays the best around.

    • James Van Damme

      All I care is that all my apps and gadgets run on Linux. To do that it has to be mainstream enough that there’s 3 buttons to download drivers, not just two, on a manufacturer’s website.

      • matthartley

        I think you hit the nail. We use computers to accomplish stuff – that’s the secret I think.

        • Right. It is all a matter of choosing the right tools to do so. The other day this fella came up at AskUbuntu asking how to create a poster with Gimp with mathematical formulas and everything. Go figure.

      • Using the wrong applications and gadgets perhaps?

  • James Van Damme

    I hope you get a million views!

    • matthartley

      Thanks! Joe writes great stuff.

  • Funny comment. You are totally cluesless mate.

    • crhylove

      More personal insults. Love the Ubuntu community!