Game of Thrones -- Ubuntu fails to dethrone Microsoft
Is the open source dream over? In 2004, Ubuntu Founder Mark Shuttleworth filed the first Ubuntu bug which was titled "Microsoft has a majority market share". It was a symbolic bug -- not a real one. It symbolized Ubuntu’s purpose -- to defeat Microsoft and aid the push of Open Source. This was an unattainable goal as Ubuntu never had a chance to defeat Microsoft. However, such goals are often good motivators for companies. It gives both the employees and users something to rally around.
While Ubuntu has fought the good fight, it has recently admitted defeat. On May 30, 2013, Mr. Shuttleworth marked this bug as "Fixed". Make no mistake, no bug has been fixed -- the 9 year old symbolic rallying point just became ridiculous and sad. It was time to close this embarrassing “bug” before a decade passed.
In his reasoning for marking the bug as complete, Mr. Shuttleworth points to the changing landscape in computing such as the advancement of new computing mediums such as tablets by saying that "Personal computing today is a broader proposition than it was in 2004: phones, tablets, wearables and other devices are all part of the mix for our digital lives".
He also points to Android OS (a bastardized and tainted implementation of Linux) and iOS as alternatives that are gaining ground against Windows. He states that "From a competitive perspective, that broader market has healthy competition, with iOS and Android representing a meaningful share". While this is a true statement on the mobile front, Microsoft has the same dominance it held in 2004 on desktops -- Ubuntu and Linux overall had no impact.
At least the Ubuntu founder is humble by saying "we have only played a small part in that shift". However, to read between the lines it is clear that Mr. Shuttleworth is just saving face -- he failed to meet his goal. While Ubuntu is still a fine OS, one thing is clear -- Microsoft is still the king and Mr. Shuttleworth should bow his head.