Is Ubuntu Linux really ready for the big time?

July 6, 2007

Is Ubuntu Linux really ready for the big time?Canonical and Dell have recently decided to offer a subset of Dell desktop computers and laptops pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux. Preinstallation, along with an expected price drop seems to make it an attractive option when purchasing a new notebook or desktop computer.

Many, however, say that Linux is just not ready for the end user market because of its complexity. With Dell’s involvement, however, much of the learning curve has been reduced or eliminated. One key example is the use of hardware that has been shown to perform well out of the box with Linux. And with a pre-installed system, the user will never even have to get his or her hands dirty with an installation procedure.

Not that theres much to it, unless it is a dual boot setup, which requires a certain order of operations. Dell will no doubt eliminate dual boot setups as a factory state to rule out those complications. Additionally, because such a setup would still require a valid Windows License, there would be no price incentive to the consumer.

Ubuntu has been one of the fastest growing distributions in quite some time with active and fast moving help forums, tutorial websites, easy to use package management system (similar to Add or Remove Programs in Windows), and or course the power flexibility and security of Linux under the hood. We all know that, on some level, total sales is a function of a price versus pretty factor for the everyday user.

Equate this with automotive sales where most folks will buy the prettiest vehicle they can comfortably afford, that can do all the things they need it to do. This excludes those that are in the market for a utility vehicle or other specialized machinery. Although, if your corvette could turn into a bobcat or a one ton truck, at the push of a button, for the same price, who wouldn’t be interested?

So, with appearances being so important to so many, as Vista’s new design and Mac’s consistently praised interface would indicate, it seems that Ubuntu has fallen short again. Not so.

Enter Beryl. “Beryl is an OpenGL accelerated desktop that seeks to provide a free, open source desktop experience to the community” – as stated on http://www.beryl-project.org/ that will run on most any flavor of Linux with suitable video hardware and processor speed.

If its a price versus pretty war, then Linux has some heavy artillery on the front lines. Beryl was originally called Compiz and was designed by David Reveman of Novell. Since its inception it has forked into they Beryl project and is now more actively developed and maintained.

Don’t believe that the Linux desktop is ready for the consumer? After watching some videos of Beryl in action, you may be asking a different question; Is the consumer ready for the Linux desktop?

YouTube videos of Ubuntu and Beryl in action

More videos, this time from Google.

So whether the question is Ubuntu ready to Serve up millions of hits a day as a web server, crunch massive numbers for NASA or dazzle users with an amazing UI approaching the coolness of something out of the movie “Minority Report”, the answer is a resounding YES, Yes it is!

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6 Responses to “Is Ubuntu Linux really ready for the big time?”

  1. Nick:

    Um, no offense but where did you get your information from? Beryl has not been developed since March and beryl has remerged with compiz to form compiz-fusion.

  2. peacemaker:

    Ubuntu is a really great distro. I have been using it for a couple of years now. Imagine the feeling of knowing that your OS is just gonna keep getting better and better every 6 months for ever. Plus it’s not gonna cost a cent to upgrade and it’ll be years before you need to upgrade your hardware. It’s wonderful.

    I submitted this to fsdaily.com – a news site like digg but for free software news.

    Thanks

  3. David Legg:

    I wonder how many people will buy one of Dell’s Ubuntu lap-tops in order to know that the hardware is Linux-friendly, then put another OS on, e.g. Kubuntu, Fedora, Suse? If I were to buy one, I would certainly add KDE to it, but then, that’s what ‘free’ software is all about, isn’t it :)

  4. wam:

    Except if you work for MicroCorp I don’t see the point replacing Ubuntu or any other Debian based distro by Suse…

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