Linux makes a PR coup
Jan 11th, 2009 by scaredpoet

While the weekend was spent by millions of geeks crushing web servers in an attempt to download the beta of the latest installment of Microsoft Windows, some members of the Linux community got a little welcome PR from the New York Times. Mark Shuttleworth, the CEO of Canonical Ltd., and the guy behind Ubuntu (the linux distro that powers this website), was interviewed by NYT about his alternative OS, which challenges the commercial software model by giving away the store.

Microsoft had an estimated 10,000 people working on Vista, its newest desktop operating system, for five years. The result of this multibillion-dollar investment has been a product late to market and widely panned.

Canonical, meanwhile, releases a fresh version of Ubuntu every six months, adding features that capitalize on the latest advances from developers and component makers like Intel. The company’s model centers on outpacing Microsoft on both price and features aimed at new markets.

To those of us who’ve used Ubuntu and other linux distros, the article isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but it does give a mainstream public relations polish to Linux, and presents the alternative to those who’ve never really thought that you can run something other than Windows on your PC.

And I love this quote from Shuttleworth:

“I want to find out what it’s like to have a gigabit connection to the home,” he said. “It is not because I need to watch porn in high-definition but because I want to see what you do differently.”

I had always envisioned this guy as some inaccessible, eccentric billionaire. He’s definitely eccentric, but it’s also clear he’s in fact quite human.

...and you KNOW porn really did have something to do with broadband motivations. 🙂

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