Depending on which article you read, it seems that Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has either given up the dream of Linux becoming more popular than Windows, or he believes that Microsoft no longer dominates computing because of the rise of mobile operating systems. In any event, he has closed Ubuntu’s Bug#1.
Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin explained, “When Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth began shipping Ubuntu nine years ago, he created ‘Bug #1.’ Its title was ‘Microsoft has a majority market share,’ and Shuttleworth said ‘[t]his is a bug which Ubuntu and other projects are meant to fix.’ Today, Shuttleworth has declared the bug ‘closed,’ but the bug wasn’t fixed as a result of Ubuntu’s popularity. It was fixed by the rise of iOS and Android. As for Ubuntu, Shuttleworth now says, ‘it’s better for us to focus our intent on excellence in our own right rather than our impact on someone else’s product.'”
The Register quoted Shuttleworth, who wrote, “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. From a competitive perspective, that broader market has healthy competition, with iOS and Android representing a meaningful share.”
Columnists and bloggers interpreted that comment different ways. PCMag’s John C. Dvorak viewed Shuttleworth’s words as a concession speech, writing, “Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonical, publishers of Ubuntu, has given up on the idea that Linux (which Ubuntu is based on) will ever supplant Windows, saying that if any OS will be the next big thing it’s Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android.”
But InternetNews.com’s Sean Michael Kerner saw the note as a declaration of victory and commented, “For Shuttleworth to declare ‘Mission Accomplished’ now is a bit pre-mature. Yes there is a shift underway and certainly the decline of the PC overall is a key factor. Linux never did beat Microsoft dominance on the PC, though it has clearly beaten it everywhere else.”