Is Canonical Becoming The New Microsoft? [Updated]
[Update: It seems I made my point very badly. Please read this follow-up post where I try to explain what I was asking].
Whoah! Hold on everyone. Let me don my asbestos suit first will you.
Right then. I have been thinking about this post for some time and I think the time is probably right for pressing the old “publish” button.
- Let’s start with Mono. Yep. It’s been a prickly thorn for many and the concerns expressed are not going away. There’s no point in raking over the old ground; it is just one of the bad-karma attractants in a growing list.
- Then we have Ubuntu One. Proprietary, closed, caused much debate and friction when announced and now the possibility of a Windows version too.
- Next comes dumping GIMP, OOo and other much-loved applications from the default installation of versions of the forthcoming distribution.
- Then the discussion about what closed/proprietary applications should be made available in the Ubuntu repositories.
- Then we have the change of the default search engine from Google to
- Then Matt Asay joins as COO which should be, and probably is, good news. Matt is well known, respected and experienced, yet some of his prodigious public commentary tugs at the heartstrings of many a Freedom Fighter.
I don’t really want to comment on the individual points above; the point is that this list is growing…
I really like Ubuntu. I use it everywhere, I help in the Ubuntu-uk irc channel when I can and we [our company] promote Ubuntu to our customers and I [as an individual] to friends and family.
What concerns me is not any particular item in the list above: some I care about, others I do not; as I am sure many of you will do too. It is the increasing volume of criticism and vitriol as a whole. It is getting louder. This, I believe, is indicative of a turning tide that, if we are not careful, will result in Ubuntu losing popularity and more of the FOSS community exercising it’s freedom.
I’m pretty thick-skinned (I think I will need to be with this post!) so if you think I am barking up the wrong tree, or just plain barking, then say so. But I am noticing increasing criticism and anti-Ubuntu rhetoric which is not just because it is becoming more popular, although that is certainly one factor.
Something is changing and I am not sure it is for the good of Ubuntu or our community.