50 Things You Need to Know About Ubuntu (10-1)

Sorry for this belated post. Here is the final part of TechIQ’s five-part countdown, highlighting 50 trends and takeaways from the Ubuntu Live conference in Portland, Oregon. Some of the items are closely related to earlier portions of the list. Here we go…

50-41: Part One of the List

40-31: Part Two of the List

30-21: Part Three of the List

20-11: Part Four of the List

10. Winning On Alfresco: Roughly 22 percent of Alfresco developer downloads occur to the Ubuntu platform, a dramatic increase from last year, according to Alfresco GM Matt Asay.

9. Don’t Betray Your Audience: One speaker conceded that he was nearly booed off stage during another open source conference. The reason: He used PowerPoint rather than OpenOffice for his presentation.

8. Two Unsung Heroes: Two small PC suppliers, ZaReason and System76, won praise for their early commitment to the Ubuntu movement.

7. Play to Your Strengths: Instead of competing head-on against Microsoft, several speakers suggested that the Ubuntu community needs to continue exploiting niche applications and collaboration to attack market voids left by Microsoft.

6. Printer Drivers: It sounds so basic. But printer drivers are the number one problem university professors seem to complain about when they’re using Ubuntu, according to several speakers.

5. Repeat Performance: Canonical feels pretty confident about its prospects and is already planning next year’s event.

4. Global Focus: Rather than playing regional favorites, Canonical is striving to enhance its localization, training and certification initiatives across the globe. Traditional closed-source software companies simply can’t complete with the global network of developers who are committed to tweaking code for use in hundreds of countries.

3. Novell Is Worse Off Than Expected: Sure, Novell has gained some momentum with corporate customers who embraced the Microsoft-Novell relationship. But imagine if the American Red Cross lost all of its volunteers. That could be the situation facing Novell if it doesn’t take steps to win back open source developers who despise the Microsoft deal. Throughout the event, Novell’s “betrayal” of the open source movement was raised by multiple speakers.

2. Small Business Push: Watch for Canonical to work with at least one major hardware developer to promote an integrated small business server package. The suite will likely be based on the LAMP software stack, The VAR Guy hears. One suggestion: Partner with Zimbra or another open source email provider on this project.

1. The Numbers Don’t Lie: Some nuggets of info worth repeating: Ubuntu now has 6 million to 12 million users and Canonical’s staff has doubled to 100 employees since January. Impressive growth, to be sure.

So there you have it. Feel free to comment and even flame The VAR Guy. Feedback welcome.

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