The first bug filed in the Ubuntu project was filed by Mark Shuttleworth on August 19th, 2004: Microsoft has a majority market share
Today he marked the bug “Fix Released” with the following comment:
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 (see http://www.zdnet.com/windows-has-fallen-behind-apple-ios-and-google-android-7000008699/ and in particular http://cdn-static.zdnet.com/i/r/story/70/00/008699/meeker620-620×466-620×466.jpg?hash=ZQxmZmDjAz&upscale=1).
Android may not be my or your first choice of Linux, but it is without doubt an open source platform that offers both practical and economic benefits to users and industry. So we have both competition, and good representation for open source, in personal computing.
Even though we have only played a small part in that shift, I think it’s important for us to recognize that the shift has taken place. So from Ubuntu’s perspective, this bug is now closed.
There is a social element to this bug report as well, of course. It served for many as a sort of declaration of intent. But it’s better for us to focus our intent on excellence in our own right, rather than our impact on someone else’s product. In the (many) years since this bug was filed, we’ve figured out how to be amazing on the cloud, and I hope soon also how to be amazing for developers on their desktops, and perhaps even for everyday users across that full range of devices. I would rather we find a rallying call that celebrates those insights, and leadership.
It’s worth noting that today, if you’re into cloud computing, the Microsoft IAAS team are both technically excellent and very focused on having ALL OS’s including Linux guests like Ubuntu run extremely well on Azure, making them a pleasure to work with. Perhaps the market shift has played a role in that. Circumstances have changed, institutions have adapted, so should we.
Along those lines, it’s good to reflect on how much has changed since 2004, and how fast it’s changed. For Ubuntu, our goal remains to deliver fantastic experiences: for developers, for people building out production infrastructure, and for end-users on a range of devices. We are doing all of that in an environment that changes completely every decade. So we have to be willing to make big changes ourselves – in our processes, our practices, our tools, and our relationships. Change this bug status is but a tiny example.