Why does Ubuntu only create an OS and not other software

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Fargo
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Why does Ubuntu only create an OS and not other software

Postby Fargo » 01 Aug 2014 22:22

Just thinking out loud here today. I personally think Ubuntu should get into the hardware business and sell hardware with their OS. But they seem to be determined not to build hardware, but only software. OK fine, I can understand that. They want to be more like Microsoft than Apple. Thats fine, it means their OS will work on more hardware. So if thats the case, then why not also write other software? MS didn't get to where it is on its OS alone. Along with the OS they have or at one time had, many other software products as well. They have Office, mapping programs, finance programs, painting programs, photography programs. The list goes one and on. I understand that with limited resources, its not possible for a small distro like SoyldXK to write a bunch of new software. But why doesn't Ubuntu invest in some additional software?

Just imagine if Ubuntu started working on software. What if Ubuntu put together a team to write accounting software like Quickbooks. Maybe they could address some of the issues with Gimp to make it more user friendly and more competitive with Photoshop. They have stated that UbuntuOS will always be free. But I see no reason they could not create proprietary software to help kickstart the OS and make them a little profit.

Of course that begs the question, would Linux users PAY for software? Is Linux a solid enough OS that people would pay for commercial software to use on their favorite OS. We hear all the time that Linux users want Abode or Quickbooks or Whoever to make native software for them. But would they pay for it?

What would be the reaction to Ubuntu if all of a sudden they released a line of proprietary programs? Would the Linux community rejoice that someone is making quality software to fill the void. Or would they curse Ubuntu for going against the 'open' philosphy and bad mouth their product?

I've never been a Ubuntu user. I've always heard such negative things about them in the various forums I visited. So I've never bothered to try it. But I do sometimes wonder how much of the Ubuntu hate is really warranted. Is the OS really that bad? Or do people hate it because there is a company behind it and Linux users are more inclined to a socalism idealogy than a capitalism idealogy. (please don't take the comment as an invite to politics) What would be the outcome if Ubuntu started making quality software that could compete with Abode or Inuit or whatever the top 5 programs are needed. Would people buy the software or would they continue to moan and groan about Adobe not making software and that Ubuntu sold them out.

kurotsugi
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Re: Why does Ubuntu only create an OS and not other software

Postby kurotsugi » 02 Aug 2014 03:10

canonical did develop softwares. unity, ubuntu software centre, lots of stuff in ubuntu is developed by canonical. the rest software is taken from open source community.

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greywolf
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Re: Why does Ubuntu only create an OS and not other software

Postby greywolf » 02 Aug 2014 06:18

When Microsoft started its ancillary software development it held a virtual monopoly on the platform on which it could run. Its closed, proprietary nature meant it had no effective competition. Apple likewise, it created its own world to be King of though! Therefore, commercial success was assured even when the software was crap!

Making money from Open Source is a different business model all together ( read SUPPORT CONTRACTS)!!

There are though many many commercial Linux/Unix packages - see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pr ... _for_Linux

as a starter.

I think such comparisons are null & void as the hardware platforms have shifted.

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It was about the dragons. It was always about the dragons!

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Zill
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Re: Why does Ubuntu only create an OS and not other software

Postby Zill » 02 Aug 2014 12:10

Fargo wrote:...Just imagine if Ubuntu started working on software. What if Ubuntu put together a team to write accounting software like Quickbooks. Maybe they could address some of the issues with Gimp to make it more user friendly and more competitive with Photoshop. They have stated that UbuntuOS will always be free. But I see no reason they could not create proprietary software to help kickstart the OS and make them a little profit...
I think you should understand that all Linux distros, including Ubuntu, are based on the principle of primarily using Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). While most Linux distros do (with reluctance!) use some non-FOSS software to enhance functionality, the majority of the software is FOSS.

FOSS licensing means that the source code must always be available and can be changed by the user without any restriction. This allows all of us to tweak or modify programs, changing them completely if we so wish. We are then free to distribute such modified programs as long as we pass on the same freedoms to subsequent users.

This FOSS model is totally counter to the principles of closed-source proprietary software where draconian restrictions are placed on the user, specifically prohibiting modifying or distributing the program in any way. These restrictions are obviously essential if a commercial company is to make any money from developing software "products" so that they can pay their developers.

OTOH, FOSS software is generally developed by large numbers of, often unpaid, volunteers who are not constrained by the same commercial requirements as the proprietary software companies.

If a user believes that commercial software has better functionality than FOSS then, of course, we are all free to choose our OS and software. However, personally, I much prefer the freedom of FOSS untainted by the blight of commercialism.

Deleted User 2764

Re: Why does Ubuntu only create an OS and not other software

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 02 Aug 2014 21:31

I would worry that they would end up with too much on their plate to maintain, even if their staff grew. I think that it would end up that they would have to downsize, simplify, etc.

And not to put this next company down, since I use at least a few of their software projects, but look at Oracle. I am worried they'll eventually get stretched thin. They have MySQL, VirtualBox, Java, and I forgot what all else (if anything more?)

Another concern is if big companies start aquiring small projects and overextend themselves. However, if done right, having big companies take over abandoned projects could also be a good thing if they have the resources to properly maintain the software.

There's two sides to this, and I'm sure the folks at Canonical (and other companies including Oracle - please don't diss me for saying that. LOL!) have thought about these things and are doing their best.

I know there are many who don't like either company. But I find that I can use their software successfully and am happy so as long as they put out good product, well, it should be all good.

BTW, Ubuntu did try to make Ubuntu Phone. Anyone know what happened to that? Haven't heard anymore about it.

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Longshot
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Re: Why does Ubuntu only create an OS and not other software

Postby Longshot » 03 Aug 2014 06:02

Ubuntu phone is coming out later this year, or so they say anyway.

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Arjen Balfoort
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Re: Why does Ubuntu only create an OS and not other software

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 04 Aug 2014 08:12

We're talking business models here, and when we do I need to simplify things for myself:
  • Apple's business model is based on selling hardware/software (combined).
  • Microsoft's business model is based on selling software, but is moving towards Apple's business model (xbox, taking over Nokia).
  • Ubuntu's business model is based on selling services, and support.
Now I see that Apple, and Microsoft are somewhat similar in design, but Ubuntu's business model does not compare with either Apple nor Microsoft. In other words: Apple, and Microsoft are product selling companies, while Ubuntu is a services selling company. Ubuntu's business strategy is to develop services to sell, not to build software, or else it would have been a product selling company like Microsoft. Ubuntu does develop software, as long as it is in line with the business strategy to be able to sell their services.

Come to think of it, I think that Canonical's decisions, based on this business model, has caused unrest in their community: home users use a product, and usually don't buy the services, but decisions are made to sell more services. You could say that Canonical did not correctly manage the community's expectations, and some users were a bit miffed when they were confronted with those decisions.


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Re: Why does Ubuntu only create an OS and not other software

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 04 Aug 2014 11:00

Compound that with home users usually are those who are trying to save as much money as they can in this economy. Many don't have money to get a new computer every time Microsoft comes out with a new OS so they stick with the old until there's no updates and/or it becomes too "insecure" due to lack of support. Then they look to find out what they can do: Either stop using the computer as it's too old (and go without one since they don't have the money for a new one) or go put Linux on it (which is free) and be able to use their old computer for the same things again. Because Linux has grown to the point that home users are better able to use it, and one doesn't have to pay to download and use the operating system, this seems to attract those with little to no money. Thus, Canonical would be in a spot to try and sell to people who just plain don't have the money. Yet their easy to use system attracts just those very same people.

Selling to business users is hard as it is (many are still trying to stick to XP even, to save money).

So you have two opposing sides fighting each other: One side a business who needs to make money to survive and the other consumers who have no money left to spend and need to survive by making do with what they have in the cheapest way possible.

Businesses are selling "Hey! Get this! It's NEAT!" intead of selling "You need this. There is just no way out." And even then consumers are strapped for cash and usually can find a way out or a way to do without.

Fargo
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Re: Why does Ubuntu only create an OS and not other software

Postby Fargo » 04 Aug 2014 16:04

Good discussion guys. I think good points are made. I think Schoelje really summarized it well in saying that it really comes down to business models. I can see where focusing on a service model would lead to some of Canonicals decisions. Also good points were made about stretching the company too thin.

I guess like many others I am just waiting for Linux to gain more market share. Ubuntu seems like the most likely candidate to make that happen, so I look to them and wonder why they don't do the things I think need to be done to expand the use of Linux. I certainly appreciate libre/open software, even more so, I appreciate open document standards. But I also find that there are some closed source programs that I need. And until Linux has a similar % of market share as Apple these programs won't likely be ported to Linux. But I'll keep trudgine along with Linux using CrossOver or VirtualBox for the proprietary stuff I need. But even though I do dislike some things about Ubuntu, I still hope to see them succeed and lead the way for the Linux desktop to be a major player.

Thanks for the input guys.

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Zill
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Re: Why does Ubuntu only create an OS and not other software

Postby Zill » 04 Aug 2014 19:19

Fargo wrote:...I guess like many others I am just waiting for Linux to gain more market share...
Then you could have a long wait. ;-)

The whole point of GNU/Linux is that it does not rely on "market share" as there is simply no market! Linux distros are generally not "sold" but are distributed freely to anyone who is interested. The FOSS model underpinning GNU/Linux relies on thousands of people around the world working collectively because they want to, not because they are employees of a mega-corporation.

While many companies and larger corporations can see advantages to using FOSS and do, in some cases, help fund it and provide resources, this is an additional bonus.

The community of developers behind FOSS do so for their own personal reasons and therefore primarily develop programs for their own use. If others can use these programs then all well and good but this system does not integrate well with "business models" where program development is dictated by employers driven by financial gain.

Fargo
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Re: Why does Ubuntu only create an OS and not other software

Postby Fargo » 05 Aug 2014 01:09

Zill wrote:
Fargo wrote:...I guess like many others I am just waiting for Linux to gain more market share...
Then you could have a long wait. ;-)

The whole point of GNU/Linux is that it does not rely on "market share" as there is simply no market! Linux distros are generally not "sold" but are distributed freely to anyone who is interested. The FOSS model underpinning GNU/Linux relies on thousands of people around the world working collectively because they want to, not because they are employees of a mega-corporation.

While many companies and larger corporations can see advantages to using FOSS and do, in some cases, help fund it and provide resources, this is an additional bonus.

The community of developers behind FOSS do so for their own personal reasons and therefore primarily develop programs for their own use. If others can use these programs then all well and good but this system does not integrate well with "business models" where program development is dictated by employers driven by financial gain.
I guess the only reason I want more market share is because there are some proprietary programs I need for work that won't get a port to linux unless their is substantial market share. Even Mac doesn't have enough share yet for these companies to write software for it.

I think the basic software needed for the home user is already there with FOSS software. Its the more specialized industry specific software that will require wide spread adoption before we see a Linux version. I guess thats why I thought it might be good for Ubuntu to make some linux software for some of the larger businesses. It would seem that even as a 'software as a service' company ubuntu could make money with additional software offerings verses just an OS. Particularily software like accounting software that spreads out over all forms of business seems like it would be good for a software company. Other large industries like engineering, CAD, graphics, sales, and etc seem like their would be a large enough base for smaller companies to fill the void and write linux software. I'm just always surprised that all these software companies want to be where everyone else has already gone. Nobody wants to fill the niche market. I know Corel has dipped their toes in Linux with CorelLinuxOS in the past and WordPerfect for Linux. They still offer Aftershot Pro for Linux. But I think that is because it was developed by someone else when they acquired the company. I suppose Corel would know better than I do, but it seems to me that a company should be able to make some software sales by being the only company to support Linux. Its another pipe dream, but I would love to see what would happen if Corel decided to offer their entire software line up with Linux or Cross platform compatible versions.

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Re: Why does Ubuntu only create an OS and not other software

Postby Deleted User 2763 » 05 Aug 2014 13:18

Ubuntu's business model is like Red Hat and Oracle (tho Oracle did acquire Sun's hardware).
-Hinto


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