> A popular question in desktop circles is "Can anyone make money from the
> Linux desktop?" Canonical <http://www.canonical.com/> CEO and
> Ubuntu<http://www.ubuntu.com/>founder, Mark Shuttleworth's answer is "I don't
> think anyone can make money
> from the Linux desktop."
> Yes, that's right. The man behind what's almost certainly the most popular
> think he, or anyone else, can make money from the Linux desktop.
> Furthermore, he never really has.
> In a press call about the October 30th arrival of the next version of
> Ubuntu, Ubuntu
> Shuttleworth said that Canonical has always seen the desktop as a "zero
> revenue" product.
> The point is, Shuttleworth continued, "I've never seen selling
> shrink-wrapped packages of free software as a workable idea." Instead,
> Shuttleworth sees "The only way to build business around software is with
> [added costs] services."
> Shuttleworth added that he thinks Microsoft is shifting over to services
> for revenue as well. He said, "I've heard creditable reports of Microsoft
> offering XP at no cost to OEMs."
> When Microsoft was caught flat-footed by the rise of netbooks, which
> couldn't run Vista, the company first re-offered Windows XP Home to
> were going over to Linux. Then, as it became clear that Vista
> had failed, Microsoft decided to continue to offer XP
> Pro<http://blogs.computerworld.com/vista_r_i_p>to OEMs after all. Now,
> there's little doubt that Microsoft will keep
> offering XP until Windows 7 arrives.
> It's also worth noting that on the same day that Shuttleworth was saying
> that the selling of "desktop bits" was no longer a successful business model
> for Microsoft, Microsoft chief software architect Ray Ozzie was announcing
> services-based cloud operating environment. Azure, which will compete with
> Amazon's EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), won't be a product, its resources will
> be sold as a service.
> Funny that. It makes me think, yet again, that the smartest man in the
> open-source business world might well be Shuttleworth.
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