Linux Ubuntu installation on PCs sold by Excimer and NT Computer is to be launched within the nearest month. Consequently, Ubuntu sales in Russia might reach 300 thousand units. Ubuntu 8.04 released on April 24, 2008 is more likely to be preinstalled.
Within a month several Russian companies start installing popular Linux Ubuntu OS on PCs sold, tells Vladimir Kryukov, Canonical representative in EMEA.
Strictly speaking, Canonical partners in Saratov, Samara, Taganrog, Biysk and Nizhny Novgorod are already selling PCs with Ubuntu preinstalled, while other rather large companies are going to join them in the near future. A contract has been signed with Excimer, negotiations being held with NT Computer. According to Mr. Kryukov, several companies are likely to join in.
A little bit less than 50 thousand computers with Ubuntu preinstalled were sold in Russia over the recent year. According to Mr. Kryukov’s optimistic forecasts the given number might expand to 300 thousand by the end of 2008.
Ubuntu – a free, Debian derived Linux-based operating system – has become one of the most popular Linux distributives recently. Its key sponsor and leading developer is the Canonical Company belonging to the South African venture businessman Mark Shuttleworth.
‘The Canonical long-term plans imply making Ubuntu a leading OS for both desktop and mobile devices’, - says Vladimir Kryukov. He believes, ‘judging from the piracy level in various countries (from about 90% in China to 25% in the US), about 60-65% computers worldwide are operating on pirate software’. Under such conditions Canonical is seeking to develop a ‘free and stable’ platform under a ‘popular brand’. Canonical believes Ubuntu is likely to become such a platform.
The Ubuntu project is one of those cases, when free software is used to earn money. Neither Canonical financial records are disclosed, but according to Vladimir Kryukov, ‘the company currently exists due to Mark Shuttleworth’s funding. However, according to Canonical forecasts, in the coming 1.5-2 years the company is likely to become profitable.
Under principally free Ubuntu distribution, revenue results from technical maintenance (which is payable for both desktop and service versions), creating ready-made solutions, and developments to third-party orders: ‘for example, we rely heavily on Ubuntu Mobile Edition, - says Vladimir Kryukov. – Intel wishes our system to operate on the company’s chipsets for mobile internet devices. So we are making certain adjustments, which result in additional costs’.
Ubuntu costs nothing for the end user: the distributive might be downloaded from the site or ordered on CD through ordinary mail. In the latter case Canonical pays for the delivery. The online access to the latest Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron is launched tomorrow, April 24, 2008. CDs for distribution through e-mail are also set for issue tomorrow, orders being already taken.
Beginning from 2004 Ubuntu releases have been traditionally updated twice a year, as a rule in April and October. Each release has its own name consisting of two words (the number of the Latin letter the name begins with corresponds to the number of the release). It is numbered in accordance with the month and year of release.
Unlike Ubuntu 6 and 7, Hardy Heron is provided with Canonical long-term support, i.e. three years for desktop versions and five years for servers instead of the usual 18 months. According to Vladimir Kryukov, the given terms correspond to ordinary corporate computer or software life, which makes Hardy Heron more attractive for IT managers.
The long-term maintenance has already yielded several results: early in April Sun Microsystems certified Ubuntu for its equipment. Mr. Kryukov promises several peculiar announcements will be made in May.
In addition to 3-5-year life Ubuntu 8.04 supports ATI Radeon 3850. It is also provided with new X.org that allows adjusting the system to 2 monitors and large matrix ‘without any special effort’, according to Mr. Kryukov.
As for the Hardy Heron software, Vladimir Kryukov emphasizes improved virtualization support. The distributive is also provided with FireFox 3.0, Open Office 2.40 and ‘several interesting interface solutions’.
The eternal dream of Ubuntu users about at least two various graphic environments – Gnome and KDE – presented in one box has not been implemented. However, two distributives have been released for Kubuntu fans (Ubuntu modification using KDE). The most stable is using KDE 3.5, the most popular – KDE 4.0.