Canonical – ignore the hate and make your bet

Does Canonical deserve the hate that is being directed at it by some people? I doubt it – who could? Canonical deserves criticism for some things, of course, but not the ongoing and disproportionate spite some technical people direct at it. The only explanation I can come up with is that when some people love or believe in something strongly, and then are disappointed in that love, they can feel very, very angry. And as with romantic love, nothing will make them feel better till they have a new love to take the place of the old one. So I’m not sure there is much Canonical can do to appease them. Instead, the focus should be on the big bets it has to make to secure a future. The following comment (on Slashdot) captured the issue especially well so I quote it in full:

It’s not rocket science. Rightly or wrongly Canonical has decided that the future of general computing is in the mobile space and they are working on getting Ubuntu there and bridging the gap between the mobile computing experience and the desktop computing experience.

In simplest of terms, they’re trying to make a distro that can be both a phone and a desktop all in the same device. Again — rightly or wrongly — they have decided that they needed to move certain things in house to best accomplish that goal (Mir) and needed a specific interface they were in control of to scale between display form factors (Unity).

If you are a person that thinks this direction is wrong and will hurt Linux in the long run, then you belong in the “bad for Linux” category. I’m a person that thinks this is absolutely the best way for Linux to finally have its “year of the desktop” similar to how Apple made their comeback but with a twist — by providing a compelling mobile experience with a device that just so happens to be able to double as someone’s desktop when they want a bigger screen.

Pay attention to plunging desktop sales numbers. As people find ways to make mobile devices and tablets their only computing devices, this strategy will start to look smarter and smarter. Whatever else you think of Canonical (and by extension Ubuntu), this will either make them or break them.

Ubuntu good for linux?

As with most big bets, there are no guarantees of success. And Canonical will make mistakes. But I fully support their attempt and wish them well.