LINUX VENDOR Canonical has said it expects Ubuntu to ship on 18 million PCs next year.
Having just launched Ubuntu 12.04, Canonical is bullish about its future, with Chris Kenyon, its VP of sales and business development forecasting that the firm's operating system will ship on 18 million machines in 2013. According to Phoronix, Kenyon claimed that will amount to five per cent of worldwide PC shipments.
Kenyon's prediction represents more than double the number of PCs shipped currently with Ubuntu and while that might seem optimistic the firm has been on a roll when it comes to OEM support. Prior to Canonical's launch of Ubuntu 12.04 it announced certification for HP Proliant servers, and yesterday it revealed that it has been working with Dell on an Ubuntu image for Dell's headline XPS 13 ultrabook.
Although Kenyon mentioned PC unit sales, it is unlikely to forecast a similar growth in servers pre-installed with Ubuntu despite the firm's certification for some Proliant servers.
Kenyon told The INQUIRER in a previous interview that most firms buy bare metal servers and load their own tweaked images. He said, "As a point of fact the vast majority of this [Ubuntu on servers] is not sold pre-installed. [...] Pre-install in the server market is just irrelevant, it is not how the market works. Even when something gets pre-installed an enterprise will wipe it because they will have their own image. [OS pre-installation] is a distraction [for servers, but] it's a very applicable question in the client world."
While Kenyon has a valid point regarding server adoption, there is a certain cachet and seal of approval if servers ship with Ubuntu, even if customers wipe the drives and load customised images. Nevertheless, Canonical is right to focus on PC sales targets, as Ubuntu is one of the most polished and consumer friendly Linux distributions available.
Microsoft's biggest advantage over Linux distributions isn't its Windows operating system but the way Microsoft has got just about every OEM to ship machines with Windows, meaning users have to find, download and then install alternative operating systems. If Canonical manages to get Ubuntu pre-installed on five per cent of all PCs shipped in 2013, then it will start to rival the popularity of Apple's Mac OS X, a pretty impressive feat. µ
Tabs to more Ctrl and less Win. Such Fn.
Either that or it's a really intense holiday