Feb 14, 2012

What type of enterprise user is going to use Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix?

So I see that there is a new version of Ubuntu that targets enterprise users. I have played around with Linux over the years, and it certainly has it's appeal. Even so, I can't really envision using the OS in a corporate environment. Maybe Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but are mainstream businesses really going to forgo Window and MacOS and adopt an open source OS?

It's different strokes for different folks. Some companies will undoubtedly find it useful and will convert to it. However, others will stick with Windows and/or Mac OS X. It's fantastic that companies have such a choice to make. The worst situation is if they had only one operating system to use, with no other choices.

You can download Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix here:


"Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix is a starting point for large-scale corporate desktop deployments. It is inspired by a review of common changes made by IT departments deploying Ubuntu at scale.

The remix retains all the goodness of Ubuntu and is compatible with all Ubuntu certified hardware, apps and tools, adding business-focused tools from the standard Ubuntu and partner archives and removing home-user oriented apps. There are no modified or enhanced packages in the remix, and the remix gets its security updates from the same place as standard Ubuntu; it’s just a convenient starting point that includes many common changes made by IT administrators deploying Ubuntu in a corporate setting.

This first release includes the Adobe Flash Plugin, VMware View, and the OpenJDK 6 Java run-time environment, while removing social networking and file sharing applications, games and development/sysadmin tools.

The result is a simple base image that can be deployed into your corporate environment or used as a starting point for further customisation. It’s Ubuntu, Jim, exactly as you know it.

32-bit x86, english-only, installation images are available now for free download with registration below. Deployments can be supported through a standard Ubuntu Advantage agreement from Canonical, or unpaid. Management of large scale deployments of this remix or standard Ubuntu Desktop deployments is best achieved with Canonical’s Landscape management tool. Archives, packages and updates are identical to all other Ubuntu images."
I would expect a very limited market, mainly small tech oriented companies headed by iconoclasts. Basically the same types of folks who have had Linux on their PCs for years already. The thing is, at most companies, the vast majority of employees are going to have years of experience with Windows or MacOS, and there aren't too many companies that want to have their labor force making a switch to an unfamiliar OS, no matter how good it is. Further, Canonical is going to have to provide decent tech support before most enterprise users will even consider it. Whether they can do this or not remains to be seen. Lots of large companies with fat wallets have difficulty providing adequate support, and I suspect it will be a challenge for Canonical too. Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix will make some enterprise users happy, but I suspect it will be the ones that are already Linux fans, and there will be little additional penetration into the corporate marketplace with this release.
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