I was watching a video on youtube the other day of ThisWeekInLinux where the topic of discussion was Ubuntu haters.
Now even till a few years back I had my reservations about Ubuntu. It was a new distro, with a huge focus on making life easy for he average user. However, it was (and still is) being run by a South African billionaire, Mark Shuttleworth who made his fortune by providing security solutions for online transactions. I wasnt sure of his intentions and frankly I wasnt convinced if a new company with only a few employees would be able to revolutionise the Linux market by making it more user-friendly. Open SUSE had always been a very efficient OS and beating it to become the most popular distro was bound to difficult.
Fast forward to 2010. Ubuntu as of today is by far the most popular Linux distro on the planet with millions of users worldwide and gaining market share at a spectacular rate. Was this expected? I'd say no. But it only happened because the guys at Canonical (the company in charge of Ubuntu) knew what they were doing. They have in the past 2-3 years improved the usability of Ubuntu so much that now, its almost synonymous with Linux. Infact google insight predicts that soon, ubuntu will overtake linux as the more used search term! Thats quite an extraordinary achievement for a relatively new distribution.
Now there's a new group of people who think that Ubuntu's spoiling the Linux environment by making it a more n00b friendly. I really dont understand how something user friendly can be bad. Even experienced programmers I talk to tell me that after a hard day of coding, the last thing they need is to make another bash script when they get home, hence their liking for the distro.
Linux has forever been a geek's platform, and thats exactly the reason why it has almost been neglected by software companies for many years. Thanks to Ubuntu's success, Linux is making all the right noises. Ubuntu has such a huge market share with such a diverse community that its progress is the progress of Linux. Now that cant be a bad thing now can it?