Rapid Growth at Canonical

Over the last few months Ubuntu’s commercial backer Canonical has been going through a hiring frenzy.  Currently there are a total of 39 job openings at Canonical at this moment. For a large company that may not seem like a whole lot. But for Canonical which only had about 320 employees at the beginning of the year [source] it is a pretty big deal. Moreover, new positions have been opening up on Ubuntu Jobs weekly if not faster for the last few months.

So what does this mean for Ubuntu?

As most of Ubuntu is built elsewhere by other companies and individual contributors it won’t mean tons of new features. Rather expect more of what Ubuntu has been providing: constant refinement of the Ubuntu experience. Additionally, Canonical is focusing on the ARM platform with a goal of being a bridge between it and the traditional x86 architecture. Lastly, Canonical has it’s eye on developing the new Ubuntu Certified website and allowing people to have some official word on if particular hardware “just works” with Ubuntu.

One of the most asked questions of Canonical has been if it is profitable. The answer has and continues to be no [source]. But it seems profit isn’t Canonical’s number one goal right now, growth is.

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Ubuntu One Coming to OSX

A few weeks back it was announced that Ubuntu One was coming to Windows. Now from a recent job posting we can hope for a OSX client as well. Just don’t expect it too soon. The client for Windows has yet to go into public beta.

Job Summary: Canonical’s Online Services business is responsible for delivering Ubuntu One – a suite of integrated personal cloud services focused on giving users choice and control over their digital lives. The Engineering Manager, Desktop+, will be responsible for developing and integrating these services on the Ubuntu desktop and other platforms (Windows, OSx).

Under required skills and experience:

Technical expertise in multiple desktop platforms (Windows, OSx, Linux)


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Ubuntu To Challenge… Facebook?

At the Ubuntu Developer Summit tomorrow there will be a session on the “WeMenu” (not to be confused with the “MeMenu”) the idea behind it is to bring the real relationships you have and the very real communities around you to your desktop.

The WeMenu is the focal point for community on the Ubuntu desktop. It is a highly visible place containing persons and groups that are central to the Ubuntu experience and ethos of “Our Shared Humanity”. It is outward looking, but human-centric. It focuses our attention on people, beginning with those closest to us.

One of uses for this is of course connecting to the Ubuntu Community. For help, bug reporting and everything Ubuntu related.

This is of course exceptionally clever because Ubuntu has one of the best help/support systems in tech industry: the community. The problem is you have to generally open a web browser to get there (ie. it isn’t “built-in”).

Beyond being a help/support solution for Ubuntu there are of course other implications. One of the largest is for the “social web” or as we know it today: Facebook.  The WeMenu is being built to sort through the Social mess we have now (100+ Facebook “friends”) and connect us to the people we really know (Friends, Family, Neighbourhood, City/Town) quickly.

Before the WeMenu can truly shine there are many problems to be solved and ideas to be refined. For one there is the already present “MeMenu” which serves a similar purpose. The second issue is: where do you put the darn thing?

The above is a very rough mock-up of a potential design. As you can see the additional menu can take an extra bit of width in the panel.

The idea and implementation have a VERY long ways to go beyond this (this project is very much still in the brainstorming phase). As such the goal is to have some implementation of it ready to go for Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” but not pre-installed until at least 11.10.

This project has a huge amount of potential especially with ability integrate with other open source projects: the Ubuntu One Client, Gwibber, Empathy, Identi.ca, Diaspora. Yet, it is only potential for now. If you want wish to help out or have ideas/comments check out:


For more information:


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UDS Keynote to be Live Streamed


On Monday the next Ubuntu Developer Summit begins. The week long event will bring together the community, Canonical and hardware vendors to plan for the next version of Ubuntu. For the first time ever Monday’s keynote will be live streamed! The keynote will be headed by Mark Shuttleworth.

So what will be talked about in the keynote? Well some things like Unity Coming to the Desktop will likely be there. Moreover, Ubuntu’s commitment to building the best, most usable desktop OS is sure to be re-affirmed.

So be sure to tune into http://video.ubuntu.com/live at 9 am ET.

Similarly, many of the sessions throughout the week will also be live streamed and interactive. For those feeds check out:


Note: links will go live Monday.



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Unity Coming to the Desktop in 11.04!

Next week, Ubuntu developers will be discussing the possibility of adding a desktop focused version of the new Unity interface to the normal build of Ubuntu. This edition would have these changes among other possible improvements:

-Would be movable to any edge of the screen per user preference.

-Normal style floating windows, with window controls in the windows.

-Home screen turned into a drop down menu with search and program access.

(For more see here)

(Please do note that this is only a plan/discussion right now. But Mark Shuttleworth is assigned to the blueprint.)

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Awesome Ubuntu Video Created in Blender

Check out the (for the lack of a better word) epic Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase promotional video created by the Canonical Design team:

The video was created entirely with Open Source software which isn’t that big of surprise considering how powerful tools like Blender have become.

Additional information and the source files are available via the Canonical Design blog. So any one up to making a sweet general Ubuntu ad from them? I will gladly put them up on the blog.

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Lenovo set to ship over 1 million Ubuntu PCs in China in 2010

As we approach the release of Ubuntu 10.10, Jon Melamut vice president of sales and product management at Canonical has released this bomb shell: Lenovo is shipping over 1 million Ubuntu PCs in China in 2010. This may seem like a small number but just six months ago Canonical claimed to have just twelve million users worldwide. In 2008, the total number was 8 million. This new number comes from a single manufacturer: Lenovo. The total number of Ubuntu PCs shipping worldwide from others including Dell is unknown.

China is a massive market with huge potential for Open Source and Ubuntu. The Chinese government for one ships it’s own Linux distribution: Red Flag Linux. Moreover, China and US are getting increasingly competitive. This may lead the Chinese to choose products not directly linked to the United States. Open source in some ways is natural to the Chinese, which has long believed in the value of strong communities and the socialist principles of the common good. Of course the other open source ideals of complete transparency and freedom are things that are entirely new.

This huge developing market may also be part of the reason why Canonical is sending a design team member to China to evaluate Ubuntu’s usability. Canonical recently held it’s second hardware summit in Taiwan which had over 200 attendees from major Asain OEMs and ODMs .


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