Why the Failure to Conquer the Desktop Was Great for GNU/Linux

AI: open source’s next big win.

Canonical recently launched Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. It’s an
important release. In part, that’s because Canonical will
support it for five years, making it one of the relatively rare LTS products in Ubuntu’s history.
Ubuntu 18.04 also marks a high-profile return to GNOME as the default
desktop, after a few years of controversial experimentation with Unity.
The result is regarded by many as the best desktop Ubuntu so far (that’s my
view too, for what it’s worth). And yet, the emphasis at launch lay elsewhere. Mark
Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical and founder of Ubuntu, said:

Multi-cloud operations are the new normal. Boot-time and
performance-optimised images of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS on every major public
cloud make it the fastest and most efficient OS for cloud computing,
especially for storage and compute-intensive tasks like machine
learning.

The bulk of the
official 18.04 LTS announcement
is about Ubuntu’s cloud
computing
features. On the main web site, Ubuntu claims
to be “The standard
OS for cloud computing
“, citing (slightly old) research
that shows “70% of public cloud workloads and 54% of OpenStack
clouds” use it. Since Canonical is a privately held company,
it doesn’t publish a detailed breakdown of its operations, just a
basic summary
. That means it’s hard to tell just how successful
the cloud computing strategy is proving. But, the fact that Shuttleworth
is now openly talking about an IPO
—not something to be undertaken
lightly—suggests that there is enough good news to convince
investors to throw plenty of money at Canonical when the prospectus
spells out how the business is doing.

Source: Linux Journal