#1: Keeping it FREE

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

This is one post in a series, describing challenges we need to overcome to make free software ubiquitous on the desktop.

We have to work together to keep free software freely available. It will be a failure if the world moves from paying for shrink-wrapped Windows to paying for shrink-wrapped Linux.

As free software becomes more successful and more pervasive there will be an increasing desire on the part of companies to make it more proprietary. We’ve already seen that with Red Hat and Novell, which essentially offer free software on proprietary terms – their “really free” editions are not certified, carry no support and receive no systematic security patching. In other words – they’re beta or test versions. If you want the best that free software can deliver, a rock solid, widely certified, secure platform, from either of those companies then you have to pay, and you pay the same price whether you are Goldman Sachs or a startup in Rio de Janeiro.

That’s not the vision we all share of what free software can achieve.

With Ubuntu, our vision is to make the very best of free software freely available, globally. To the extent we make short-term compromises, for drivers or firmware along the way, we see those as bugs, and ones that will be closed over time.

The dream for me is to be able to keep free software free of charge for the people who want it on those terms. To have people sharing the same high quality base and innovating on top of it – from Beijing to Buenos Aires – will create something that we’ve never had before, which is a completely level software playing field for every young aspiring IT practitioner, and every aspiring entrepreneur. I believe that’s how we will really change the world, and how we will deliver the full benefit of the movement started more than two decades ago by Richard Stallman.

This is a personal challenge – I benefited hugely from the existence of Linux in 1996, it was what made it possible (together with SSLeay, now OpenSSL) to get into the crypto game and ultimately found Thawte. Now my goal is to make Ubuntu sustainable so that it can continue to grow while at the same time making all of that opportunity, all of those tools, freely available to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

I’m glad to say our commercial support operation in Montreal is growing and that users are turning into customers, so the ball is rolling. As Ubuntu moves into the enterprise, with some of the world’s largest companies deploying it, I think we’re starting to show that it really is possible to have a platform that is both free and self-sustaining. We’ve come a long, long way from that first meeting in April 2004.

If this is a dream that inspires you too then get involved and contribute! We’ll take whatever time and input you can give – from documentation and advocacy to local training and support. Art, energy, code… it takes all sorts to build something as complete as Ubuntu can be.

133 Responses to “#1: Keeping it FREE”

  1. Chris Says:

    free = (among others) customizable

    One inmportant aspect of “free” I’d light to point to is customizability.
    Only if you’re able to adapt a software so that it suits your needs
    as regards function and aesthtics you get the feeling to “own” it.

    There’s nothing which pissed me off more with MacOS X (which is still n1
    in user experience) than the menu item “Buy MacOS software” which I had
    to hack out of the system.

    In the Ubuntu menu structure one thing which seems hardcoded to me is
    the help menu, one sub-menu being “Commercial support”. It’s OK
    for me that there’s such a menu item but it isn’t OK if you can deselect it.
    I guess many Linux users just don’t want a Help menu in the menu structure.
    The more customizable a menu structure the better.

    I’d like to evangelize for Ubuntu but only if it is and stays free in the sense
    I mentionned above.

    At the end free software implies a give-and-take between developpers and users.
    The developpers profit from a broad user base because this helps to eliminate bugs
    and to increase acceptance on the marketplace.

    On a side note 2 suggestions I’d like to make:
    – The keyboard indicator could be improved aesthetically (showing for.ex. flags like in MacOS instead of Che/Che2
    for Swiss German/French).
    – If the colour for the default theme is going to change (the actual one doesn’t bother me too much)
    I’d suggest orange.

    In the meantime I’d like to thank you Mark for the overall good Ubuntu experience and hope you keep your path.

    Chris

  2. Brady Merriweather Says:

    I spent my day Friday in a marketing conference with Microsoft’s team to see looking into promotions for the release of Vista. As talks on promotion material and costs came up, as a small computer store owner, I found that what they expected me to do was spend more money of mine, which I do not have to just say to the local public “Yes, I sell Vista.” The cost was $2,300 U.S. dollars for a post card campaign per every 3 months. I then awaited what incentives that Microsoft was going to work out to help us small computer stores in selling our complete PC products to my local customers who want to buy Vista. They mentioned, that they had not devised anything yet, and planned on later on after 6 month campaign to start releasing help for us. “The little guy” This conversation upsetting me, I stepped away to cuss outside.

    See, the issue is that they will expect me to build on all Windows certified hardware. Which for me, I don’t really get a great support from hardware distributors, because I buy in such small quantities. I have relied on more affordable hardware to build my systems, or even to keep costs down for my customers who need service repairs, while being up front and honest with them. For me to compete with larger companies, like Dell, HP, who everyday here in the states promote on television.

    This brings me to the point of this. I use Ubuntu at home. Donations of computers that I give to families struggling or perhaps have really strict budgets I service for free, and repair. I hand them back with Ubuntu, and give them a lesson how to get around, how to find help on line, and also invest my time to show them, if they happen to drop in. Now that this year, I see that we small system builders.. the small computer store.. is going to be dejected. I started this 2 years ago, and now realize why I saw less and less small computer stores up and running. The birth of the “throw away” pc market has done quite terrible damage in this for the small guy, but then I been servicing these cheap computers and seeing what Dell and others have been doing.. such as removing common components to reduce patent costs . (IE: getting rid of AGP slots, limited supported BIOS with no options to upgrade besides what is currently in the system…/ distributing systems with brand tagging Windows XP image installers.. which I don’t understand, because from all the training I get from Microsoft, this should be illegal, since it isn’t possible to reinstall, unless you use a BIOS branded mainboard from the same company.)

    So.. I see they are helping their partners in making PC’s like they were designed in the 80’s. Once it’s life expectancy of 2 years is up, the cost to service them outweighs the cost to buy another cheap computer from the same manufacture. The MAC throw away society. It’s environmentally stupid!

    So I been holding on these papers here on being signed up as a Ubuntu … I might be getting this wrong.. Ubuntu certified hardware reseller. I would not sell the software, but make sure all the equiptment put into the computers were Ubuntu friendly, so the customer wouldn’t run into any tiffs that may cause them to try putting on a pirated copy of Windows on the machine. I would in exchange, be offering support. I adding up the points here, and it looks like I got a total of 9 so far!

    I think it’s time for this. I can see problems right now where if Microsoft did come out on top again this coming year, that once repairs start rolling in, It will be hard to inform them, that because this was the second time that they reinstalled the OS (meaning they possibly had a snag during a rainy day and reinstalled) that they have to buy a new license. The new License only allows them 2 times to reinstall and only 1 time to migrate the license from one PC to another. computer enthusiasts, like myself who possibly upgrade our PC’s once a year to play the latest titles of games are going to be upset.

    I am ready to go forth to teach people how to use this and remove the fears of using this OS. In April, the information I’ve read about the latest release is fantastic! This will definitely appeal to customers, also keep me from going out of business. I love this job to much to give it up and put way to much money to be pushed out of this 13 year career.

  3. IT Infusion Inc. | Linux, FreeBSD, & Web Consulting | Calgary Alberta Says:

    Ubuntu founder on keeping free software free…

    Mark Shuttleworth: Keeping it FREE
    We have to work together to keep free software freely available. It will be a failure if the world moves from paying for shrink-wrapped Windows to paying for shrink-wrapped Linux.
    As free software becomes more success…

  4. Ubuntu-blogi » Arkisto » Uutisia ja lainauksia, viikko 4 Says:

    […] Novell vertaa Vistaa Suseen Microsoft on välillä pyrkinyt vertailuillaan osoittamaan Windowsin paremmuuden/kustannustehokkuuden Linuxiin nähden (mm. Get The Facts -kampanja). Nyt Novell on tehnyt saman, ja yrittää lyödä kapuloita Windows Vistan rattaisiin vertailemalla sitä Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10:een. Vertailun mukaan Suse tarjoaa yli 90% Vistan ominaisuuksista alle 10% sen kustannuksista. Novell painottaa myös Susen turvallisuutta reikäiseksi tunnettuun Windowsiin verrattuna. Toisaalta Susen työpöytä on Novellin mukaan ominaisuuksiltaan ja ulkoasultaan edistyksellisempi. tietokone.fi “We have to work together to keep free software freely available. It will be a failure if the world moves from paying for shrink-wrapped Windows to paying for shrink-wrapped Linux. As free software becomes more successful and more pervasive there will be an increasing desire on the part of companies to make it more proprietary. We’ve already seen that with Red Hat and Novell, which essentially offer free software on proprietary terms – their “really free” editions are not certified, carry no support and receive no systematic security patching. In other words – they’re beta or test versions. If you want the best that free software can deliver, a rock solid, widely certified, secure platform, from either of those companies then you have to pay, and you pay the same price whether you are Goldman Sachs or a startup in Rio de Janeiro.” Mark Shuttleworth pohtii Linuxin kaupallistumista blogissaan. http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/77 […]

  5. Christoph Meyer Says:

    One thing I dont like about Ubuntu is that you dont give users the choice to deselect the Help menu
    in the menu structure. One sub-menu being “Commercial support”, this reminds me awkwardly of the “Get
    MacOS software” in the MacOS which really pissed me off.
    I think many Linux users just dont want a “Help” menu in the menu structure and having this choice is one
    aspect of real free software, because only if you can customize according to your needs, a SW you really
    have the feeling that you own it.
    I hope that keep on track by delivering a really free OS on the one hand, and making money with the
    services you provide people who want them, on the other. This way both sides will profit, otherwise there
    are other Linuxes around.

  6. A guy laughing hard Says:

    You are daring to compare SLED/D and/or RHEL with ubuntu, you got some nerves ! Well boy you are better to start eating your bread crumb (and lots of them).

  7. some_guy Says:

    “It will be a failure if the world moves from paying for shrink-wrapped Windows to paying for shrink-wrapped Linux.”

    “As free software becomes more successful and more pervasive there will be an increasing desire on the part of companies to make it more proprietary”

    “I believe that’s how we will really change the world, and how we will deliver the full benefit of the movement started more than two decades ago by Richard Stallman.”

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BinaryDriverEducation

    Touché Mark, touché.

    Sigh …

    Mark Shuttleworth says:

    Dear Some_guy

    Actually, that’s a very positive step in the long march to software freedom. The BinaryDriverEducation is not about ADDING binary drivers, it’s about helping people who HAVE them installed understand what binary drivers are all about – security implications, freedom, and so on.  The free software community is often very critical of proprietary software without explaining to ordinary users “why they should care”. The BinaryDriverEducation spec is designed to ensure thatpeople who use Ubuntu actually have the opportunity to learn why free software is so important, and what the consequences of using non-free software are.

    Now, that’s totally separate from the question of what non-free software is installed, byt the OS or by them. It’s a step towards better general understanding of the issues, not along ideological grounds but in the interests of smarter personal decisions by all of our users. Remember, most Ubuntu users don’t start out as free software zealots, they start out as people who are willing to try something new. BinaryDriverEducation should give them insight into what free software is all about.

    Mark

  8. Linux | Ubuntu founder on keeping free software free | IT Infusion | Calgary, Alberta Says:

    […] Mark Shuttleworth: Keeping it FREE We have to work together to keep free software freely available. It will be a failure if the world moves from paying for shrink-wrapped Windows to paying for shrink-wrapped Linux. […]

  9. some_guy Says:

    First you said:

    “The BinaryDriverEducation spec is designed to ensure that people who use Ubuntu actually have the opportunity to learn why free software is so important, and what the ***consequences*** of using non-free software are.”

    And then your company/project/fundation recent news (February 8th, 2007) says:

    “Beginning with Ubuntu 7.04, Ubuntu users will be able to use CNR to access commercial programs and proprietary drivers with one click of the mouse. In subsequent releases CNR technology will be integrated to provide an even better desktop user experience for getting commercial software.”

    Don’t you see that you’re following exactly the Microsoft’s path with the excuse of ‘reaching masses’?. Why, WHY are you wasting money, efforts and excellent developers into integrating free and propietary code into your linux distribution?, wouldn’t it better to invest those resources on free alternatives (x.org, noveau, etc)?, why anyone should use ubuntu then if you continue integrating propietary drivers/modules with free code?, why not to keep using Windows then?. Don’t you see that Ubuntu recent news are ‘bread for today and hunger for tomorrow”, WHO will fix propietary drivers bugs if Ubuntu doesn’t have the sources?. Remember your last fiasco with x drivers? … imagine one similar fiasco but now with propietary drivers and thousands of users praying for a fix from ATI or NVIDIA.

    Mark, you, yes you, have a great and critical responsability with Ubuntu. You are now the leader of the most well-known linux distribution (we could discuss the merits of Ubuntu for this rank but that’s another history) and you should have extremely care of what you wrote, what you say and how you express your feelings. Of course you can do whatever you want with your money and your ambitions but please, stop opening Pandora’s box and please, stop your hipocresy.

    P.S: *** added by me

  10. nur Bahnhof » canonical evil? Says:

    […] [2] http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/77 […]

  11. Luis Villa’s Blog » Canonical: putting money where mouth is, credit where credit is due, all that. Says:

    […] I’m still uncomfortable with a lot of what Canonical/Ubuntu does in this space (apparent sense that gratis is more important than libre, bragging when moving people from libre tools to gratis ones, lack of formal patent policy a la Fedora) but we should all give them huge thanks and due credit for taking this particular important step in the right direction. […]

  12. Dusty Says:

    Mark..
    As much as i would like to keep software free, i would also like to keep software opensource. I am really hurt that you would use non-opensouce software with and in association with ubuntu. By the look of the above comments, your dream is not shared with the opensouce community at large. Perhaps you should change your focus to benefit the opensource community at large. I have already emailed you on this issue and have received no response …

  13. shiftMode » Blog Archive » Much more than an OS Says:

    […] “With Ubuntu, our vision is to make the very best of free software freely available, globally. To the extent we make short-term compromises, for drivers or firmware along the way, we see those as bugs, and ones that will be closed over time.” [link] […]

  14. Martin Says:

    Dear Mark,

    First of all I want to thank you – and all the other people working on it – for making Ubuntu available – It’s one of my favorite desktops as a cyber-citizen.

    Much of this discussion goes way over my head – I’m just a simple user – and one that would love a world with equal opportunities. So please stay focused on the ball – and don’t start kicking peoples’ ankles!

    For all I know, you might even be right in your observations about the distributions you’ve named – but does naming them add anything useful to achieving your dream? Or does it waste our precious time? Wouldn’t it be wiser just not to discuss these things in public, and do your own thing? Just walk the walk, and leave the talk?

    Jij moet mooi loop ou seun!

  15. jhambel Says:

    URGENT…..I think…..

    Many thanks for the distro, the devs and the support for FOSS in general….Realizing how busy you are, i ll keep this as brief as possible.
    I know in advance that many entities function under ubuntu and its community which you do not oversee. But the main representative of the Ubuntu distrobution you set in motion these days tends to be its official forums , publications and community efforts. And while I find the software profect to be worth investing effort and time in to further promote the ideals you have set out, I have to say that what I have seen over the last year in the official ubuntu forums is starting to reek of free as in beer , but not free as in speech.

    I submit the following link, for your personal attention, but get the feeling that if you were to lurk around the current ubuntu forum you might not recongize the ideals which set ubuntu in motion in the first place. It remains to this day, one of the most embarrassing and quite possibly detrimental advertisements to steer both serious FOSS users, and Enterprise projects as well,

    If a potential client for support, or future business scenarios were to decide to look around at the ubuntu phenomenon, I m guessing he would be as disturbed and taken abackas I am by the behavoiur of a section of the community which is highly visibe at the moment. Heres the posting thread, which i hope you can find the time to skim thru at least during what most be an endless succession of hectic days.

    http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=361608

    I ought to note by the way, that the smaller and less visited kubuntu forum seems quite open to ideas, very helpful and friendly and less FUD ridden, which is what makes the contrast so glaring….

    With best wishes and warmest regards, I remain

    Sincerely yours,

    Jibril Hambel

    Mark Shuttleworth says:

    Jibril, I looked at that thread and I didn’t have the same reaction that you did. It seems to me to be a normal discussion about an idea being proposed. There are different viewpoints, so expressed with more tact than others, but it’s not an intrinsically unpleasant discussion.

    Our community is starting to get to the point where there’s a real risk of fracture points, but this isn’t one of them, IMO.

    I would, incidentally, be quite happy to see an ubuntu-experts forum setup. I suspect however that it would be a honeypot for new users wanting an expert answer to a non-expert question, so I think it would be tricky to really keep it for-and-by-experts. Perhaps an experts blog, with regular contributions from experts as to cool things they’ve managed to get working, would be better?

    Mark

  16. Voglia di Linux » Blog Archive » Dell e Linux, si sposano più in là Says:

    […] In un primo passo cetificano solo l’hardware per compatibilità con Novell Suse, quindi niente urli di gioia. Se poi invece pagare il supporto tecnico a Microsoft lopaghi alla Novell cambia poco, come diceva bene Mark Shuttleworth. As free software becomes more successful and more pervasive there will be an increasing desire on the part of companies to make it more proprietary. We’ve already seen that with Red Hat and Novell, which essentially offer free software on proprietary terms – their “really free” editions are not certified, carry no support and receive no systematic security patching. In other words – they’re beta or test versions. If you want the best that free software can deliver, a rock solid, widely certified, secure platform, from either of those companies then you have to pay, and you pay the same price whether you are Goldman Sachs or a startup in Rio de Janeiro. That’s not the vision we all share of what free software can achieve. With Ubuntu, our vision is to make the very best of free software freely available, globally. To the extent we make short-term compromises, for drivers or firmware along the way, we see those as bugs, and ones that will be closed over time. […]

  17. Kaveman’s Daily Feed of Informative Blogs » #1: Keeping it FREE Says:

    […] Original post by mark […]

  18. Simon Says:

    Ubuntu’s a solid piece of work, but it has no right to take the moral high ground on free software.

    It’s fine to be pragmatic about things like binary drivers, but the swipes at genuinely freedom-free distros, like Fedora and openSUSE, seem a bit dishonest, especially as Ubuntu is becoming more commercial in spirit (e.g. the recent trademark rules), and you clearly have imperialistic ambitions for it (“from Beijing to Buenos Aires…”)

    Regards
    :-)

    Mark Shuttleworth says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever taken a swipe at either Fedora or OpenSUSE. I’ve certainly said that the proprietary nature of RHEL and SLED / SLES (you have to pay for them everywhere you want to use them) is not the full expression of free software, and I think the organisations behind them are in a tricky position to have to sell a commercial edition over their free community editions. I’ve certainly watched conference salesmen from both companies trash their community versions, which is unfortunate given the dedication and love their communities put into that work.

    There are wonderful communities around both Fedora and OpenSUSE, and I think the Ubuntu developers like to collaborate with both of them. Ubuntu definitely has global ambition – we would all like to see free software used as widely as possible. My criticism of RHEL licensing is not a criticism of the Fedora community. And my criticism of the Novell-Microsoft intellectual property deal is not a criticism of the OpenSUSE community. It’s reasonable to separate out the actions of the community from those of the company. Similarly, I would expect people to raise concerns where Canonical takes a view which is at odds with those of the Ubuntu project, like the question of Launchpad’s license.

  19. Martin Says:

    I admire the work done with Ubuntu and its position on issues. However I am worried with the upcoming release of Dell products with Ubuntu installed that it will have the same pricing as their alternative OS’s and effectively making people pay for a shrink-wrapped Linux (removing any price saving incentive to go with Linux). Are you going to stand by your words to not allow the world to pay for a shrink-wrapped Linux?

    Mark Shuttleworth says:

    We are not charging any per-seat fee or royalty for Ubuntu, we are only offering support for those folks who want to be able to call for it. Different OEM’s will structure that offer differently for their customers, and I can’t speak for Dell, but I have no concerns in this case that the offer will be out of line with what Linux enthusiasts will want.

  20. Luis Villa’s Blog / notes on my adventures in fedora-land Says:

    […] I’ve been irritated for a while by some of Mark’s positions on ‘freedom’ (slamming Red Hat for non-freeness while seriously considering binary drivers and encouraging free software projects to rely on proprietary software for development), and obviously if I’m working for Red Hat, I should eat my own dogfood. So yesterday I spent a few hours installing Fedora for the first time… well, since roughly around when I ate my shorts. (NB: I can’t find a link or picture of that; if someone still has them, I’d like a copy.) […]

  21. Mark Shuttleworth gets quote mined « Limulus Says:

    […] “We have to work together to keep free software freely available. It will be a failure if the world moves from paying for shrink-wrapped Windows to paying for shrink-wrapped Linux.” […]

  22. Intervista a Linus Torvalds | Arkosoft | Blog Says:

    […] è quella di restare sempre e comunque gratuite (free like free beer). Sarebbe un fallimento, dice, se il mondo passasse da pagare Windows a pagare Linux (”It will be a failure if the world moves […]

  23. .:!TuxSoul!:. Mind » Intervista a Linus Torvalds Says:

    […] è quella di restare sempre e comunque gratuite (free like free beer). Sarebbe un fallimento, dice, se il mondo passasse da pagare Windows a pagare Linux (”It will be a failure if the world moves […]

  24. Mark Shuttleworth on free and “non-free” Linux distros « sandipb.net Says:

    […] 19th, 2007 by Sandip Bhattacharya Mark Shuttleworth writes in [this blog post][2] on a topic I get really emotional about: We have to work together to keep free software freely […]

  25. Mighty Linuxz » Mark Shuttleworth: #1: Keeping it FREE Says:

    […] read more | digg story […]

  26. Bryan J Smith Says:

    Mark, you’ve dropped to an all-new low, near-libel.

    First off, Red Hat puts a crapload of developers on countless projects. A great majority of Red Hat customers know where every dollar they give to Red Hat goes, GPL, GPL and more GPL. There is no equal to Red Hat in the space, even before you exclude hardware-focused vendors, Red Hat still tops them as well.

    Secondly, trademark issues are real. They have been the issue with Red Hat, namely Red Hat’s prior lack of enforcement. No matter how many times Red Hat attempted to address the Red Hat(R) brand with guidelines, people still forced the issue. Thank Cobalt, Sun and countless others for the abuse for forcing this issue.

    Third, Canoncial is the new Mandriva. Yes, Mandrive “won the war of perception,” and where did that get them? Red Hat has a proven, sustainable model around the community. Let me say that again, a proven, sustainable model around the community. Sun and, to a lesser extent, Novell have a model of forking from upstream — Red Hat embraces upstream and it drives everything they do.

    Fourth, Red Hat knows those who want to pay for support want a subscription and an all encompassing experience. Those who do not often fall into the category of those who want to repackage and redistribute a distro without limitations. The later was Red Hat Linux prior (which was never officially supported more than a year), and now Fedora (because of the prior trademark issues). You can even rebrand Fedora distros easily, and you don’t have to worry about software with indemification issues. There is no interest served trying to do both — one filled with both trademark issues and people complaining about trailing edge all while commercial uses complain it moves too fast.

    Lastly, for those that don’t want a long-term RHEL with support, there’s CentOS. CentOS is a great distro and fills the gap of RHEL not being freely redistributable. Unfortunately, Red Hat cannot do the same. It goes back to the trademark and the Red Hat(R) brand. People don’t realize that is what cost Red Hat in the first place, people believing that the Linux/MIPS port from Cobalt sporting “Red Hat(R) Linux” was from Red Hat, and all those negative issues and mis-use of trademark. This is the reality of the marketplace people, sorry.

    You want to blame people? It’s not Red Hat. It’s because the GPL doesn’t address trademark abuses. Even Linus and Linux International run into this with the abuses of the Linux(R) trademark as well. We all lose, Red Hat more than any other, major distro ever — no one but Red Hat(R) allowed its trademark to be so freely redistributed to the point it almost lost the name due to unenforcement. People want RHEL because it says Red Hat(R) Enterprise Linux, don’t blame Red Hat because they won’t give away that brand for free.

    Mark, I can only sum this up as utter envy of the Red Hat(R) brand. I run and even maintained Debian and Gentoo in addition to Fedora, RHEL and CentOS. I’ve supported Ubuntu and think it’s a great addition to the distro list, one that is very popular for very good reasons. But if you want Canonical to continue to just be another Mandriva, keep up this rheotric and near-libel.

  27. GregDek vs Shuttleworth | Matt Frye dot Net Says:

    […] Read more at http://gregdek.livejournal.com or http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/77. […]

  28. K_McCall Says:

    I am new to Linux. Here are things that I find are holding Linux back. First I think all the distros should come together to make some standards to be the guildlines for distros to go by. Linux needs some standards to make software development easier to work on every distro. Not all little Linux Os’s would have to go by them but the ones that do go by the standards could have a seal or logo somewhere on their product/website showing they do. After a standard is complete next the major distros need to push software companies to produce their software for the Linux platform. I know not everyone likes close source software but to move Linux to the forefront, it needs to compete with MS in the game dept. and other major applications.

    I have another question, why doesn’t Mr. Shuttleworth go with a more stable product like OpenSolaris to base his free OS on? I may get shunned for that statement in the linux community but it is better in alot of ways and with his money he could make it into a wonderful desktop OS. It has the standards already and then the next step would be to push software companies to produce the software for it and more hardware driver support. I found what Redhat and Suse did disturbing a little too, they should provide the OS for free without support as before in binaries.

  29. 451 CAOS Theory » 451 CAOS Links - 2007.01.17 Says:

    […] Keeping it FREE, here be dragons, Mark Shuttleworth (Blog) […]

  30. The most free distro war: “free software on proprietary terms” | Commercial Open Source Software Says:

    […] years we have been reading articles reporting Debian as the most free distro, but recently Mark Shuttleworth started a new kind of distro war, saying that Red Hat and Novell essentially offer free software on […]

  31. Red Hat, 16%. Canonical, 1%. « Greg DeKoenigsberg Speaks Says:

    […] the gravy train (while at the same time making the spectacularly outrageous claim that Red Hat is actually a proprietary software company — […]

  32. Old Wounds « Greg DeKoenigsberg Speaks Says:

    […] Mark is exactly right when he says the internet has a long memory.  I’ve got a long memory myself.  And one of the days I remember most, of all of the three thousand days I spent at Red Hat, was the day Mark Shuttleworth called Red Hat a proprietary software company. […]

  33. I contributi che non si vogliono vedere « Idl3's Blog Says:

    […] a leggere un precedente post di Mark Shuttleworth in cui definiva Red Hat come “proprietaria“. Questa definizione […]