Ubuntu hasn’t even come close to achieving its ambitious goals


Ubuntu may be the most well-known of the Linux distributions, but that doesn’t mean much, and it certainly wasn’t enough for the operating system to reach founder Mark Shuttleworth’s ambitious goal of reaching 200 million users within four years. That was four years ago, and although it’s hard to get accurate user numbers because Ubuntu is rarely ever shipped on marketed products, most estimates suggest the operating system has an impressive number of users for a Linux distribution, but it still hasn’t even surpassed 100 million users. 

Four years ago at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest, Mark Shuttleworth – founder of the Linux distribution: Ubuntu – stated “Our goal, our mission, is 200 million users of Ubuntu within four years.” It’s now the end of the time frame that Shuttleworth set and it appears that Ubuntu has not amassed its predicted 200 million users. As Ubuntu is rarely shipped on marketed products, it has no sales figures. This makes it difficult for Canonical – Ubuntu’s parent company – to give precise figures and therefore doesn’t release official stats. Despite this, unofficial estimates place the total number of desktop and server installs in the tens of millions, but not surpassing 100 million. Since Shuttleworth announced his ambitious target, we’ve seen a huge push in the enterprise sector with their cloud offerings. On the consumer front we now have Ubuntu Touch which has begun shipping on devices this year. Some products Shuttleworth hoped to bring to market, such as Ubuntu TV and Ubuntu for cars has, so far, not happened. The biggest setback for Canonical was the failure of Ubuntu Edge to reach its crowdfunding target – despite setting a world record for the amount raised.

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