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LinuxWorld kicks off with Shuttleworth

By   |  May 18, 2005

In yesterday\’s keynote speech at the LinuxWorld conference, Mark Shuttleworth announced that the Ubuntu Linux distribution will be naming its local support partner today (18 May).

Expected to be Obsidian Systems, the support partner will act as third-line support for technicians as well as direct support partners for business using Ubuntu.

\”Folks today who use Microsoft don\’t phone Microsoft for support,\’ says Shuttleworth. \”It\’s the ecosystem around the operating system that makes it viable. Support from the community dictates the success of a product.\”

Shuttleworth believes that a local support partner will encourage South African companies to use Ubuntu, with revenue retained within the country\’s economy.

Shuttleworth also took the opportunity to give a heads-up on the anticipated Breezy Badger release (expected in October), which will have better hardware support for data centres through to desktops, and will focus particularly on mobile technology. \”Linux hasn\’t supported mobile technology in a mature fashion,\” he says. \”We want to get Breezy right for mobile.\” That means easier wireless networking, connectivity to PDAs and better hardware support.

Ubuntu is working with the LTSP (Linux terminal server project) to bring thin-client computing into the package natively. While we can expect elements of this in Breezy, Shuttleworth is hoping to woo the educational sector with EduBuntu — a version of Ubuntu for schools and universities — which he hopes will serve as a good reference model for educational Linux desktops. He did not announce a release date for EduBuntu.

Shuttleworth highlighted the importance of development and innovation from the South African Linux community, as he believes that we are well positioned to create software for emerging markets, and Africa in particular.

He also outlined his vision for the PC over the next 10 years, saying that he expects tomorrow\’s PC to offer a collaborative, immersive environment with ubiquitous high-speed network connections.

In terms of collaboration, he believes that open source tools will extend on the concept of open source development, where e-mail, diff and patch are used to share ideas and work in progress. Art, business and other fields will eventually benefit from structured document sharing and versioning, he believes.

The immersive environment envisioned by Shuttleworth involves the desktop becoming deeper, with 3D environments eventually becoming the norm. Shuttleworth mentioned XGL and Glitz, although Sun\’s Project Looking Glass was distinctly absent from his list.

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