Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ubuntu readies the Karmic Koala

What do French Gendarmes, Andalucian school children, Wikipedia and San Francisco International Airport have in common?

It is not the set up for a tortuous pun. Instead all of them are big users of the free Ubuntu operating system.

The French national police force runs its operations on the open source OS; computer systems supporting Spanish schools have their own version; the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, runs its hundreds of servers on Ubuntu and SFIA's internal computer system is based around it.

Ubuntu is based on Linux - the open source operating system that is maintained, expanded and extended by legions of fans and professional programmers around the world. Thanks to their efforts Ubuntu has become the most popular of all the Linux distributions.

On 29 October, version 9.10 of Ubuntu is released. All versions of the operating system have an alternative alliterative appellation. Ubuntu 9.10 is known as Karmic Koala.

The launch comes in the wake of Microsoft's fanfare around Windows 7 - the latest incarnation of its flagship operating system.

Competition time

While Ubuntu's developer Canonical can not quite match the hoopla surrounding Windows 7 for its launch, the software competes where it matters.

Evidence that it is being taken seriously can be found in the annual "10-K form" that Microsoft files with the SEC. Every public firm must file one of these to outline the market conditions and competitors it believes pose the greatest threat to its business.

In 2009, for the first time, Canonical got a mention.

Given that Microsoft recognizes its success, it's only a matter of time before Ubuntu's 12 million strong pool of users is joined by many more.

Story from BBC NEWS

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