I am simply wondering why the Ubuntu OS is not presented in big conferences at launches? I see other OS-es gaining a lot of market share by doing so. I think that Ubuntu even if it is free of charge could benefit from big presentation shows at launch like Windows or Apple's Mac OS.

  • 2
    Ubuntu/Canonical has gone to both CES and Mobile World Congress this year. Considering the year is still young, I'd say that's pretty good. – Marco Ceppi Mar 1 '12 at 13:19
  • Why don't you have select better answer? – Alessio Mar 9 '12 at 8:24

When we say that Ubuntu is free, that is not meant as shorthand for "free of charge", but that you have freedom. The fact that it is also free of charge, is mostly a consequence of that freedom. That difference is very important.

Microsoft own its software and makes large sums of money from each user by selling limited licenses to use the software. They don't sell the software itself. So it can be considered a form of rental. This is of course highly lucrative, since customers can never stop purchasing upgrades as long as they want to use that platform. Apple owns most of theirs and makes most of its money selling hardware and their software can only be used on that hardware. So, the principle is similar. By getting customers dependent on the software, they're also making them dependent on the hardware, which of course, is rather expensive. Both companies have billions to spend on marketing – and have to do so, since they depend on sales.

Ubuntu, on the other hand, is developed by hundreds of companies and thousands of individuals who do so for very different reasons. Governments help develop it because they save money by doing so, while increasing security at the same time. Schools help develop it for many of the same reasons, but also because they don't want to make their students dependent on certain companies and expensive tools, whether it's hardware or software. When education makes a child intellectually dependent on Microsoft or Apple, a significant economic burden is allocated to that child.

So the situation is rather different. However, many companies will present their Ubuntu-related services at conferences and there are release parties all over the world. But since it isn't developed by a single entity, it wouldn't be right to present it the same way that Apple and Microsoft does. It might actually be somewhat destructive if other parts of the GNU/Linux community felt that Ubuntu took too much credit for other peoples work. It is a global "co-opetition" where competitors are also partners. RedHat and Oracle, for instance, both sells their Enterprise Linuxes and therefore creates a lot of good software. This software is also available in Ubuntu. The economic incentives are also not the same. Ubuntus main sponsor, Canonical, provides services to OEMs and large companies, and will present their services to them, but that's not very visible to the general public – not because it's secret, but because we simply have no reason to care.

It's not really comparable at all. Though the software as a product is very much comparable to those provided by Apple and Microsoft, the development process and community is radically different. Ubuntu is more comparable to the internet, which is also good because of developments from large numbers of separate entities. Who should present and promote the internet at conferences? Anyone and everyone.

  • Great answer :) here all government schools are using ubuntu linux – Tachyons Feb 29 '12 at 12:59
  • If you don't mind, could you share the location? – user25656 Mar 1 '12 at 15:19
  • From his profile, his location is India. – bioShark Mar 6 '12 at 18:37

There are some community organized release parties and other events. Look here for upcoming events mainly organized by the LoCo Teams.


While the points brought up by Jo-Erlend Schinstand largely stands, there is also the issue of not having enough monetary funds and other resources to promote Ubuntu for every release. Imagine conducting large publicity-oriented keynotes every six months. It will be definitely take quite a bit of resources to do it well.

Companies like Microsoft and Apple have a lot of money in their treasury that lets them spend considerable amount of resources in publicity while Canonical, unfortunately, doesn't.

Moreover, publicizing releases that aren't fully bug free (honestly, no Ubuntu release has been 100% bug free) is doing more harm than good. It will create a very poor impression about Ubuntu and the rest of the Linux community.

Also note that our development cycle is very packed and there already isn't enough time to bring in all the planned features for every release. Hence, conducting presentations might also be a time consumer and will probably put enormous stress on an already tight schedule.

Some relevant points of discussion in the #ubuntu-community-team IRC channel are pasted in this pastebin.

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