Connected diversity

Jono made a somewhat subtle, but really important, observation at CeBit:

What was particularly interesting was how Ubuntu, and as such Linux and free software, is becoming part and parcel of peoples lives. If anyone walked past the booth, we would grab them and pester them about Ubuntu, and a huge number of people who walked past seemingly paying no interest were already using Ubuntu. Most of these people were simply not all that excited about it – it is the OS they use, and that was the end of it. This shows that Ubuntu is becoming a real Operating System – people are using it and not automatically becoming all-singing-all-dancing community Linux fans. It is becoming a norm and part of the furniture and this is good news. Of course, it would be great if they all did become community members, but the reality is that a percentage of the user base will become contributors, and to see so many using it in regular end-user scenarios is extremely encouraging.

I’ve been noticing this also, and it’s more of an indication to me about the mass adoption of Linux than any eWeek article or analysts report ever will be. When 100% of your users are hard core evangelists, you may have a great product but you certainly haven’t reached a certain scale. People just using Linux is an indication to me that things really are ready now. No, I’m not saying this will be the year of the Linux desktop but it’s clear that a couple of things that have needed to come together for a while now finally are. Interesting times indeed!


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