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Ubuntu founder credits Android and iOS for reversing Microsoft's dominance

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Ubuntu (STOCK)
Ubuntu (STOCK)

Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has just crossed off one of the biggest goals of his operating system's development: removing Microsoft's dominance in the PC market. While it wasn't Ubuntu that made the difference, Shuttleworth doesn't seem to mind which OS ultimately changed the market. He's citing iOS and Android as having solved the problem, which he listed as "Bug #1" in Ubuntu's development logs back in 2004. The bug report was finally marked complete this Thursday with a note from Shuttleworth, "I think it's important for us to recognize that the shift has taken place. So from Ubuntu's perspective, this bug is now closed."

Is the bug really fixed?

However, Shuttleworth didn't strictly meet the original goal. His belief in 2004 was that the majority of PCs being sold should include only free software, which certainly isn't the case for desktops today. And though Android — which is built on Linux — controls a large stake of the mobile market, the devices running it are arguably in a less open state than PCs. Locked bootloaders prevent users from tinkering to their heart's content, while on PCs it's still possible to install almost anything you'd like.

Even so, Shuttleworth notes that companies like Microsoft have become more accepting of other developers' software. He writes that Microsoft Azure in particular is "a pleasure to work with" on Linux, and that today "circumstances have changed" markedly from how they were in 2004. Shuttleworth's thoughts on this shift in the software industry and the future of Ubuntu can be read in full at the bug's closure notes.