Will Ubuntu's OpenStack Dominance Turn Into Cash?

Matt Asay | ReadWrite | November 5, 2013

Ubuntu dominates the cloud, but that's not the same as dominating cloud revenue. Yet early signs suggest it's on the right track.

Ubuntu dominates the cloud. According to TheCloudMarket.com, which measures operating system adoption on AWS, Ubuntu holds 54% market share in terms of guest images on the dominant IaaS platform. Within the rising OpenStack ecosystem, users choose Ubuntu 55% of the time as their host operating system, according to a new survey.

What Ubuntu does not dominate is cloud spending. Long popular with developers running Ubuntu on their desktops, Canonical, the primary sponsor of Ubuntu development, has yet to turn its developer dominance into revenue dominance. It's unclear whether the cloud changes this, as a maturing cloud market is going to ask for the same enterprise readiness that has led it to Red Hat in other markets.

Can Canonical break the cycle with OpenStack?

A Brief History Of Ubuntu's Popularity

Popularity has not been kind to Canonical. For years it was the operating system of choice for developers, offering a powerful yet easy-to-use alternative to then error-prone Windows. Running Ubuntu gave a person instant geek cred. Even my non-technical daughter found that sporting an Ubuntu t-shirt to school made her queen bee among the techie types.