It is now finally time to wrap up the My Ubuntu Experience series, and it is not easy. After using Ubuntu for almost a year I must have come to some sort of conclusion, in fact it is my duty.
Ubuntu is a great operating system and is certainly a breath of fresh air for an avid Windows user. But it’s a little bit like a buying a new car and then realizing that it is just the same as your old one.
The real difference from Windows is of course that Ubuntu is free. Think of it this way, when you buy a new PC a percentage of the price you are paying will be for the operating system (Windows). If you buy your PC from a large manufacturer such as HP or Dell it will in most cases be packed with software you just want out the door, and Windows.
Ubuntu does what Windows does, and it also comes with software that people would want to use. It already got an office suite, a drawing program and a great e-mail client. So if you were a first-time computer buyer or PC-user Ubuntu would be great.
But most users are not. I have spent years building my software library for Windows, why should I go and throw all my expensive software out the door and move to Ubuntu? Exactly, there is no real compelling reason if I already have a working Windows computer with all the software I need.
There are areas where Ubuntu however can take market shares, the first one being schools. Why should a school pay high license fees to Microsoft when they can get it all for free? Another area where Ubuntu will excel is secondary computers. Most advanced users have several computers, for example I have a laptop. I always take it with me on business trips, when I am on the road all I need is an Office suite, Internet and security.
A third area where Ubuntu probably be popular is in markets where Microsoft has not achieved market dominance. For example in new economies and third world countries. For initiatives such as OLPC Ubuntu will make a great operating system.
It is clear that Ubuntu can fill voids in the market, and will probably also do some good in the process. As of right now it is not a complete replacement for Microsoft Windows, but that might change.