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Shuttleworth Says Linux is a Joke

That's So Beary Punny

  • February 27, 2009
  • By Paul Rubens

Paul Rubens
Linux is a joke. Well, that may be a bit harsh, but Ubuntu certainly seems to be all the excuse founder Mark Shuttleworth needs to make one bad pun after another. In a recent e-mail introducing Karmic Koala, the Ubuntu release slated for late 2009, and his plans for cloud computing this is what he had to say:

"... bear with me" (geddit!?) "A good Koala knows how to see the wood for the trees, even when her head is in the clouds." (Very droll.) "Wouldn't it be apt for Ubuntu to make the Amazon jungle (aaaagh!) as easy to navigate as, say, APT?"

Enough with the puns already! I think I preferred Bill Gates' "comedy act" to this.

Still, his interest in the cloud shows he's not allowed humor to cloud his judgement. The current economic downturn makes software as a service, cloud computing and services like Amazon's EC2 much more likely to succeed as organizations turn their attention to anything that might help them get through the next few years. That's certainly the opinion of John Gantz, chief research officer at IDC.

"The economic crisis will force some companies to make technological changes they may not have made," he said earlier this month at the Intellect Annual Regent Conference 2009 in London. Other speakers echoed this view, pointing out the threat this poses to "traditional" vendors like Microsoft. Presumably, it was thinking on these lines that prompted Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform initiative announced at PDC last year (and about which, curiously, not much has been heard since.)

IBM certainly seems to agree. Earlier this month, Big Blue and Amazon announced that very shortly it will be possible "to use Amazon EC2 to build and run a range of IBM platform technologies," including DB2, Informix Dynamic Server, WebSphere sMash, WebSphere Portal Server and Lotus Web Content Management Standard Edition. It will also be possible to use existing IBM licenses on machines running in Amazon's cloud.

So back to Ubuntu. When Karmic Koala hits the scene in October, Shuttleworth hopes to make it easy for companies to deploy applications to Amazon's EC2 service either using prebuilt Ubuntu-based cloud appliances or by rolling their own custom Ubuntu-based Amazon Machine Images (AMIs).

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