Top Enterprise Linux Vendors
Canonical Ltd.Canonical�s flagship product has long been Ubuntu Linux, branded as �Linux for human beings�. Its original focus was (and largely remains) offering a version of Linux that appeals to the end user, with the explicitly-stated goal of unseating Microsoft Windows as the dominant desktop platform. Canonical clearly hasn�t reached anything like that goal, but they have established Ubuntu as being a Linux brand name at least as influential as, and perhaps even more recognizable than, Red Hat�s.
Founded, funded and overseen by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth (founder of encryption-certificate company Thawte, later sold to VeriSign), Canonical�s revenue comes from services and support. Unlike Red Hat, however, they are a privately-held company; by Shuttleworth�s own admission as of 2009 they are not yet profitable, but he has claimed they will become profitable as demand for services related to free software continues to rise.
Ubuntu has itself inspired a whole slew of spin-off editions. Several of them are produced directly by Canonical, such as the lightweight Xubuntu (for low-resource PCs) or the virtual-appliance edition JeOS. Canonical has also retooled Ubuntu into a server edition, which has been adopted by a number of high-profile clients (e.g., Wikipedia) and touts among its features the ability to easily create cloud-computing systems out of commodity hardware or interface with existing clouds, such as...
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