Ubuntu: where to from here?

In business, as in many other things in life, it is relatively easy to plan for failure. I guess we all do it in some small way, one of the most common being the way people back up their digital personal files to guard against hardware failure or file corruption. But how does one plan for success?

In October 2004, when Canonical, the company owned by former Debian developer and one-time astronaut Mark Shuttleworth, released the first version of Ubuntu - 4.10 aka Warty Warthog - nobody would have given the new distribution much chance of becoming the most widely used Linux around.

And even when Ubuntu - and its cousins Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Edubuntu - grew in popularity, many were not convinced that the polls would continue to bring good news on user numbers.