PDA

View Full Version : canonical making profit?



TheMTtakeover
May 29th, 2012, 04:10 PM
Does anybody know if canonical is making a profit off of Ubuntu or are their costs exceeding their revenue?

vasa1
May 29th, 2012, 04:25 PM
I remember reading somewhere that MS declines to reveal such information. Indeed, being privately held, there is no obligation.

See this: "As a private company, we don't disclose revenue information." from http://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/LocoTeam/Interview_with_Mark_Shuttleworth (thanks to tlu).

Paqman
May 29th, 2012, 04:38 PM
Last I heard it still wasn't, but that was a couple of years ago. It sounds like their income has gone up since then (doing engineering support for Chrome OS, etc), but they've also taken on a lot of staff and opened new offices so their costs will have grown.

In the absence of hard numbers I guess you'd have to take growth as a positive sign. Even if they're still not making a profit they've clearly got more coming in. I get the impression that Mark Shuttleworth is happy to burn a certain amount of cash to push the free desktop forward, although I'm sure he feels it would be far better if it could support itself.

TheMTtakeover
May 29th, 2012, 05:06 PM
I remember reading somewhere that MS declines to reveal such information. Indeed, being privately held, there is no obligation.

See this: "As a private company, we don't disclose revenue information." from http://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/LocoTeam/Interview_with_Mark_Shuttleworth (thanks to tlu).

That sounds to me like not breaking even. I surely hope that at one point they will make money off of it. I would like to see Ubuntu stick around. I think Ubuntu really raises the bar of what to expect out of a linux distro.

Orion8
May 29th, 2012, 05:10 PM
I don't know if Canonical makes a profit or not, but I for one hope they do eventually. Ubuntu can be controversial in the Linux world, but I think they add to the overall ecosystem and I would like to see them succeed.

deadflowr
May 29th, 2012, 05:27 PM
The lasts time I've heard about ubuntu and money was sometime around 2009. At that point it was not YET profitable, but closing in.
Since then, canonical and ubuntu have drastically expanded their revenue bases, with such things like ubuntu one and purchasable(is this a word?) software through the ubuntu software center.
All indications say they are making some profit, as they are almost quixotically expanding into various areas such as TV and smartphones. However, expansion can also mean go for broke.
Profittablity can also be seen in two lights, year to year, and overall. At this point I would think year to year they are making some sort of profit, but as for clearing the accumulated debt from the previous eight years probably not yet.

TheMTtakeover
May 29th, 2012, 05:32 PM
I also notice a lot of linux distros have a donate option on their page but I didn't notice one on the ubuntu page.

vasa1
May 29th, 2012, 05:39 PM
I wonder how difficult it would be for Canonical to set up bank accounts in various countries so that people could contribute by cheque payments. Paypal can be a hassle.

VTPoet
May 29th, 2012, 05:41 PM
I think that if Canonical were making a profit, they would say so (if not crow about it). So, no, my bet is that Canonical is not profitable.

On the other hand, if they are profitable, then it's not by appealing to the consumer, but by competing with RedHat. Other than that, their best hope, I think, is in Ubuntu for Android (http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/android). If they would just stop yammering on about it and do it, the product might rock the world. I really believe that. Heck, I'd buy the phone even though I don't have cell phone reception.

If they don't stop dithering, you can be sure that Android or Microsoft will pre-empt Canonical, and that will be the end of that. The broader public will choose the new Chrome OS or Windows over Ubuntu - hands down. Ubuntu needs to get there first.

Dry Lips
May 29th, 2012, 05:56 PM
In a Guardian (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/The_Guardian) interview in May 2008, Mark Shuttleworth said that the Canonical business model was service provision and explained that Canonical was not yet close to profitability. Canonical also claimed it will wait for the business to turn into a profitable one within another 3 to 5 years. He regarded Canonical as positioning itself as demand for services related to free software rose.[16] (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Canonical_Ltd.#cite_note-15) This strategy has been compared to Red Hat (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Red_Hat)'s business strategies in the 1990s.[17] (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Canonical_Ltd.#cite_note-model-16) However, in an early 2009 New York Times (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/The_New_York_Times) article, Shuttleworth said that Canonical's revenue was "creeping" towards $30 million, the company's break-even point.[18] (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Canonical_Ltd.#cite_note-17)
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Canonical_Ltd.

I bet they must be making some money by now. 2009 is now 3 years ago. Even if MS has a big wallet, a company like Canonical cannot survive forever if they constantly lose money.

JDShu
May 29th, 2012, 07:23 PM
I think that if Canonical were making a profit, they would say so (if not crow about it). So, no, my bet is that Canonical is not profitable.


Exactly. If Canonical broke even, you can bet they would tell us about it. Instead they talk about things like installed user base and how many pre-installs they expect to ship.

castrojo
May 29th, 2012, 07:53 PM
I also notice a lot of linux distros have a donate option on their page but I didn't notice one on the ubuntu page.

http://www.ubuntu.com/community/get-involved/donate

sffvba[e0rt
May 29th, 2012, 07:56 PM
http://www.ubuntu.com/community/get-involved/donate

Thanks for the link!


404

KiwiNZ
May 29th, 2012, 07:58 PM
Releasing information regarding installed user base is appropriate community information. Canonical has no legal or commercial reason to release any information regarding their financial performance.

Canonical commercial activities are irrelevant to the community.

mips
May 29th, 2012, 08:24 PM
None of your business, privately held company, end of story.

Irihapeti
May 29th, 2012, 08:40 PM
Maybe if they did, you'd then have a whole lot of people complaining about their making money out of free software - how evil of them!

KiwiNZ
May 29th, 2012, 08:46 PM
Maybe if they did, you'd then have a whole lot of people complaining about their making money out of free software - how evil of them!

I think you are right. Personally I would be happy if Canonicals profit was 7 or 8 digit.

Paqman
May 29th, 2012, 09:08 PM
I would like to see Ubuntu stick around.

Steps have been taken so that ever if it loses Canonical as its sponsor, Ubuntu development will continue:

http://www.ubuntu.com/news/UbuntuFoundation

Since that money is held in a trust, Canonical can go bust and the Ubuntu Foundation will be able to keep supporting a core group of developers. Obviously the community would have to take up the slack as best it could, but it's likely that Ubuntu would still be able to keep making releases of some sort.

Dry Lips
May 29th, 2012, 09:08 PM
Maybe if they did, you'd then have a whole lot of people complaining about their making money out of free software - how evil of them!
I might get some flak for this, but what is most important for me is that a program is open source. I'd even be willing to pay for programs as long as they were open source.

Of course I also like free stuff, but if I had to choose between Free and Open Source, I would opt for the latter...

Irihapeti
May 29th, 2012, 09:24 PM
I might get some flak for this, but what is most important for me is that a program is open source. I'd even be willing to pay for programs as long as they were open source.

Of course I also like free stuff, but if I had to choose between Free and Open Source, I would opt for the latter...

I tend to agree with you, and it's also made clear in the GPL that there's nothing wrong with making money from such software. Personally, I think it was a mistake to use the term Free Software. Why? Because in English, "free" carries the connotation of no-cost. As a result, we've ended up with a large group of people who complain at having to pay for Linux software.

Oh, and I did write my original reply tongue-in-cheek (forgot the smiley).

VTPoet
May 29th, 2012, 09:42 PM
Canonical commercial activities are irrelevant to the community.

Ok... and?

Whether or not Canonical considers its commercial activities grist for discussion is, in my opinion, equally irrelevant.

TheMTtakeover
May 29th, 2012, 09:54 PM
I might get some flak for this, but what is most important for me is that a program is open source. I'd even be willing to pay for programs as long as they were open source.

Of course I also like free stuff, but if I had to choose between Free and Open Source, I would opt for the latter...

This...The reason I use Ubuntu isnt because its free but because I love the idea of open source and everybody being able to contribute to parts of it. And I will donate now, that someone has posted the link cant believe I've never seen that. Thanks!

KiwiNZ
May 29th, 2012, 10:38 PM
Ok... and?

Whether or not Canonical considers its commercial activities grist for discussion is, in my opinion, equally irrelevant.

Just like your Finances are private to you, Canonicals finances are private to them, that is why it is irrelevant

TheMTtakeover
May 29th, 2012, 11:16 PM
Slightly off topic but are there any linux distros that you have to purchase to use? And do they have to provide the source code for it or can it be kept private?

KiwiNZ
May 29th, 2012, 11:21 PM
Those who charge (eg Redhat) usually only charge for support and not the Software. However there is nothing stopping any organization or individual charging for the software.

VTPoet
May 30th, 2012, 12:57 AM
Just like your Finances are private to you, Canonicals finances are private to them, that is why it is irrelevant

No one depends on anything I produce, therefore my finances are indeed "private to me". Ubuntu Canonical produces services that are used by millions, therefore their finances are indeed relevant. They are under no obligation to share that information, but you are incorrect in stating that this information is irrelevant.

KiwiNZ
May 30th, 2012, 02:03 AM
No one depends on anything I produce, therefore my finances are indeed "private to me". Ubuntu produces services that are used by millions, therefore their finances are indeed relevant. They are under no obligation to share that information, but you are incorrect in stating that this information is irrelevant.

The provision of ubuntu OS is not dependent on Canonical.

kevdog
May 30th, 2012, 02:24 AM
Just because Canonical is a private company we can't speculate about their finances?? Balderdash.

VTPoet
May 30th, 2012, 02:54 AM
The provision of ubuntu OS is not dependent on Canonical.

Edited my previous post to correctly read Canonical. We're not talking about the finances of Ubuntu OS, but Canonical.

ExSuSEusr
May 30th, 2012, 03:40 AM
Who cares if they're making money? Seriously? Has it affected the cost to any of you to use Ubuntu? I didn't think so.

The people who are doing the work to provide this OS have most likely spent a few years in college working on their CS degree (and more than likely have a ton of Student Loan debt)... and I would bet have a family to feed. So, they're making money on the side while provide us with all this... why does that matter?

As I have stated before... money makes the world go 'round. It's as simple as that. I realize that we support, in an open forum, resistance to closed source, gouge you for every nickel, want to control the universe software and OS's (aka M$). But, there is a difference between what Microsoft does and what Canonical is doing. A HUGE difference. And, if you can't see that...

Anyway.... allow me to derail the topic with this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QokOwvPxrE&feature=related

They should use this guy's work to make a commercial... hell we'd have million's more users after they watched that.

ExSuSEusr
May 30th, 2012, 04:08 AM
Just because Canonical is a private company we can't speculate about their finances?? Balderdash.

Sooo... If I were your boss and I told you tomorrow that I wasn't going to pay you anymore, but I still expected you to come to work the next day....

Sure, you can speculate all you want about their finances, but it's really not your business. What have YOU contributed to Ubuntu... to the community... to anything? I'm not attacking you, I am merely trying to make a point.

Oracle makes money and is a publicly traded business... where's your "curiosity" with them? After all they provide us with Open Office...

It irritates me when Linux users go off on this rampage of "injustice" because someone who is involved in the movement dare make money while at it. If it's so important to you, take your *** to college and get a CS degree and write your own apps... otherwise be grateful that the movement even exists.

And, no I don't have a CS degree - I have an MS and an MBA.

KiwiNZ
May 30th, 2012, 04:29 AM
No one depends on anything I produce, therefore my finances are indeed "private to me". Ubuntu Canonical produces services that are used by millions, therefore their finances are indeed relevant. They are under no obligation to share that information, but you are incorrect in stating that this information is irrelevant.

Canonical's long term viability would be of interest to it's Corporate clients who are paying Canonical for services and that would a discussion the Account Managers at Canonical would have with their business partners.

Whether of not Canonical or not Canonical is making a loss or profit is irrelevant to the community .

TheMTtakeover
May 30th, 2012, 04:47 AM
Who cares if they're making money? Seriously? Has it affected the cost to any of you to use Ubuntu? I didn't think so.

The people who are doing the work to provide this OS have most likely spent a few years in college working on their CS degree (and more than likely have a ton of Student Loan debt)... and I would bet have a family to feed. So, they're making money on the side while provide us with all this... why does that matter?

As I have stated before... money makes the world go 'round. It's as simple as that. I realize that we support, in an open forum, resistance to closed source, gouge you for every nickel, want to control the universe software and OS's (aka M$). But, there is a difference between what Microsoft does and what Canonical is doing. A HUGE difference. And, if you can't see that...

Anyway.... allow me to derail the topic with this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QokOwvPxrE&feature=related

They should use this guy's work to make a commercial... hell we'd have million's more users after they watched that.

I think you're taking it the wrong way. I asked because I want them to be making a profit for the hard work they are putting it. I'm not trying to say they shouldn't be making profit. And I didn't before but now understand ubuntu will continue on regardless.

Paqman
May 30th, 2012, 07:43 AM
The provision of ubuntu OS is not dependent on Canonical.

It's naive to think that the community would be able to keep up the same cadence and quality that Canonical provides for Ubuntu, and it would certainly have no chance of building the commercial relationships that Canonical is trying to foster to take the free desktop to the next level. Canonical's long-term survival prospects are therefore of great interest to many community members.

If Canonical does well Ubuntu could become a real alternative for OEMs to ship as a default install on a wide range of devices. If Canonical folds, Ubuntu will fall back into the herd of mediocre community distros. The fact that Canonical is not obliged to release this information doesn't mean that it isn't information that's pertinent to users.

nothingspecial
May 30th, 2012, 09:36 AM
http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/6242/220pxouroborossimplesvg.png