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View Full Version : Would it be probable for Microsoft to buy Ubuntu?



HappinessNow
May 13th, 2009, 03:51 AM
Microsoft to buy Ubuntu! (&/or Canonical)...

(OK respond beyond the obvious that Ubuntu is a non-profit entity, blah, blah, blah)

Do you think it could happen? at the right price? by Microsoft or even another company and if so would it be so bad?

It could be a good thing, then Shuttleworth could cash out and fund an even better Debian (or other base) spin off.

Ericyzfr1
May 13th, 2009, 04:05 AM
It would pretty much mean that you would get Ubuntu for $$$$$$$$, no longer free.....Not mentioning restrictions such as EULA, etc....

HappinessNow
May 13th, 2009, 04:08 AM
It would pretty much mean that you would get Ubuntu for $$$$$$$$, no longer free.....Not mentioning restrictions such as EULA, etc....

Not possible under GPL, but they could sell microsoft software (or other software from other vendors) bundled with Ubuntu; Word, Photshop, iTunes, etc that would be fully compatible.

Ubuntu still for free, owned by microsoft and you only pay for the non-free extras if you wanted them.

pastalavista
May 13th, 2009, 04:10 AM
The only reason M$ would buy Ubuntu is to shut it down. No other reason to buy it because it is totally free and they could easily tweak it and make their own distro out of it.. like Linux Mint or Crunchbang or Mythbuntu etc. etc.

how about Winbuntu?

HappinessNow
May 13th, 2009, 04:13 AM
The only reason M$ would buy Ubuntu is to shut it down. No other reason to buy it because it is totally free and they could easily tweak it and make their own distro out of it.. like Linux Mint or Crunchbang or Mythbuntu etc. etc.

If not microsoft, then who would be interested in buying it.

Google, Apple, Other? or No One!?

Ericyzfr1
May 13th, 2009, 04:13 AM
Not possible under GPL, but they could sell microsoft software (or other software from other vendors) bundled with Ubuntu; Word, Photshop, iTunes, etc that would be fully compatible.

Ubuntu still for free, owned by microsoft and you only pay for the non-free extras if you wanted them.

Sorry, but I cannot trust these guys. What is their track record regarding acquisition?

pastalavista
May 13th, 2009, 04:16 AM
If not microsoft, then who would be interested in buying it.

Google, Apple, Other? or No One!?

More likely somebody like IBM or Sun, Oracle, Mozilla, Intel, AMD, etc. Someone not already in the OS business...

Dngrsone
May 13th, 2009, 04:18 AM
Got a link or anything substantial to back this accusation? http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee303/Dngrs_1/eh.gif

Ericyzfr1
May 13th, 2009, 04:19 AM
They all need to stay away and leave Canonical alone...That is my opinion.

pat23_2007
May 13th, 2009, 04:25 AM
Got a link or anything substantial to back this accusation? http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee303/Dngrs_1/eh.gif

I believe that he meant hypothetically what would happen.

No I don't think that it would ever happen, but I could see someone like oracle or mozilla maybe.

HappinessNow
May 13th, 2009, 04:32 AM
Got a link or anything substantial to back this accusation? http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee303/Dngrs_1/eh.gif


I believe that he meant hypothetically what would happen.

Exactly.

Hypothetically, not just Microsoft but anyone.

days_of_ruin
May 13th, 2009, 04:34 AM
Why would MS sell canonical to M$ ? (dollar sign added for clarity)

Dngrsone
May 13th, 2009, 04:40 AM
Exactly.

Hypothetically, not just Microsoft but anyone.

Then, for the sake of clarity (and preventing a panic among the more nervous ones among us), you should have used, in the title, the words "What if--" or something similar.

pat23_2007
May 13th, 2009, 04:43 AM
Then, for the sake of clarity (and preventing a panic among the more nervous ones among us), you should have used, in the title, the words "What if--" or something similar.

I don't believe so, If you just read the OP clearly it states everything that needs to be stated.

original_jamingrit
May 13th, 2009, 04:52 AM
Mark Shuttleworth has said again and again that Ubuntu cannot and will not be sold.

aysiu
May 13th, 2009, 04:53 AM
Since this is a What if? inquiry and not a declaration, I've changed the thread title.

swoll1980
May 13th, 2009, 04:55 AM
Mark Shuttleworth has said again and again that Ubuntu cannot and will not be sold.

Everthing has a price.

pat23_2007
May 13th, 2009, 04:57 AM
Everthing has a price.

Yeah I agree, every thing and every one has a price.

MysticalRiotCandy
May 13th, 2009, 05:18 AM
If Microsoft bought Canonical, / would be renamed C:\ Drive, Firefox would be pushed aside in order to let IE8 become the default browser, and every application would end in .exe .

juancarlospaco
May 13th, 2009, 05:21 AM
No one reads " The Ubuntu Promise " ?

Tipped OuT
May 13th, 2009, 05:37 AM
No one reads " The Ubuntu Promise " ?

That's just Ubuntu, not Linux as a whole.

sertse
May 13th, 2009, 05:41 AM
"Everything has a price" doesn't really apply when Shuttleworth made Ubuntu precisely as an idelogical vehicle to fight against microsoft, and willing to sink massive amounts of money with no return on investment to fund it.

elliotn
May 13th, 2009, 05:51 AM
If Ms purchase ubuntu it would be to liquidate it than to continue it as a Ms ubuntu and distribute it as free, remember with Ms everything is $.

schauerlich
May 13th, 2009, 06:39 AM
If Microsoft bought Canonical, / would be renamed C:\ Drive, Firefox would be pushed aside in order to let IE8 become the default browser, and every application would end in .exe .

Why would Microsoft buy out Ubuntu just to turn it into Windows? They've got a much better implementation of that OS already.

Guys, maybe you should worry about Microsoft buying out Canonical AFTER Ubuntu has a market share bigger than the margin of error.

samjh
May 13th, 2009, 06:52 AM
"Everything has a price" doesn't really apply when Shuttleworth made Ubuntu precisely as an idelogical vehicle to fight against microsoft, and willing to sink massive amounts of money with no return on investment to fund it.

Ideological vehicle to fight against Microsoft? Please, we're adults, not children. Ubuntu was created as a product for Canonical, which is a business seeking to profit from support contracts for Ubuntu, amongst other products.

Saying that Shuttleworth made Ubuntu only for ideological reasons is like saying Red Hat sponsors Fedora, Novell makes OpenSUSE, and Sun Microsystems sponsors OpenSolaris, for ideological reasons. Canonical and Mark Shuttleworth are pragmatically not much different than the aforementioned businesses and their owners.

Sure, Shuttleworth did invest a lot of money, but so does just about every entrepreneur starting up a risky venture. The goal, regardless of what the ubuntu.com or canonical.com websites might claim, is to make money. It is not purely philanthropic or "ideological", although I tend to consider Shuttleworth to be a more genuine business contributor to Linux and FOSS than others. ;)

pwnst*r
May 13th, 2009, 06:59 AM
Got a link or anything substantial to back this accusation? http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee303/Dngrs_1/eh.gif

nobody's accusing anybody of anything. simmer down.

benj1
May 13th, 2009, 07:49 AM
If Ms purchase ubuntu it would be to liquidate it than to continue it as a Ms ubuntu and distribute it as free, remember with Ms everything is $.

agreed except ubuntu would fork faster than you can say "blue screen of death"

thats why microsoft wouldn't buy it, although it would be quite funny for shuttleworth to sell ubuntu to microsoft for $x billion, then start ubumtu the next day.

steveneddy
May 13th, 2009, 03:42 PM
If Ubuntu were purchased by someone like Microsoft, we could count on the community to make another version of Ubuntu, although named something different (like Vbuntu), and continue to offer it for free.

joey-elijah
May 13th, 2009, 03:46 PM
If Microsoft bought Ubuntu, then someone else would make an Ubuntu replacement for free. Buying Ubuntu is nothing more than buying a 'brand' - the technology (Debian) that it's based on would still be there and still be free.

Dragonbite
May 13th, 2009, 03:46 PM
Microsoft to buy Ubuntu! (&/or Canonical)...

(OK respond beyond the obvious that Ubuntu is a non-profit entity, blah, blah, blah)

Do you think it could happen? at the right price? by Microsoft or even another company and if so would it be so bad?

It could be a good thing, then Shuttleworth could cash out and fund an even better Debian (or other base) spin off.

Since Canonical is privately held, Microsoft could only buy it from Mark.

If Mark sold Canonical, then he would have more difficulty funding a Debian spin-off because his reputation and commitment to FOSS would be tarnished and he would be as trustworthy as that guy who started MP3.com and ran Linspire(Lindows) until it ran into the ground.

So I doubt Mark Shuttleworth would be willing to sell Canonical, and if Microsoft was that dead-set to purchase Canonical and Ubuntu at the highly inflated prices they would need then Microsoft would already be a goner and ready to be purchased by Red Hat (which would be fun to watch! ;) )

Now if Canonical/Ubuntu/Linux were to hit a tough time, like say Microsoft's IP infringements were valid and starts ripping apart Linux at its route, then that would be a whole different story and a story of survival, not philosophies.

automaton26
May 13th, 2009, 04:10 PM
Funniest query I've seen for ages. :)

That's about as likely as Microsoft going properly open-source.

U$ companies only work by trying to create monopolies by underhand and dubious business practices, in order to CRUSH all opposition...oh, sorry, wrong forum :P

ukripper
May 13th, 2009, 04:13 PM
Nice Joke!

gn2
May 13th, 2009, 05:51 PM
The Ubuntu trademark could be sold and Canonical could be sold, but the software that is known as the Ubuntu distribution cannot be sold as it belongs to no-one and at the same time everyone.

MellonCollie
May 13th, 2009, 06:35 PM
It would be a waste of money.

BuffaloX
May 13th, 2009, 07:16 PM
So what if Microsoft bought Ubuntu/Canonical, Fedora/Red Hat, Suse/Novell?

The money for that would be hardly noticeable for Microsoft, it would be a small setback for Linux, and we would still have some 300 Distros to choose from. ;-)

monsterstack
May 13th, 2009, 08:30 PM
There are many tactics Microsoft has been using to try to destroy Linux. Fortunately, buying a Linux company outright hasn't been one of them. The best they can hope for is either an embrace extend extinguish routine, or to hit us with their stupid patent crap.

dragos240
May 13th, 2009, 08:34 PM
I wouldn't mind, arch rules :p. But if they shut down this forum.... ohh..... they would get something from me.

lethalfang
May 13th, 2009, 08:34 PM
Once you go GPL, you cannot go back.
Microsoft cannot buy Ubuntu Linux, they can only buy the trademark Ubuntu (TM).

aysiu
May 13th, 2009, 08:46 PM
It's not logically impossible for Mark Shuttleworth to sell Ubuntu to Microsoft. In business, anything is possible.

But there are a lot of good reasons to think it's not probable: Mark Shuttleworth created Ubuntu to take marketshare away from Microsoft. That is what Bug #1 is on Launchpad (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/1). Taking down Windows' dominance isn't some inadvertant side effect of Ubuntu becoming popular. That is Ubuntu's main purpose. Mark Shuttleworth is pretty rich by himself. Years ago, he sold his company for $575,000,000. He spent $20,000,000 just to be a space tourist. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Shuttleworth) I'm sure he's got plenty to spare. Yes, he's not a multi-billionaire like Bill Gates, but nothing Shuttleworth has said or done up to this point indicates that that kind of insane wealth is what he's after. When Novell, Xandros, and Linspire were making deals with Microsoft, Ubuntu (along with Red Hat) refused to make similar deals. (http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/software/soa/Ubuntu-Red-Hat-reject-Microsoft-patent-deal/0,130061733,339278741,00.htm)

BuffaloX
May 13th, 2009, 10:21 PM
@aysiu:
Good points. :D


Once you go GPL, you cannot go back.
Microsoft cannot buy Ubuntu Linux, they can only buy the trademark Ubuntu (TM).

They could buy the entire infrastructure, closing forum, repos, and fire developers, and own the trademark with logos and all that.
In effect shutting Ubuntu down completely.

Ubuntu could continue as a community project under another name.
Do you think it would be the same?
I think we would have to choose another distro.

Luckily as aysiu and others points out this is all very speculative and unlikely.

Jon Monreal
May 14th, 2009, 09:22 PM
I think we would have to choose another distro.

I would imagine that if it was sold, I think the community would probably move on to a derivative project. There are a lot of unpaid developers out there anyways, and I imagine they would move on to such a project. I highly doubt that unpaid developers would want to put more money in Microsoft's coffers, on the other hand.

Simply put, I believe Ubuntu is in a unique position in that it has truly become more than the sum of its parts. Even if were bought out, it would live on in another project, and the community would still stick with it.

sertse
May 14th, 2009, 10:03 PM
Love it how aysiu says what I'm saying, (Ubuntu has idelogical motives that can't be bribed with money + Shuttleworth is willing to burn cash to lead it) and everyone agrees with it, while I get called out for it.

On the other hand, if a hypothetical microsoft tried to buy out Novell and especially Red Hat, there might be a more noticeable impact. Despite the fact its GPLed etc, a substantial bulk of the dev work comes from those organisations, with paid devs in full time positions...

Removing that will be a huge setback.

Dragonbite
May 14th, 2009, 11:35 PM
Love it how aysiu says what I'm saying, (Ubuntu has idelogical motives that can't be bribed with money + Shuttleworth is willing to burn cash to lead it) and everyone agrees with it, while I get called out for it.

On the other hand, if a hypothetical microsoft tried to buy out Novell and especially Red Hat, there might be a more noticeable impact. Despite the fact its GPLed etc, a substantial bulk of the dev work comes from those organisations, with paid devs in full time positions...

Removing that will be a huge setback.

Red Hat has a more consistent ideological focus on FOSS so I would suspect Novell to go down first, before Red Hat.

But there are plenty of smaller ones that can go.. Xandros, Linspire, Mandriva to name a few.

HappinessNow
May 16th, 2009, 11:44 AM
Ideological vehicle to fight against Microsoft? Please, we're adults, not children. Ubuntu was created as a product for Canonical, which is a business seeking to profit from support contracts for Ubuntu, amongst other products.

Saying that Shuttleworth made Ubuntu only for ideological reasons is like saying Red Hat sponsors Fedora, Novell makes OpenSUSE, and Sun Microsystems sponsors OpenSolaris, for ideological reasons. Canonical and Mark Shuttleworth are pragmatically not much different than the aforementioned businesses and their owners.

Sure, Shuttleworth did invest a lot of money, but so does just about every entrepreneur starting up a risky venture. The goal, regardless of what the ubuntu.com or canonical.com websites might claim, is to make money. It is not purely philanthropic or "ideological", although I tend to consider Shuttleworth to be a more genuine business contributor to Linux and FOSS than others. ;)

I am glad to see a perspective that is based in realty, without having your head in the clouds.


Since this is a What if? inquiry and not a declaration, I've changed the thread title.

Tried to send you a PM but got this announcement:


The following errors occurred with your submission:

aysiu has exceeded their stored private messages quota and cannot accept further messages until they clear some space.

Anyway the PM (Now being made public) reads:


Title:

Would it be possible for Microsoft to buy Ubuntu?

Message:

Thanks for changing the title to a more agreeable term but would it be possible to edit it to read:

Would it be probable for Microsoft to buy Ubuntu?

Anything is possible but not everything is probable so I believe this would more accurately illustrate the flavor of the thread.

Great job!

Thanks.

lethalfang
May 26th, 2009, 10:17 AM
@aysiu:
Good points. :D



They could buy the entire infrastructure, closing forum, repos, and fire developers, and own the trademark with logos and all that.
In effect shutting Ubuntu down completely.

Ubuntu could continue as a community project under another name.
Do you think it would be the same?
I think we would have to choose another distro.

Luckily as aysiu and others points out this is all very speculative and unlikely.

MS could fire the developers and own the trademarks, but they cannot close down the servers that host the repos, because those files in the repo are open source, not owned by anyone. MS can force a name change for this forum, but the forum will remain. This forum is not even owned by Canonical. The software that is known as Ubuntu would have to change its name and its developmental directions, but the source code is GPL and they cannot own the source code.
The future of Ubuntu development will be different for sure, but MS still won't kill the product that is an operating system. It will carry on as a different name in a different form.

Microsoft would have to spend a lot of money, gain very little, and the Linux community will simply shrug it off as an annoyance.

I mean, it would be funny if MS tries to buy Ubuntu, and then buy dozens of its spin-offs, and then keep buying...... eventually even they will run out of money.

bruno9779
May 26th, 2009, 10:30 AM
Ubuntu foundation exists on the exact purpose of keeping ubuntu free.

If M$ would buy Canonical, just simply ubuntu would stop being the most popular linux distro.

Who could bear M$ policy on a linux box????:

"welcome to your free copy of M$buntu!! Now you can purchase MP# codecs for $ 5.99, DVD regions for $ 2.99 each, you can upgrade photoshop from 100*100 sized pics to unlimited functionality for $ 39.99...."

come on!!!

billgoldberg
May 26th, 2009, 10:58 AM
Canonical doesn't own Ubuntu, they can't sell it.

Viva
May 26th, 2009, 01:02 PM
Microsoft could makes us pay for Ubuntu, but they can't stop us from distributing it freely.