BEFORE I BEGIN I WILL SAY I DO TEND TO RAMBLE ON A BIT IN PLACES BUT PLEASE READ ALL OF IT. THANKS! I ALSO APOLOGISE IF I SEEM RUDE BUT I GUESS THAT IS JUST MY WRITING STYLE.
A few days ago Mark Shuttleworth marked the first ever bug as fixed. The bug, Microsoft has a majority market share, is marked as fixed although it really isn't. Mark's reasoning is that the concept of what the PC stands for is entirely different today to what it was in 2004. In a way he is correct to say that but it doesn't mean the bug is fixed. The desktop and the mobile environment are still different. The mobile gives me an environment to easily click install applications from a software center and swipe my fingers across the screen to get things done... THAT ISN'T THE DESKTOP. The desktop is my keyboard and my mouse, NOT A TOUCH SCREEN. I can understand we are moving to a world in which desktops and mobiles are, in a way, the same market but we shouldn't be moving to a world where we think they are the same.
Now I'm going onto some Ubuntu specific things as that is partly to do with this entire rant. I love the fact that Canonical want to move Ubuntu into the mobile space with an OS built for phones and tablets but can you not slap that onto my desktop as well. My desktop is my desktop, not my mobile device. With the development of Ubuntu Touch we have seen Mir come along. On Ubuntu Touch this isn't an issue, the system is new and it will grow along with Mir but the issue is on the desktop. XOrg is the current system we use on the desktop and (eventually) Wayland will replace it but if Canonical throw Mir into the mix on the desktop we could see an environment with 3 different graphics servers (or whatever the term is for them) and for the Linux desktop that is bad. You have got everything at the moment designed to use XOrg but if we are going to be replacing that, having both Mir and Wayland will cause problems. Some people will use Wayland and others will pick up Mir... then what... We have a split in the community of the replacement and that will slow up redevelopment of applications to use the new system and then the Linux desktop as a whole suffers from the decision to take something from the mobile space and stick it into the desktop space. KEEP THEM SEPARATE!
Now lets move onto Ubuntu itself. I like Unity, the desktop environment works well and the majority of things are nicely integrated... notice the keyword of that sentence. You'd think that after all this time even the default applications would use the Unity menu bar instead of wasting desktop space. There are several default applications that do not support the Unity menu bar yet you continue to ship them with Ubuntu. The one great thing about the open source community is the fact it is open source, why not change the source code yourself so it actually fully supports the product you are shipping instead of actually ruining part of my experience. It would take one developer a day or two to make sure the applications either support the features it should or be replaced. The Unity menu bar was just an example but you get the idea and if you don't I'm basically saying to make sure you ship the software that supports the key part of your product.
Now the Ubuntu Software Center. Like many great ideas it is appallingly executed. I'd love to be able to head into the USC and just speedily install the applications I need and then let the software updater do the rest but you seem to be focusing on some old school idea of not changing things that aren't broken. It reminds me of my Dad who would still use XP for the rest of his life if developers didn't ditch it because of that magical thing called money. If a new stable version of a package comes out why isn't it put into the USC for the current stable and LTS release instead of waiting for the next release to finally release it. This is where distributions like Arch have an advantage. I'm not asking you to go entirely rolling release on the situation and make sure we get the latest kernel the moment it is out and packaged but if an application, GIMP for example, gets a new stable version it should be straight into the repository (and USC with that) for the support releases as soon as you can get it in their. Building and updating packages wouldn't even take that long and you easily make an extra job or two out of it to take the work load off of people that could be needed elsewhere in your development. You wouldn't do that in the mobile environment though. You wouldn't wait to put in a stable package for a piece of software for Ubuntu Touch, it would be in there ASAP... so why not on the desktop? I'll let you answer that one.
Now the most important bit. Actually getting Ubuntu out into the world. If you can create this wonderful environment on the mobile and the desktop and keep them what they actually are you will have much more chance of getting bigger OEMs to actually focus more on shipping Ubuntu devices instead of being like Dell or HP at the moment and shipping a system or two every so often but not doing it how it should be done. System76 are the perfect example of a company that ship Ubuntu correctly, they produce systems that are designed to run Linux and not just Windows boxes that are tweaked to run Linux better. You need to up your game. If you can provide this perfect (or as close to it as humanly possible) system that you want to, more OEMs will pick it up and then take more time to ship better Ubuntu systems. If you can tick off the things I've mentioned above you are already doing large parts of the job. You are providing a system that ships the latest packages, you are providing an integrated experience and the users that are switching will find it easier to work with. And you are providing a system that is fit for the desktop.
Now I will just conclude it all for those who prefer the easier read. Don't make the mobile and desktop one. Yeah the line is already blurred but this issue can be fixed. Keep up the work in the mobile space but don't let that destroy the desktop as they are still both separate despite what people think. Make sure the Ubuntu desktop ships ready to be competitive, integrated and up to date. Keep pushing to overtake Microsoft instead of marking this unfixed bug as fixed. I've said it before and I will say it again, the desktop and the mobile markets aren't the same or together, they may do similar thing but they are different. Keep that in mind when you make your decisions and you are more likely to be successful.
I'm going to leave that here. I could go on for hours ranting about one little thing within the entire world of Ubuntu or even Linux as a whole but again if we work one step at a time we will continue to move forward.