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Know Why Canonical Endorses Unity In Ubuntu!
 
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Know Why Canonical Endorses Unity In Ubuntu!  
 
Unity is now largely recognised for being a good positive development and that Canonical has been able to achieve its goals and the strategic reasons for investing in it have been proved right.   
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Thursday, July 12, 2012 Unity has been one of the most controversial part of Ubuntu. Some people like it and others don't. But Canonical, the maker of Ubuntu, is firm about Unity. For Canonical, Ubuntu is not a trouble baby, it is a medium of change in the open source world. With Unity, the company wants to establish that it cares for design. EFYTimes.com spoke to Jane Silber, chief executive officer, about Unity and their strategy around it.

Explaining on what made Canonical think of Unity, Silber said, “There are two main drivers of Unity. One was that we just needed something better than what we had. The prior desktop, frankly, was old fashioned. It wasn't modern and wasn't extensible into what consumers expect. It needed a dramatic change. Several years ago, we said that we had to prioritise design. Mark Shuttleworth’s view was that Canonical cares about design. Sexiness and bling is an important feature and ought not to be an afterthought. It’s a core attribute that we said we would try and lead the open source community in. We stand up to that leadership role. The change we introduced, Unity, was a bit rocky. But we conveyed the notion that we needed to raise the bar and that was one of the main drivers for Unity.”

Canonical, Ubuntu, Unity in Ubuntu, Unity interface, Open source technolgy, Windows 8, Windows, Microsoft




“The second main driver was the notion of a portfolio of products. It’s a similar experience across form factors. We could see that with the introduction of cloud computing and with the emphasis on mobile computing -- whether it’s a phone, tablet or laptop -- there needed to be a computing experience that wasn't radically different on each form factor. So we started investing in Unity, like building a design team and doing a lot of research. One of the interesting things about Unity and its design is that everybody has got an opinion about it. Our computers, laptops, phones and tablets are an important part of our life and it’s very natural to feel emotional about them. So changing something that we are very connected with can be very wrenching for some people. From the beginning, there were some people who really liked Unity and there were others who really hated it. People who hated Unity were either those who didn't like any changes at all or those who didn't like changes for specific reasons. That was constructive criticism. Over a period of time, we improved Unity. Now you find that those who objected to it because it was changed are warming to it because it is no longer a new thing. The same thing will happen when Microsoft releases Windows 8. A lot of people will criticise it for different reasons and even term it as ‘the end of Microsoft’, which obviously will not be true,” she added.

She feels that Unity is now largely recognised for being a good positive development and that Canonical has been able to achieve its goals and the strategic reasons for investing in it have been proved right. Silber said, “We have helped raise the bar in terms of design and user experience for the open source community. Other projects are talking much more about design and the user experience than ever before. There is a change in the open source community and the community has recognised the importance of user experience, whereas it was never recognised or prioritised before. Apart from bringing about the change, the current version of Unity is good and we get very good test results from it. Users respond well to it. We have a release every six months and Unity seems to get better each time. I think we have weathered the Unity storm and are now positioned better.”

So is Unity going to stay? “Yes it is. There is no doubt about that!” responded the confident CEO.

Diksha  P Gupta, EFYTIMES News Network


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