Some of you might know that Ubuntu recently launched a beta online storage service called “Ubuntu One”. This service looks very similar to what other popular online storage service like dropbox already does, except that Ubuntu One (pro service) is more expensive than Dropbox and the fact that dropbox client already supports Linux very well that it makes little sense to use Ubuntu One as an online storage service. Unless you consider these facts:
1) More than just backup: Online storage and file sync is just one aspect of what Ubuntu One will be about. Although it is still in the early stage, eventually the goal of Ubuntu One is to be able to integrate with applications so that you can backup / store / retrieve application-specific information and share with other computers (or users) if you want. Something very similar to what OSX already does with MobileME.
2) Cloud is the future: RMS may not like it but the future of desktop OS will be a form of collaboration between cloud services and desktop clients. So it makes little sense for popular Linux distributions like Ubuntu to be left out of this evolutionary change other OS will be eventually embracing in a major way. We need more ways to appeal Linux distributions to new users and take proactive steps to be in sync with the ways people use computers.
3) Funds for future Ubuntu development: Perhaps most important (to me) is that Canonical is looking for ways to generate funds for future development of Ubuntu. As Ubuntu grows in popularity so does the cost of keeping things running smoothly. You can only raise so much money by selling cups, t-shirts and from donations or providing paid support services. Ubuntu is still supported by funds from Mark Shuttleworth with an initial “emergency” fund of $10 million. If Ubuntu One paid service gets enough members it will generate a source of funds for future developments of Ubuntu. If you ask me this is a win-win for everyone.
What do you think of Ubuntu One? Are you willing to pay $10 per month (10GB) for Ubuntu One which will also help fund future developments of Ubuntu?
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