An interview with the founder of the Ubuntu Project


Article from Issue 79/2007

Mark Shuttleworth talks to Linux Magazine contributing editor Mathias Huber about the upcoming Ubuntu release Feisty Fawn and Ubuntu Live.

Ubuntu's newest release offers a preset Windows migration tool so that users who are setting up a dual-boot machine won't get caught in the headlights. LM What’s next for Ubuntu? MS We have a new release coming up, the Feisty Fawn, and that is a very exciting release, which, I think will definitely be our best release ever. It has a lot of new work from upstream – there’s been a tremendous amount of activity in the desktop space upstream – which is exciting. And there’s also a whole bunch of things that are unique to Ubuntu. There’s the Windows migration tool, which means that people who are installing Ubuntu on a Windows machine will get the opportunity to move things like Firefox favorites and Internet Explorer bookmarks, instant messaging contacts, and so on into their new Ubuntu setup. It is a preset for people who are setting up a dual-boot machine and starting with something that has Windows installed. I’m sure other distros will follow suit, but I think Ubuntu is the first to do that, and that’s exciting. Another thing is something that is very popular with people who are using Linux as a platform for multimedia, and that is making it a lot easier to install various codecs. Now, you may be aware of the fact that it is a very complex landscape out there in terms of which codecs are possible to distribute and which aren’t, depending on nationality and patent system and various complicated features. Unfortunately, the default Ubuntu configuration, as with any free software distribution, is quite limited in terms of proprietary codecs that can be supported. We have really good support for things like Ogg, but for most proprietary formats it’s tricky. So what we’ve done in the next release is recognize when people are trying to play content that requires specific codecs and try to make it easy for them to decide whether or not they can legally install that software and continue.

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