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Ubuntu to enforce short-sighted decision on net book users


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Data souvereignity




Here is another in my list of growing reasons why I think Ubuntu is going bad: net books won't have OpenOffice installed anymore. Instead, documents shall open with Google Docs in the future.

There are of course arguments in favour of this: we are talking about net books, so it seems sensible to make use of "the cloud" to be able to keep the requirements on local resources low. Also, network-based applications open up unprecedent possibilities for collaboration, and Google has unquestionably created some smart products.

However, despite all the hype, I think people are failing to see beyond the initial excitement. I fear that there'll be many instances of "oh had I known better" in the future. And Ubuntu is basically suggesting — even forcing you — to go along (if you have a net book that is). I wonder if they asked their users.

The decision just seems like a horrible move:

I am aware that we're talking about the default Ubuntu installation, and that users who want will still be able to install local applications to replace the network-based ones. However, Ubuntu's market position is, I think, largely a result of making selection decisions for users (who didn't want to choose one of 30 software packages for a task). As such, the decision that was made for the upcoming Ubuntu release is likely going to be accepted unchallenged by most of their users.

I consider this irresponsible, and probably not in the interest of their users. But it's likely that there's a direct financial benefit for Ubuntu (or Canonical) with this move. As I said before, money just doesn't mix well with consumer interests, but money is more exciting for some people.