This page is created to compile a list on how Ubuntu could get comparative advantages over other operating systems.

What is a comparative advantage?

  • In short a comparative advantage is anything that gives GNU/Linux or Ubuntu a not easily copied edge over the competitors. We could for the ease of it just assume these competitors are Windows, Mac OSX and the announced Google OS.

So, why did I create this page?

  • This is supposed to become a list over potential comparative advantages if given enough development attention. Sort of a which direction should Ubuntu go? Identifying Ubuntu's strengths and weaknesses compared to the competitors is an important part of this.

We need a list over Ubuntu's strengths and weaknesses.

Here is some strengths to start with:

  • The easiest OS to install there is.
  • The Gnome Desktop is very intuitive to use. People say even their grand mother could use it.
  • The apt-package system is better than any other current way of installing programs.
  • Tons of free software available through apt.
  • Good out of-the-box hardware compatibility.

And some weaknesses:

  • Installing non-free software can be complicated to people not familiar with apt and who does not know about Medibuntu.

  • Very poor printer support and difficult printer installation.
  • The installer has some unnecessary bugs. Like confusing "go back" and "continue" buttons when using xfs with the partitioner.
  • Are there any free "killer apps" available for Ubuntu or GNU/Linux which is not available for other platforms?

Can these weaknesses be turned to strengths?

  • Enabling medibuntu by default implies some legal restrictions, strictly controlled by Ubuntus competitors. Besides medibuntu, all of these weaknesses can be turned given enough effort.

Which weaknesses should Ubuntu concentrate on?

  • Obviously, since so few of the big computer manufacturers provide pre-installed Ubuntu, Ubuntu needs to be as easy to install as possible and the installer needs to be bug free.

    Ubuntu should also be as easy to use as possible. This means plugging in in a printer, scanner, web-cam, ipods, video-/photo-camera, mouse etc. Needs to be seamless and the device should be automatically installed and readily usable. This usually happens except for printers and scanners. The installation of these devices need some attention immediately. If GNU/Linux and Ubuntu is going to be usable in home-offices printers and scanners are still extremely important devices. They are not the average hackers most important devices so, no GNU/Linux distribution should count on the community to solve this situation. And it is a peculiar situation in need of attention extremely soon, if we should take this article seriously.

What needs to be done with this wiki-page?

  • Conducting an extensive internal and external market analysis of the operating system industry. Start by doing a Porter's Five Forces analysis and doing a SWOT (Strengths and Weaknesses as they relate to our Opportunities and Threats in the marketplace) which enables you to discover which resources Ubuntu possesses and to do a RIIMA-analysis which will identify Ubuntu's most important strengths and Ubuntu's greatest weaknesses. RIIMA is five simple yes/no questions:

    • Is the resource Rare?
    • Is the resource Important?
    • Is the resource Imitate-able? (Can a competitor easily copy the resource)?
    • Is the resource Mobilized? (active at the moment)
    • Is the resource Appropriate-able? (Does this resource generate value for the company and not just it's distributors/partners and customers)?

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Strengths_and_weaknesses (last edited 2010-01-19 19:23:11 by estebancarnevale)