Microsoft Windows loses to Ubuntu Linux, as AT&T chooses Ubuntu for its network and cloud operations
Even though Linux may not be performing well in the desktop market, it however owns the two most important markets without any doubt, which are servers and smartphones. On one hand, where PC sales are going down, on the other, sales of Android phones are on the rise which it capturing a major share of the market. While everyone is spending less time on Windows computers, there are more than happy to be glued to their phones, which are likely powered by the Linux kernel.
AT&T, one of the largest cellular providers has side-lined Microsoft’s Windows and instead opted for Canonical and Ubuntu to power its network, cloud and enterprise applications, making this one of the most important collaborations for the creators of the Linux distribution. Canonical will provide continued engineering support too
Toby Ford, Assistant Vice President of Cloud Technology, Strategy and Planning at AT&T says, “By tapping into the latest technologies and open principles, AT&T’s network of the future will deliver what our customers want, when they want it. We’re reinventing how we scale by becoming simpler and modular, similar to how applications have evolved in cloud data centers. Open source and OpenStack innovations represent a unique opportunity to meet these requirements and Canonical’s cloud and open source expertise make them a good choice for AT&T.”
The fact that AT&T chose Ubuntu is not all that surprising because Ubuntu has been making a killing in the cloud and it’s becoming the biggest platform out there, especially on OpenStack. However, the transition will probably take some time to get ready, since AT&T is a really big company.
John Zannos, Vice President of Cloud Alliances and Business Development at Canonical explains, “this is important for Canonical. AT&T’s scalable and open future network utilizes the best of Canonical innovation. AT&T selecting us to support its effort in cloud, enterprise applications and the network provides the opportunity to innovate with AT&T around the next generation of the software-centric network and cloud solutions. Ubuntu is the Operating System of the Cloud and this relationship allows us to bring our engineering expertise around Ubuntu, cloud and open source to AT&T”.
This has to be one of the biggest contracts for Canonical because they will provide support for Ubuntu for all of AT&T’s cloud, network and enterprise applications. It’s also likely that other companies will choose to make the same choice since Ubuntu is becoming almost synonymous with the cloud.
By far, Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution for OpenStack with 80% of the large-scale OpenStack deployments using this OS. Ubuntu is also a large player on the Amazon and Microsoft’s Azure. In fact, Microsoft even provides some limited Linux support for Ubuntu on Azure.
Similarly, Canonical seems to be doing almost everything with Ubuntu for the cloud, for servers, for desktops, for mobile devices, and for IoT devices. The merger of most of these platforms is helping them in advance.
This collaboration is a great example of a technological mutualistic relationship. Clearly, Canonical is the big winner here, as collaboration with a giant partner like AT&T will surely see the inflow of some much needed money into the growing company. Having said that, AT&T is also is at benefit with it making use of Linux and other open source technologies in a smart, cost-effective, way to retain flexibility.