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Malcolm Yates of Canonical

Canonical, Ltd. is the company behind Ubuntu: one of the fastest-growing Linux distros on the market today, and certainly one of the most respected among experienced Linux users. Since its inaugural release in October, 2004, Ubuntu has earned a significant and very loyal following among desktop Linux users. More recently, Canonical announced plans to make Ubuntu a player in the enterprise Linux market, including a new server release and extended support packages tailored for business users.

TechWeb recently spoke with Malcolm Yates, Canonical's ISV and partner manager, about Ubuntu's place in the rapidly-evolving enterprise Linux ecosystem. Yates discussed the pivotal role Canonical's nascent ISV and OEM partnerships will play in deciding whether Ubuntu earns a spot alongside the likes of Red Hat and Suse -- and he explained what Ubuntu, in return, can offer Canonical's enterprise Linux partners.

TechWeb: A lot of Linux users have heard of Ubuntu, but they may not be familiar with Canonical. How do the two relate to one another?

Yates:: There are actually two [organizations] here. First, there is the Ubuntu Foundation, which was set up to ensure that Ubuntu would be able to survive as an open-source project, despite any other commercial considerations -- if that day came.

Canonical, on the other hand, was started to make Ubuntu a commercial success. At Canonical, we are focused on delivering the best Linux experience for the user as well as providing the service and support for businesses. By doing that, our plan is that Canonical becomes a self-sustaining business, in its own right.

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