The sincerest compliment a Linux distribution can get is when the onetime CEO of a rival Linux company switches to that distribution. That’s exactly what happened when Kevin Carmony, former CEO of Linux desktop distributor Linspire, publicly announced that he’s switched to Ubuntu.
Carmony, who left Linspire in late July, announced his switch to Ubuntu in the Ubuntu Forums on Oct. 17. In his note, Carmony wrote: “Now that I’m no longer the CEO of Linspire, or under any obligation to use that particular distribution, I thought I should take some time and look around at all the distributions and decide which one was right for me and my PC. In addition to already being quite familiar with Linspire and Freespire, I also looked at Novell/SUSE, Red Hat/Fedora, PC Linux, Ubuntu, and Kubuntu.”
His decision? “Well, after all my research, I have to tell you, it was an easy choice. Ubuntu! I’m excited for the new release [Ubuntu 7.10, Gutsy Gibbon] in a few days, which I will use to replace the many Linux desktop and laptop PCs I own (five).”
Going back to Windows was never a real possibility, Carmony said. “I just couldn’t bring myself to go back to Windows for most of my computing. I do have one Vista box, but only use it when needed. I got spoiled by the stability and no-bloat of Linux,” he said.
Carmony added, “I was very proud of many of the things I was able to accomplish at Linspire, but it’s no longer the distro for me.” He said he believes Canonical, Ubuntu’s corporate parent, is doing many things right with Ubuntu, so he’s looking forward to not only “using Ubuntu on all my PCs, but also becoming an active member of your community here.”
“Some of my good friends and quality employees have also left Linspire and joined Canonical, and I get a sense from them of the excitement, commitment and expectations the Ubuntu team has to really make open source desktop Linux a reality. This is truly where it is at!” added Carmony.
In another note, Carmony added, “My main reason for deciding upon Ubuntu is I think it has the most momentum and greatest chance of succeeding. There will be continued consolidation as desktop Linux moves into the mainstream, and my money is on Ubuntu to be a central and key player there.”
In a Desktop Linux interview, Carmony also said that in part his decision was based on the companies, not the technologies, since Linspire 6.0 is based on Ubuntu. Carmony believes that Ubuntu has “a great deal of momentum and isn’t going away. For this reason, I want it on my PCs, and I feel any contributions I could make would be best contributed there.”
Carmony continued: “I’m excited to now be using Ubuntu and to help their community in any way I can, even if it’s just logging some bug reports, or helping others on their forum. It will be fun to just be a ‘user’ for a while.”
Will Carmony be going back into the Linux business? “I’ve been approached with a few interesting opportunities to get back in the Linux biz, but not with Canonical or Ubuntu, so never say never, but for now, no immediate plans.” Carmony is currently helping with the Mitt Romney presidential campaign and has started a new Web 2.0 online dating service business for social networking sites called Dating DNA.