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Ubuntu Server Edition At Wikipedia: Where’s the Revenue?

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First, the good news for Canonical and its loyal followers: Yes, Wikimedia Foundation (the company behind Wikipedia) is embracing Ubuntu on its servers in a big way. This is the latest in a growing list of large and small organizations that are betting their back offices on Ubuntu. Now, the challenge: It sounds like there really isn’t much — if any — money flowing from Wikipedia to Canonical.

If you read this blog regularly, you know I believe Ubuntu has a bright future on servers. As someone who covered the birth and rise of Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1 for InformationWeek back in the 1990s, I believe Ubuntu Server Edition is catching on faster — yes, faster — than NT did during its early years.

Money Matters

But there are some key differences here. First, the market for server operating systems is probably a few thousand times larger today than it was in 1994. Second, I’m worried that very few customers are actually paying Canonical to support Ubuntu Server Edition.

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