Canonical, the supporting company of Ubuntu Linux, is trying to make deals with large hardware vendors like Dell, so their Linux distribution gets pre-installed on servers. Until now, Canonical has made contracts with small vendors.
The company is discussing with hardware vendors for a big server deal that could help improve its standing on the enterprise market.
Gerry Carr, marketing manager at Canonical, said: "We haven't got the same deal as we have with Dell on desktop. My personal belief is that it [a deal] will happen reasonably soon."
The decision took by Dell, to pre-install Ubuntu Linux on their desktop systems, didn't involve Canonical in any way. Dell said that customers were the ones who demanded this change. If Dell's clients will ask for Ubuntu Server, then the company will deliver it, just like it happened for the desktop computers.
The success of the two desktop PCs and the Inspiron E1505n notebook with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed on them is not known because Dell wants to keep the figures confidential. The number of Ubuntu active users is estimated at minimum six million and the maximum somewhere around 12 million. These figures are based on how many IP addresses poll Ubuntu's website for updates.
Canonical was founded in 2004 by Mark Shuttleworth and it has at this moment 120 employees all around the world, and it's hiring engineers. The functionality of Ubuntu Server still has gaps, compared to other competing products. The company wants to expand its relationship with software vendors to certify their programs to run on Ubuntu. IBM is one of the enterprises which certified their DB2 database on Ubuntu in 2005, and an interoperability deal with Oracle Corp., was almost made by Canonical. Things didn't work out well, but Shuttleworth's company thinks Oracle will open up someday.
Canonical will shortly release Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon, and the company has high hopes for it, especially since it has increased its security compared to previous versions.