Canonical Expanding Online StoreBusinesses don't buy operating systems. They buy applications. With that fact in mind, Canonical is gradually expanding its online store for Ubuntu Linux applications. It's a smart move -- but solutions providers will need to keep their expectations for the store under control. Here's why.

After checking out a range of Ubuntu merchandise in Canonical's online store (yes, The VAR Guy has an Ubuntu baseball cap), site visitors may spot Ubuntu applications from Cyberlink, IBM, Parallels and Fluendo in the store.

More Choices, Please

Still, Canonical needs to stock its online store with more applications in order to attract more businesses and solutions providers to Ubuntu, The VAR Guy believes.

So, The VAR Guy sent this question to Canonical Marketing Manager Gerry Carr:
"Any update on the strategy for populating the store with third-party apps?"
Carr's reply:
"The strategy [for the store] remains the same - we bring them [applications] on when it is mutually sensible and the products are packaged and tested. We have revamped the process in the last couple of weeks, mostly regarding the internal process as it is too slow to get these apps online. Sometimes it is our fault sometimes it is not but it is slow. The new process ought to speed things along."
Hmmm. Sounds like new applications are on the way. But which ones? The VAR Guy asked Carr specifically about Alfresco and Openbravo -- two ISVs (independent software vendors) that vowed to support Ubuntu Server Edition in mid-2008.

Carr's reply:
"I believe we are waiting of the next version of Alfresco and will sell it through the store when available. Open Bravo I am not sure we have agreed any commercial terms with. I know they intend to make a version available for Ubuntu, but independently of us I think."
Translation: Populating the Canonical Store with more Ubuntu applications is going to take time. But that effort remains a priority within Canonical.

Online marketplaces featuring open source applications sound promising. But even Linux leader Red Hat hit a few bumps before gaining some momentum with its Red Hat Exchange online store.

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