Gameloft Moves 1,000 Desktops to Ubuntu LinuxBusinesses are catching on to Ubuntu, Canonical's Linux distribution. The latest example: Gameloft, a major mobile games developer, has moved more than 1,000 desktops to Ubuntu, according to a source who reached out to The VAR Guy. But Gameloft isn't alone. The VAR Guy's research is tracking hundreds of companies moving to Ubuntu. Here's the scoop.

According to The VAR Guy's source, Gameloft's entire quality assurance department -- about half of the company -- has switched over to Ubuntu.

"It's been a pretty big deployment, well over 1000 desktops and it's been a huge success," crows the source. "Ubuntu does the same job [as Windows] for zero cash. The most painful thing about the change over was moving to Thunderbird from Outlook. No one has batted an eyelid about moving to Gnome."

In fact, the Ubuntu deployment actually involves more than 2,000 desktops, according to another source close to Gameloft.

Ubuntu Gets Down to Business

Gameloft's move to Ubuntu is noteworthy for several reasons. First, Gameloft is publicly held and its stock is traded on the Paris Stock Exchange, according to Wikipedia. In other words, Ubuntu has pushed beyond the hacker crowd and is now gaining traction in profit-driven businesses.

Second, Gameloft has nearly 4,000 employees -- placing its somewhere between a midsize and large enterprise. Gameloft has been profitable since 2003, and sales are growing 25 to 30 percent annually, according to Wikipedia. Translation: Big Business is starting to take Ubuntu seriously.

Third, Gameloft creates games for mobile devices. And cranking out all that code requires a stable development environment. Hello, Ubuntu.

Tracking Ubuntu In 1,000 Companies

Gameloft isn't alone in its move to Ubuntu. The VAR Guy is tracking hundreds of companies as they move to Ubuntu. The research effort is called the Works With U 1,000.

Brace yourself for a shameless but informative plug: WorksWithU.com, the independent guide to Ubuntu, is The VAR Guy's sister site. Anyone is free to participate in the ongoing Works With U 1000 survey.

So far, more than 250 companies have participated in the survey -- and the survey will continue until Works With U collects data from 1,000 companies.

Will Ubuntu rule the world? Certainly not. But will Ubuntu carve out a healthy niche for itself on business desktops and servers? It's already happening, folks.

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