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Monday September 15th 2014

Canonical Bringing New Digital Media Offerings to Ubuntu





More changes are afoot for Ubuntu. This week, we covered how the next version of Ubuntu, due in April, will have many features designed to appeal to IT administrators, including beefed up cloud capabilities. Mark Shuttleworth writes in a post that Precise Pangolin, version 12.04 of the operating system, will extend Ubuntu’s existing cloud functionality. As The VAR Guy writes, Canonical is also looking to extend Ubuntu’s facility with digital media, and that could close a long-standing gap between Ubuntu and other popular computing platforms. 

Canonical has just struck new partnerships to offer eBooks and Magazines through the Ubuntu Software Center, which–along with other digital media offerings–could help bring in new revenues from Ubuntu. According to the company’s announcement:

"Canonical today announced the addition of books and magazines to the Ubuntu Software Center with new content from partners Pearson Technology Group and Linux New Media.  The Ubuntu Software Center brings together free and commercial applications, tools and games available for users. Through a simple interface users can find, select, review, buy and install software quickly and easily. With these partnerships, Ubuntu users will be able to purchase high-quality electronic productions of magazines and eBooks. Once purchased, users can download them as highly visual PDFs to their Ubuntu computers or e-readers."

“Through this innovative partnership we are adding eBooks and magazines to the wide range of applications currently available in the Ubuntu Software Center, creating a fantastic revenue opportunity for Ubuntu developers and content creators,” said Steve George, VP Business Development, Canonical.

So far it sounds like the new additions will be very technology-focused, but it won’t be a surprise to see Canonical attempting to follow Apple’s and Amazon’s lead in getting further revenues from digital media sales. In fact, the combination of distributing Ubuntu as a free platform and selling digital media through the Software Center could be a good business model and help usher in better, more rapidly released versions of Ubuntu.

There is a strong cloud focus to Canonical’s digital media strategy as well. Ubuntu users will be to use the Single Sign-On feature to access purchased digital media, much as Amazon digital media purchasers already do through Amazon’s cloud services. 

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