The company behind the world's most popular desktop Linux distro has their sights set on expansion. Apparently satisfied with their desktop infrastructure, Canonical is now offering support services for small businesses, all centered around using Ubuntu as the platform of choice.
Starting with three different support options, the company is aiming specific configurations and implementations of Ubuntu for different businesses with different requirements – ranging from getting desktops off the ground to complete migrations of office environments.
Canonical will join a small but growing (if slowly) market of companies aimed exclusively at Linux desktop support. Is this a positive change for Linux? Probably – one of the biggest gripes that most businesses have is the lack of decent support. While many specialized companies offer fantastic support for their particular niche, there is a huge gap in the quality and availability of support elsewhere. If Canonical thinks they have the manpower to offer a paid business support program, they might also be able to convert some offices.
In the short term, nothing is likely to change for Ubuntu or Canonical. If, however, they combine this with a decent PR campaign and make sure their support is up to snuff, they could get a nice foothold in the small business market, which is almost exclusively a Windows-owned domain.