Canonical stops offering free Ubuntu CDs

first_imgWhen Canonical first released the Ubuntu Linux distro it wanted to gain a firm footing in the operating system market. It did that with marketing, easy to find and fast ISO downlaods, and a very generous service called ShipIt.Through ShipIt you could request and get sent the Ubuntu OS on CD completely free of charge. Canonical was willing to pick up the cost of the disc and the shipping in return for their OS being used by another person. As a forward thinking company, it also realized in 2005 when ShipIt launched that not everyone had the means to download a distro. Remember, it shipped the discs worldwide, not just locally.But all good things have to come to an end, and ShipIt is no exception. Ubuntu 11.04 will be the first release that you can’t get shipped for free on CD. You can still buy the CDs in the Ubuntu Store, but no more freebies.The reason for this decision is mainly one of administration and cost. Add to that how much Internet connections have improved over the last 6 years, and you see that the free CD offer has diminishing returns while still costing a significant amount of money and time to look after.Canonical has also come up with a better way for new users to try Ubuntu without need of a CD or a lengthy download. The money saved from ShipIt will be used to make available a cloud-based version of the OS for anyone to use. That way there is no installation required, just a web browser and a connection to try it out. There’s also going to be more focus on promoting Ubuntu to the mainstream PC users out there over the coming months and years.While free CDs for the masses may be stopping, Canonical is retaining it for local communities through a ShipIt-lite alternative. The company feels such LoCos are very effective and allowing them to remain still cuts the CD burden considerably.For those wanting to try Ubuntu, by far the easiest way is to download and have it run on your machine without interfering with your current operating system either as a Live CD or installing it on Windows just like an application. If you have the memory to spare, running it as a virtual machine is also a good way to get to grips with the OS in a safe environment.Read more at the Canonical Blog, via Networkworldlast_img read more