Is Ubuntu on the way out?
A distinguished Website is asking the question: "Is Ubuntu on the way out?" They cite Distrowatch's Page Hit Rankings as the catalyst for this query. According to said PHR, Ubuntu has fallen to the number three position in the one month tally behind Linux Mint and Fedora.
The the past year Mint has remained in the number two spot with Fedora occupying the third position. For the last six month Ubuntu's popularity remained stagnant and fell within the last three months. And as said it actually fell down the chart this past month.
Some initial comments seem to indicate that premise is incorrect. Several assert that Ubuntu is probably just finding a new audience. One said, "I think the real question is 'Is Ubuntu on the way out for new users?'" Another said, "I get the feeling that those of who are more power-users are moving over to other distros such as Fedora and Arch. Another echoed similar thoughts by saying, "Ubuntu is repositioning itself. It obviously is no longer targeted at the new comer. That role has been taken over by Mint."
One speculates, "there are those who are not keen on Unity and do not want to use KDE are more likely to have moved to the likes of Mint or Fedora." And yet another noticed that "all the top distros are going down."
One of the more interesting comments wonders if "maybe Ubuntu's just becoming normal? Every week all the other distros shuffle around depending on what's hot that week - what released or made the news. But Ubuntu was always on top because it was the distro to look at when you were first starting. So maybe, and it pains me to think this, there just aren't as many new people coming to Linux as there once were? Or maybe it's just that everyone recommends Mint nowadays. I know I do. Partially because stupid laws mean that Ubuntu, Fedora, et al can't include codecs for MP3s, videos, etc."
Although one month's page hits is a bit too small of a sample to actually call it a real trend, Canonical probably isn't concerned. After all, they are getting commercial deal after commercial deal. Ubuntu is turning up on pre-built computers from top brands. They are lining up ultra-portable gigs as well as cloud and support contracts. Canonical is on the path to making back some of Mark's investment.
But what do you think? Is Ubuntu declining in popularity, changing demographics, normalizing, or concentrating on commercial interests? If you comment at TuxRadar, your opinion will be figured into the next TuxRadar podcast and could possibly be quoted.