Shuttleworth wants 200 million Ubuntu users in four years

Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth has told the Ubuntu Developer Summit at Budapest, Hungary, that he wants to have 200 million Ubuntu users in four years.

This might be a bit of a tricky goal, not least because 200 million is a large figure, but also because there is no accurate way of counting them. At the moment Canonical thinks that there might be 12 million Ubuntu users.

According to Digitizor , it means that the outfit will have to go out and hard sell the Linux desktop to Windows users. Of course Shuttleworth would like the Mac users, but they tend to find more than one mouse button a bit challenging.

Shuttleworth said that the days of playing for developer’s hearts and minds have gone, and now it is time to go for the hearts and minds of the great unwashed. He admitted that to do this he will have to play by a new set of rules.

Firstly it has done a lot of design and user experience testing during the development of Ubuntu 11.04, and Shuttleworth said that Ubuntu has set a “new bar” for disciplined design in free software.

Shuttleworth said that 200 million Ubuntu users in four years is certainly achievable, although it might want to avoid some of the problems with 11.04 which saw existing users underwhelmed by the Unity interface. Future interfaces will be based around Wayland.