Yesterday, Canonical founder, Mark Shuttleworth, announced that Canonical is aiming for 200 million Ubuntu users in four years. When he made the announcement, many believed that such a number will not be possible unless Canonical partners with OEMs.
Today, taking a step in that direction, Canonical and Lenovo has announced a collaboration to provide Ubuntu certified Lenovo products such as laptops, desktops and servers. The collaboration between the two companies will mean that users who are buying Lenovo systems can be assured that Ubuntu will work properly on their system.
Canonical has already given the Ubuntu certification to around 30 Lenovo systems. Right now Canonical certifies systems for Ubuntu 11.04, 10.10 and 10.04. With the partnership, it is expected that the number of Ubuntu certified Lenovo systems will increase. Announcing the collaboration, Canonical made the following statement:
Having hardware certified through Canonical provides consumers and corporate user the assurance of a high quality, user-friendly, maintainable operating system on every device. The key benefits of combining Ubuntu with Lenovo Thinkpads is the hassle free operation and a fast reliable performance.
Such collaboration might be just what Ubuntu need. One of the main problem that I see with Ubuntu nowadays is that it does not work well out-of-the-box with certain hardware. For example, with my laptop, Ubuntu 11.04 does not work out-of-the-box. When a new Ubuntu installation does not work out-of-the-box, most of the normal users will not waste their time trying to get the system working and would instead shift to Windows. For this reason, Ubuntu certification might be the next best thing to buying the system with Ubuntu pre-installed. With an Ubuntu certified system, users can be assured that their hardware will work without problems when they install Ubuntu.
You can see the list of Ubuntu certified Lenovo systems here.