It seems that there is some discussion of where Canonical should focus their effort in 2008. The Enterprise Linux Log started this all off with The Big Three of Linux: Looking ahead to 2008. They get it bang on with this statement:
The ultimate achievement would be when Canonical finally creates an Active Directory-like system to integrate its server OS and desktop OS into a single, manageable environment.However, Linuxloop.com disagrees with this, saying in a blog post Canonical’s Future: Enterprise or Consumer?:
Instead, I believe that Ubuntu should continue to pursue the consumer desktop and, for now, leave the enterprise customers to big companies like Red Hat and Novell.. Now, aside from this issues that this not an either/or situation (office works need usable desktops as much as home users and look at the amazing things Dave does at the City of Largo with Compiz on thin clients) it is also ignoring why Microsoft won large numbers of customers from Novell and others with Windows 2000. Simply put: Active Directory destroys the competition. The tight integration of client and desktop is a major win for admins. Tie this in with integrated messaging via Exchange and you easily see why we have not made major inroads.
However, all is not lost. Apt-get, our repository system and the integration it offers is unsurpassed. A few server bits and an LDAP schema and we could have the beginnings of a highly integrated software control system. OpenChange with OpenLDAP are going to allow us to catchup and maybe one of these days Evolution will support mass config.
We (Ubuntu) also have a major advantage: you. There is no free (or Free) integrated solution for this out there. MS and Novell both charge and RH isn't there yet. Enterprise Linux Log correctly points this out, saying:
Canonical is in the unique position of having herds of passionate users behind them.