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Linux Magazine’s Top 20 Companies to Watch in 2007

We pick the companies that are defining the future of Information Technology and will have the most impact on the Open Enterprises of 2007. It's the inaugural edition of our 20 Companies to Watch list and we guarantee that every company here will challenge how you think about Linux and Open Source before the year is out.

Canonical

Despite its quirky name and adorable logo, Ubuntu Linux has a serious mission: to be the top desktop Linux distribution. And although it’s only been around for a few years, it has a very good shot at the championship.

Industry speculation about Ubuntu took off in 2005, about a year after the distribution’s developer, Canonical, unveiled its first release. Way back then, it was seen as distinctive for its ability to augment Debian GNU/Linux with updated software components, and snazzy packaging.

What makes the company worth following in the months ahead is the potential success of its newest release, version 6.10, also known as “Edgy Eft.” The distribution has a host of new features, including a new startup screen, the latest GNOME release, pre-installed wiki tool Tomboy, a fresh Mono-based application called F- Spot, and the Firefox 2 browser. Ubuntu also insists that the release has a round of improvements that could prove particularly attractive, such as faster system boot up times, and a shiny new optimized kernel.

The distribution has garnered praise from reviewers like eWeek and PC World, where the latter notes that Ubuntu is the preferred choice for large scale deployments that don’t have support contracts on every machine.

Another reason to watch Ubuntu is its 2007 plans, which include another stable release, Ubuntu 7.04, due to hit in April, as well as a branch designed for development and testing that should appeal to developers.

Ubuntu’s come a long way since it dubbed its initial project “no-name-yet.com.” But still, you have to admit, that’s pretty cute, too. Subsequent names are much more professional, of course, such as “The Hoary Hedgehog,” and “Dapper Drake.”

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