Clearly, a computer running Ubuntu is great. How much greater and more revolutionary would it be if Ubuntu offered a seamlessly integrated, comprehensive set of web services?
Similar to Apple's .Mac (previously iTools) but free and open source, .Ubuntu is a suite of internet services for Ubuntu users, such as IMAP/POP email (@ubuntu.com), Jabber, web storage, calendar service, synchronization or backup service, software profiling, integrated desktop sharing/live support infrastructure, with automated configuration of the desktop to utilize these features. Upon installing Ubuntu, the user would be allowed to sign up for .Ubuntu or enter a .Ubuntu user name and password to log into the service. Once logged in, the user can use the .Ubuntu features on the desktop and through a web interface.
I think this would really enhance the sense of community and the sense of polish, especially for new users. Essentially, after an easy install and .Ubuntu sign-up, the new user could open Evolution and begin sending emails immediately, or open Gaim with their automatically configured Jabber account, etc.
A "meta-feature" like this would require lots of bandwidth and lots of disk space. Maybe we could distribute it by allowing Ubuntu server users to donate disk and bandwidth. Desktop users could donate too, but this seems like it would require too much redundancy. Or, perhaps, Ubuntu enterprise clients could donate bandwidth and disk.
Comment: I see no reason why this service has to be free/gratis. Providing the bandwidth, support staff, etc. is going to cost money and this is an excellent way for Canonical to get some revenue to ensure future free releases of Ubuntu.
- Release free operating system with free basic update facilities.
- Provide a reasonably priced but still pay-for service for online storage, picture sharing, backups, email web space, etc.
However, unlike .Mac, which is entirely proprietary, Ubuntu is free software, allowing the user to substitute the pay-for service with alternative services. Most users would still use .Ubuntu since it is less hassle and presumably "Just Works[tm]".
People that do not want to pay any money can donate their own time and effort for this.
This are concept images created by an anonymous user
Concept: Online Printing
Concept: Online Printing 2
Concept: Remote Network
Concept: Remote Network 2