This proposal follows a suggestion that I made on Twitter, to which @popey responded, that I think Ubuntu 20.04 LTS provides a window of opportunity to once again put Ubuntu in the limelight as a good alternative to Windows or Mac OS X for regular desktop users and enthusiasts (be they gamers, or artists, or just people who want to watch Netflix or YouTube, etc.).
Ever since Canonical gave up on Unity 7 and 8, they seem to have given up on the regular desktop user altogether. Which is a shame, because in all those previous years Canonical and the Ubuntu community have been able to, patiently and conscientiously, break into the desktop market, leading to companies like Steam, Dell, a.o. to start developing for the Linux desktop. We also had merchandise, like cups, mousepads, computer mice, T-shirts that were prominently promoted to make you feel part of a community of enthusiastic Linux users.
It would be a shame to throw all of this away.
Today, when one wants to download Ubuntu on a USB, it is quite hard to find the relevant links. It is tucked away behind a page that says: Ubuntu for developers. (See picture.)
What I would like to propose we, or Canonical, do for 20.04 LTS is:
Provide a separate menu item on Ubuntu’s homepage to ‘Desktop’, next to ‘Enterprise’ and ‘Developers’;
Put Ubuntu Desktop features for regular computer users (like gaming, video editing, etc.) again prominently on this page, together with clear download links;
Maybe provide links to the Snap Store and to OEM manufacturers like Dell and System76, where potential users can buy Ubuntu machines from;
In a later stage, a new link to some basic merchandise might reappear? I know there isn’t an official merchandise store anymore (BTW: the link to ‘Merchandise’ on the Canonical site is still there, but it leads to nowhere), but I remember seeing official Ubuntu T-shirts somewhere? Maybe a link can be provided to an external ®etailer?
I don’t know who is the official website’s maintainer; perhaps (s)he can provide some feedback to start off the discussion?
I agree in stressing how important this is; and now that proper GPU drivers are included on the ISO it’s a golden opportunity to shine a light on just how easy it is to install Ubuntu and start playing/designing right away for people who are into those things.
@TonyS thanks for proposing some changes to the ubuntu.com/desktop section. We currently are doing minor updates for non-LTS releases and full section updates for the LTS. With Ubuntu 20.04 LTS coming up soon, this is helpful.
First of all, in no way have we given up on the desktop. We are all big fans and users. And the desktop section hasn’t really changed shape much over the past 5+ years or so. Also, we do link to the downloads a lot and the snap store. But, you are right about the merchandise, but that’s more complicated and we are looking at how we could start that again.
Links to OEM and retail partners would be good, we still link to the partner’s website, but the programmes don’t mesh-up well with desktop providors, so we should look at that.
Some suggestions (and partially in line with the suggestions made)
The links on the home page are a bit confusing in that they seem to target very specific groups, rather than products. So as of now there is no clear ‘desktop’ link on the site. In that sense you could consider have the split between ‘products’(e.g. Ubuntu server, desktop, core, snap, blabla) and ‘industries’ (or some better label) (such as ‘enterprise’, ‘developer’, ‘consumer’)
On the desktop page self: 1) showcase relevant apps so that users know whats available (e.g. the bit thats now under features), 2) showcase the ease of use, e.g. by including videos and/or links thereto, 3) highlight that users can do (most) things Windows/Mac users do as well: browsing, using cloud tools, gaming (e.g. through steam), office stuffs, communication, etc.
The current arguments and headers (complete, secure, open source, accessible) might not be compelling enough for the average person (and/or developer) who is probably interested in: a) every day use, b) Apps, c) ease of use and d) migration from another platform