- The public perception of open source software is changing fast, said Mark Shuttleworth
, who leads distribution of the Ubuntu operating system (OS).
A new version of Ubuntu, a version of the Linux OS, is released on Thursday. Mr Shuttleworth said the success of the Asus Eee PC and the work of the One Laptop Per Child programme had driven awareness of open source.
"There has been a sea change in the way people think of Linux, which is very healthy," he said.
"We have seen a real shift in the last six months from folks seeing open source as either a super-specialist thing for people who run data centres or as an enthusiast thing, to something which is energising a lot of the straight commercial PC industry," said Mr Shuttleworth.
He manages Canonical software, which is the primary sponsor of distribution for Ubuntu, and a key element in the platform's development.
He is also well-known for being the second-ever, self-funded space tourist, travelling to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz spacecraft in 2002.
Mr Shuttleworth said ordinary consumers were beginning to turn to Ubuntu, and to Linux more generally, to improve their daily computing experience.
"If people think of computing...