Ubuntu Free CD Shipping (ShipIt) is Discontinued by Canonical

I first heard about Ubuntu, like... 5-6 years ago because of a friend who "had seen" a GNU Linux distribution that ships free CDs all around the world! called Ubuntu. This was the strength of not Ubuntu (at that time nor these days either) but of Canonical (owned by the millionaire Mark Shuttleworth).

At first, they were like crazy to ship CDs. One of my cousins had ordered like 12 or 14 pack of CDs (if I remember correctly) and for his "surprise", he actually received them!. Then after few years Canonical limited the shipping of CDs and brought few restrictions (makes sense), still they continued "shipping".

It's no more ... oh wait, wait!... it is still there... kinda :(

Sadly, yesterday they announced that the free CD shipping program known as the "ShipIt" is no longer active and there won't be any available starting with the Ubuntu 11.04.

What the..., so no CDs... really???

Well, there are these local Ubuntu communities (LoCos) that operates within countries and Canonical says they'll be "helping" them to distribute Ubuntu CD within there domains. And interestingly, they also say that

We will also continue to make the packs available through the store which are sold more or less at cost price (plus shipping)

So if you run a Ubuntu LoCo... then you can apply directly using a form and if chosen by Canonical, your "community" or LoCo will receive free CDs from Ubuntu!. So, no, the "project" isn't quite lost or dead... but somewhat limited.

Interestingly though, larger portion of the money which was used for the "ShipIt" program will be used to promote Ubuntu Cloud network. I have said this before and will say it again, still, average PC users do not benefit hugely from these type of technologies but as the time goes on, in the near future of course this would seriously fasten computer based processing... but I'm one of those guys who always feels a bit threatened by  the idea of "storing" your "data" in someone else "property" even after considering all those "benefits" that they claim you get.

Anyway, it is a good thing to see that free CDs from Ubuntu are still available (even with limited "versions"), but not quite sure the percentage of money Canonical receives from the average users, but using that money to fund something that is not directly beneficial for most of the "average users" seems a bit disrespectful. Oh well... guess this is all about just "doing business" for Canonical anyway.

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