The Windows MarketPlace is known as the one-stop shop for all your Windows software and hardware needs. Well, for some people it is but I normally never visit the site myself. They do have a nice list of over 5,000 free applications though, and for a little bit Ubuntu was actually one of the offerings.
Yep, you read that right…Ubuntu was being offered as a free download on the Windows Marketplace. How could such a thing happen? The Windows Marketplace indexes several popular download sites for software, and CNet is one of those sites. Someone had actually submitted Ubuntu to CNet as an application that runs on all versions of Windows, and then Windows Marketplace (probably using an automated system) grabbed it from CNet.
If you click on the screenshot to the right you’ll be able to see where I’ve highlighted the system requirements that it listed, as well as the CNet download link in the upper-right corner. Then down towards the bottom you’ll also notice that 10,000+ people had downloaded it, but that is scraped from CNet’s download stats…so we don’t really know how many users Microsoft actually converted to Ubuntu by offering the download.
The page has since been pulled, but not before the Google Cache could grab a snapshot of it. I think this is pretty funny, but it also worries me a little whether anyone downloaded it assuming that this was some sort of application that ran in Windows. I guess if they read the description it would be plenty obvious, but we all know how little people actually like to read.
Thanks for the heads-up Mohan!