Lay your bets on the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (lucid lynx) trend spike

The Ubuntu world is gearing up for the release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (lucid lynx) next month, and I suspect (or at least dearly hope) Canonical is lining up the ducks for something of a marketing blitz once it lands. As always, I’ve been hugging the bleeding edge during the development period, and am enjoying most* of the changes. It’s shaping up to be a fantastic release, for both desktop and server.

A simple — and importantly, public — interest metric that I’ve enjoyed in the past is Google Trends, and in particular, building a comparison between the major distros. It gives you a nice feel for the history of Ubuntu releases, press coverage and growing interest in the platform.

In terms of past performance, 7.10 and 9.10 have enjoyed the biggest spikes (against background noise of the time), while 8.04 LTS and 9.10 look pretty even as the highest peaks. It’s encouraging to see that 9.10 did so well.

But I wonder… how “big” will the 10.04 LTS release be? How much interest will it generate? How will the search and news spikes compare to previous releases?

Canonical has every reason to roll out the red carpet for this release, making a big deal of the release itself (Long Term Support, headline features, new theme and branding), launching new services (such as Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud support and the Ubuntu One music store), complementary announcements from partners, etc.

So… How big do you think the 10.04 LTS spike will be? Lay your bets in the comments. Just name a multiplier against the 7.04 spike — sitting at an even 2.0 on the search volume chart above — and by July we’ll see who nailed it! 🙂

Update: Fixed the Red Hat chart, thanks to David in the comments.

* They’re doing stupid shit with GNOME again, but they’ll grow out of the “differentiation means dicking with everything”, “design by finger-painting fiat” and “working with upstream is hard, let’s go shopping” stuff eventually. If Red Hat can see the light, surely Canonical can.

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