Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonical and the very popular Ubuntu Linux operating system, has challenged developers to improve the GUI of Linux to surpass Apple in looks. At a recent conference he stated that he wants Linux to actually reach the status of being art. He also states in an article that:

“There is an emerging emphasis on services – that is the engine to invest in free software applications,” he said. “We [Canonical] are hiring guys to work on the desktop… the rationale is online services. This must be a shared platform.”

According to Shuttleworth, open source provides unparalleled opportunities to generate wealth and create change through innovation. He supported open-source projects like Firefox, which rely on plug-ins to harness other people’s ideas and extend the underlying platform.

He warned that a few challenges exist on the road to greater innovation, wealth and social change via open source.

He also stated that this needed to be done within the next two years. So what do you think? Can open source catch up with Apple? Is pretty what Linux needs to become popular?

Comments welcome.