Podio sees surprisingly high Ubuntu numbers, delivers One integration

The Citrix-owned enterprise collaboration platform Podio is keen to plug into as many other platforms as it can. That’s why it’s already integrated access to Google Docs, ShareFiles and Dropbox files, and why it’s just done the same for Ubuntu One.

As this post from the company’s blog puts it, Ubuntu One is “the hot newcomer” in the world of file-sharing services. And Podio’s integration makes it an even more viable option for business users – you can add Ubuntu One files to Podio App items or Tasks, and share them in messages and status updates.

But wait – let’s not put the cart before the horse. Copenhagen-based Podio is only doing this because of Ubuntu One’s popularity. And the surprising thing is how popular demand was.

Remember here that Linux’s share of the general desktop market is around 1.4 percent, or at least it was back in January.

“So 10 percent of our users are using Ubuntu to access Podio – which is surprisingly high we think,” a Podio spokesperson tells me. “Also, supporting Ubuntu has been on the product roadmap for a couple years over here, so we hear the request often, more so after the launch of Ubuntu One.”

To help put this into further perspective, or possibly to confuse matters: Ubuntu One can be used on Windows, iOS, Android and even Mac these days (and Linux, obviously); and only 40 percent of Ubuntu users use Ubuntu One (at least, that’s what one survey said in April).

10 percent. That is indeed surprising, especially given that Ubuntu had supposedly lost its sheen for Linux aficionados. But 10 percent of what?

Podio’s spokesperson told me that the company has been referring to a 40,000-organization-strong user base for “far too long”, and is indeed gearing up to reveal updated figures that are “certainly much higher”.

So that’s a reasonably sizeable set we’re looking at. Until Podio revises its user numbers, it’s impossible to clearly say how many of those organizations are toting Ubuntu, but it’s a heck of a lot more than I expected.

What should we read into this? Not too much. This is one figure from one service provider, and there’s probably an explanation that’s not been not considered. I have no idea what that might be (suggestions are welcome), but it is so very unlikely that Linux – nay, a single Linux distro – is responsible for 10 percent of a fairly major collaboration platform’s user base.

As for Ubuntu One, maybe the service is a dark horse. Over time, it’s acquired many features that you’d associate with iCloud or Google’s synchronization services. It’s really not there yet – contact synchronization is a bust – but it could be, given a bit more time. Who knows: if we hear more figures like this, it could be a contender.