Canonical Ltd. has created and continues to back several projects. Principally these are free and open-source software (FOSS) or tools designed to improve collaboration between free software developers and contributors. Some projects require a Contributor License Agreement to be signed.
Mark Shuttleworth (standing) and other Canonical employees discuss Launchpad at a design sprint in Germany
In 2007, Canonical launched an International online shop selling support services and Ubuntu-branded goods; later in 2008 it expanded that with a United States-specific shop designed to reduce shipment times. At the same time, the word Ubuntu was trademarked in connection with clothing and accessories.
In a Guardian interview in May 2008, Shuttleworth said that Canonical's business model was service provision and that Canonical was not yet close to profitability. Canonical stated that it would wait three to five years to become profitable. Shuttleworth regarded Canonical as positioning itself as demand for services related to free software rose. This strategy has been compared to Red Hat's business strategies in the 1990s. In an early 2009, New York Times article, Shuttleworth said that Canonical's revenue was "creeping" towards US$30 million, the company's break-even point.
Canonical achieved a small operating profit of $281,000 in 2009, however until 2017 it struggled to maintain financial solvency and took a major financial hit from the development of Unity and Ubuntu Touch, leading to an operating loss of $21.6 Million for the fiscal year 2013. The company reported an operating profit of $2 Million in 2017 after shutting down the Unity development team and laying off nearly 200 employees. The company now plans to focus on its server and professional support solutions, which have proved to be most profitable. By shifting resources away from Ubuntu Desktop and cutting less profitable products and services, Canonical plans to maintain solvency and achieve long-term profitability.
^"Company no. 110334C". The Isle of Man Companies Registry. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2005. [ Previous names: ] M R S VIRTUAL DEVELOPMENT LIMITED [ Name type: ] PREVIOUS
^UK registered trademark #EU004059218 "CANONICAL", filed 29 September 2004.
^ ab"About Canonical". Canonical Ltd. Retrieved 2012-08-20. We've come a long way since our launch in 2004. We now have over 800 staff in more than 42 countries, and offices in London, Austin, Boston, Taipei, Montreal, Shanghai, São Paulo and the Isle of Man.
^UK registered trademark #EU004059119 "UBUNTU", filed 29 September 2004.
^UK registered trademark #EU005152467 "BAZAAR", filed 21 June 2006.
^UK registered trademark #EU005152418 "LANDSCAPE", filed 21 June 2006, published 6 August 2007.
^"Canonical launches U.S.-based shop.ubuntu.com in time for holiday season". Ubuntu Insights. Canonical Ltd. 20 November 2008. Retrieved 2015-06-28. Canonical launched today an U.S.-based on-line shop for Ubuntu-branded merchandise and software. With a new fulfillment house in St. Louis, Missouri, shipments are faster and less expensive for Ubuntu users and enthusiasts in the U.S
^"Ubuntu for Android". Canonical Ltd. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012. We have over 500 staff in more than 30 countries, with offices in London, Boston, Taipei, Montreal, Shanghai, and São Paulo.
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