"In a very real sense, everything is becoming software," said Shuttleworth. "There have never been better opportunities to create wealth, better opportunities to change the world."
Recent wealth creators such as Google have been built on free software, Shuttleworth said. Free software, meanwhile, is "the ultimate form of disclosure" and serves as an engine for innovation.
"The question we should be asking the free software world is how can we stimulate that? How can we drive innovation faster," said Shuttleworth.
Shuttleworth also promoted the notion of cadence in free software releases. "The idea of establishing a regular rhythm or regular, predictable release schedule for free software is, I think, gaining prominence," and helps to stimulate the free software development process, he said.
Society, he said, needs a "pipeline of innovation." A free software platform must be made accessible and architected for innovation, Shuttleworth said. The Firefox platform for instance, has been effectively made a platform for innovation through extensions and plug-ins, he said.
Linux, Shuttleworth said, must link up with Windows. He stressed his belief that "Linux is the platform of the future. But I think it's essential that we learn how to work with Windows."
Extensible software must work across both platforms, said Shuttleworth.
Shuttleworth also asked how free software changes the perception of software methodologies. He suggested extending agile programming. "If I look at the innovation story, the methodology story, the common thread on both of those to me is collaboration and participation," said Shuttleworth.
At Ubuntu, there is a goal of enabling people to make changes and build a community around changes, with nobody having to ask permission to participate.