A new challenger appears: Ubuntu bound for smartphones in 2014
Targeting native and HTML5 apps
With an ideal of bringing the mobile and tablet markets closer to that of the PC, Canonical has announced it's working on a version of Ubuntu for smartphones set to launch in 2014.
The company claims the Linux-based OS will be designed to run on both high and low-end devices, supporting native app platforms as well as web-based or HTML5 releases.
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"We expect Ubuntu to be popular in the enterprise market, enabling customers to provision a single secure device for all PC, thin client and phone functions," said CEO Jane Silber.
"Ubuntu is already the most widely used Linux enterprise desktop, with customers in a wide range of sectors focused on security, cost and manageability.
"We also see an opportunity in basic smartphones that are used for the phone, SMS, web and email, where Ubuntu outperforms thanks to its native core apps and stylish presentation."
Key to Canonical's approach is a willingness to allow carriers and OEMs to personalise devices running the platform in a similar manner to Android – branding devices in their own colours and offering their own services.
But it's a desire to deliver the same user experience across PCs and phones that appears to be Canonical's main motivation, with Ubuntu founder and VP of products at Canonical Mark Shuttleworth criticising platform holders for dividing their services.
Ubuntu on mobile, it's claimed, will allow Canonical to offer a "single operating system for client, server and cloud, and a unified family of interfaces for the phone, the PC and the TV."
"We are defining a new era of convergence in technology, with one unified operating system that underpins cloud computing, data centers, PCs and consumer electronics," concluded Shuttleworth.
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