Ubuntu races toward convergence

2013-10-17 14:20
Linux Ubuntu is a viable alternative to users who don't feel comfortable with Microsoft's latest version of Windows. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Linux Ubuntu is a viable alternative to users who don't feel comfortable with Microsoft's latest version of Windows. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Canonical is moving ahead toward the convergence of mobile phone and desktop operating systems with the launch of Ubuntu 13.10 on Thursday.

"The exact same Ubuntu OS runs on ARM phones and modern HP Moonshot ARM servers, and provides exactly the same capability as x86 platforms," said Rick Spencer, who leads Ubuntu's consumer-facing engineering.

Ubuntu is a Linux-based OS and is being driven primarily by South African billionaire entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth.

Spencer said that the OS had the capability to support both high-end computing demands as well as mobile devices.

"Ubuntu 13.10 is a full server-grade OS that offers a mobile experience and is lean enough to support mobile devices, kicking off a new era in mobile security and computing convergence."


Canonical has been driving mobile device convergence and planned to launch an "Ubuntu superphone" by 2014 through a $32m crowd funded platform.

Despite not meeting the funding target, the company is still committed to produce a smartphone, albeit with slightly lower specifications than originally planned.

Canonical released the SDK for Ubuntu recently as a way of getting developers to write apps for the OS, and Ubuntu 13.10 now includes a custom browser, calendar, clock, weather, and calculator applications.

"Thanks to our passionate community of early adopters and designers we've built a unique experience for end-users and for developers: One UI framework that scales across all the personal computing form factors," said Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical.

The OS is already available for Nexus devices, and Canonical promises that the community support is available for users of other devices who wish to try it out.

The convergence of mobile and desktop operating systems is widely expected to occur soon and was the primary driving force for Microsoft to change its posture with the release of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

Declining PC sales and the growth of tablets and smartphones have convinced tech firms that mobile consumption and creation of digital content will drive future decisions.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
Read more on:    mobile  |  computing

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