Ubuntu, the distribution which made Linux sexy for desktops, is contemplating a mobile entry. May be contemplating isn’t the right word because, Canonical, Ubuntu’s holding company is thinking about it for more than 18 months. It has been in talks for potential partnerships.
Ubuntu is a Linux distribution which brought a great deal of simplicity to Linux installations. Ubuntu has shown how a Linux distribution can be brought to the masses, a problem plagued Linux distributions for a very long time.
What does Ubuntu’s mobile entry mean?
A competition to Android of course. Not just Android but for both Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone. More than Windows and iOS, Ubuntu can relate itself better with Android, which again is built on top of a Linux kernel.
You may well ask, “How can Ubuntu expect to grab market-share in a world where Android and Apple’s iOS are already so strong?” So, I asked Shuttleworth. He replied, “The device world is highly competitive and highly dynamic, while Android and iOS dominate handheld devices, disruptive elements could still establish themselves.” Therefore, “Ubuntu and Windows can still be a real force.”
Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical founder, is also betting the potential of Google’s Motorola acquisition driving away manufacturers in search of a real open alternative.
Don’t expect the OS to be available anytime soon. First developer tablets and smartphones won’t be out until the second part of 2012.
Is there room for another mobile player?
iOS is a good closed system with full vertical integration. But it’s limited in its spread because of the high cost of devices. Android is a good attempt at an open system. But it is plagued with fragmentation issues which Google doesn’t yet know how to handle.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone is warming up as a closed system with a licensing model. Though there’s no dearth of new mobile OS’s being announced like the Mozilla’s Boot 2 Gecko. In spite a tough competition, Ubuntu has a real chance to bring disruption to the mobile OS market as it did with the desktops.