Smartphones running the open source Ubuntu operating system will be available to customers beginning in October 2013, according to Mark Shuttleworth, founder and CEO of Canonical Ltd.
Canonical provides services for corporate customers using Ubuntu open source software. Application developers will have access to the smartphone operating system, which is optimized for the Galaxy Nexus handset manufactured by Samsung Electronics Co. , in late February.
Ubuntu, a Linux-based operating system used to run servers and other infrastructure in many corporate IT departments, will be available on a full range of devices, including desktop and tablet computers, potentially providing corporate IT executives a way to reduce the number of devices they purchase and manage. The smartphones can be docked to larger displays, wireless connected to keyboards and other peripherals, and have Windows-based applications streamed to them from corporate servers. This would mean users could access all manner of corporate data through a single, pocket-sized device.
But despite its popularity among open source developers, Ubuntu, too, faces significant challenges in penetrating the business smartphone market; one is that many companies now allow employees to use their own smartphones and tablets for work – a trend known as “bring your own device” – and have already adapted to the overwhelming popularity of iOS and Android devices; another is that device choices are largely driven by the number of applications available to users, of which there are very few currently for Ubuntu.
Ubuntu for Phone is just a presentation of a new product, same as Ubuntu for Android and Ubuntu TV, they are being worked on for a future version but at least they have being announced so end users and developers know where Ubuntu is going.
Watch Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth explain Ubuntu’s mobile strategy and what it offers industry partners.