With Canonical finding partners to ship GNU/Linux smartphones, this species could be over the threshold to yet more advances in mobile IT. I expect native code will give GNU/Linux some advantage in performance and being closer to GNU/Linux should give a truly multi-user/multi-tasking OS experience to users. Properly exploited and advertised, GNU/Linux could be the next big thing in mobile technology. Finally, Canonical may have a real use for their silly-on-the-desktop user-interface where people search for everything. That makes sense on a small screen.
“The mobile industry has long been looking for a viable alternative to those that reign today. Ubuntu puts the control back into the hands of our partners and presents an exciting platform for consumers, delivering an experience which departs from the tired app icon grid of Android and iOS and provides a fluid, content-rich experience for all.”If Shuttleworth has been wrong about a few things around desktop GNU/Linux lately, he may be onto something good here. Google has promoted Android/Linux successfully for its own purposes. Mobile devices certainly could use some competition. Apple does not even try to compete on the low end and M$ can’t compete anywhere. The ability of GNU/Linux to run Android/Linux and its apps as well as GNU/Linux utilities like browsers and editors could be a powerful tool for OEMs to distinguish themselves in a bland market. Mobility is growing quickly now but competition is already fierce. If these first tentative steps succeed, the second wave of mobility could well be accelerating adoption of GNU/Linux on a scale of a higher order of magnitude than we have seen so far rather than just replacement cycling of Android/Linux systems.