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January 03, 2013

Canonical Releases Ubuntu OS for Smartphones and Enterprise Market

By Colleen Lynch, TMCnet Contributor

On Wednesday, Canonical announced details on the release of its open-source operating system, Ubuntu (News - Alert), for smartphones.

In addition to the entry-level smartphone market, the Ubuntu system will be targeted toward another audience: the enterprise market.

“We expect Ubuntu to be popular in the enterprise market,” said Canonical’s CEO Jane Silber, adding “Ubuntu is already the most widely used Linux enterprise desktop, with customers in a wide range of sectors focused on security, cost and manageability.”

Silber elaborated on the benefits of the Ubuntu system for both the smartphone and enterprise markets, saying that the system’s aim is “enabling customers to provision a single secure device for all PC, thin client and phone functions.”

Additionally, the Ubuntu operating system is optimized for basic smartphone tasks including phone, SMS and e-mail.

According to Silber, “Ubuntu outperforms thanks to its native core apps and stylish presentation.”

For all Canonical’s confidence in Ubuntu, the system does use HTML5, which Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth admits has limitations. Still, Ubuntu has worked around this.

“We’ve built a native app development environment for the phone,” said Shuttleworth. “It uses QML to give you a really slick, easy development experience for touch apps that can have their engine written in C or C++ and also use Javascript for some of the UI glue that isn't performance critical,” he explained.

Ubuntu brings a score of innovative features to the table, including the ability to swipe the edges of the screen for additional phone functions--as Shuttleworth puts it, this capability makes an Ubuntu UI “the first phone that uses every edge of the screen, [and] each edge has specific purposes.”

The inspiration for translating Ubuntu to the smartphone and enterprise markets came from a need to break boundaries.

“Our mission is to make something extraordinary; something that has never existed before,” said Shuttleworth. “One platform for all kinds of computing; your phone, tablet, desktop, and TV, and of course, the cloud, and your personal computer.”

The system is optimized for Android (News - Alert), and in its creation used “Android kernels and Android drivers, so if your hardware works with Android, it will also work with Ubuntu,” Shuttleworth explained.

Canonical has the QML toolkit for Ubuntu and a sample application available for download at this link, and a full demonstration of the Ubuntu phone will debut at Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) in Barcelona in February.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.




Edited by Brooke Neuman
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