Shuttleworth: Ubuntu to come for tablets, smartphones and TVs in 2014
Mark Shuttleworth will reveal Canonical's plans for Ubuntu to run on tablets, smartphones and smart TV sets at the start of the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando, Florida. In an interview before the event, he called it a "natural expansion of our idea as Ubuntu as Linux for human beings", by moving with people from the desktop to the new form factors. He added: "We'll embrace the challenge of how to use Ubuntu on smartphones, tablets and smart-screens."
According to Shuttleworth, the company has been in discussion with partners for eighteen months about the plan. However, it does not expect to deliver a complete, ready-to-go, touch-enabled, ARM and Intel supporting Ubuntu for those devices until Ubuntu 14.04, due April 2014. Asked about this lengthy incubation, he said, "The device world is highly competitive and highly dynamic, while Android and iOS dominate handheld devices, disruptive elements could still establish themselves." He believes that Ubuntu development can be more co-operative with OEMs giving them more control over the development than with companies the size of Google and Microsoft. He sees opportunities from Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which "has shook up the hardware vendors", such that they are looking for non-Android alternatives.