Will Ubuntu Make Us Use Our Phones as Desktops?

Sections: Mobile, Smartphones

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BBC News reported yesterday on the Ubuntu operating system coming to smartphones. Several analysts questioned whether users will go for it, which I find to be a valid question.

While smartphone screens are getting larger and processors are getting more powerful, operating desktop applications on a smartphone screen can be cumbersome at best. I’ve tried logging into client’s computers using Team Viewer HD and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Everything looked squashed. Scrolling was intermittent and text was tiny enough to benefit from a magnifying glass. I can only imagine the experience on a smartphone, even one as large and powerful as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which is the first phone the Ubuntu operating system will be ported to.

Apparently app developers are going to be asked to create with a phone’s screen and processor in mind, but do we need to fragment the app world even more? iOS, Android, Windows and now Ubuntu? (Not to mention Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet.)

I’m not convinced the demand is going to be large enough, soon enough for developers to tackle yet one more operating system.

Canonical, the London-based firm behind this project, will be showcasing phones running the software at CES in Las Vegas next week. I’ll be interested to see what people think when they actually see and play with them.

Anyone want to disagree? Is there a market for this that the analysts and I are overlooking?

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  • James

    Ubuntu has never been mainstream OS, so to compare it to Apple or Android is unfair. That being said there are approximately 20 million Ubuntu users, making it a large enough niche for a small company with relatively little overhead to do really well by serving that niche.

    • Juli Monroe

      I guess it will all depend on how many of those 20 million also want to use it on their phone or other mobile device. I’m guessing that percentage will be much smaller, but we’ll have to see.

  • Dannelle

    I have to agree. I thought people were having enough troubles with the Android market.