Ubuntu Announces Plans for a Mobile Operating System
In collaboration with Intel, Ubuntu plans to develop a mobile version of its popular operating system. Although all details are sketchy at this point, and in fact plans are currently being worked out at the Ubuntu developer’s summit, it appears that Intel may be designing a mobile internet device, using Nokia wireless technology, and running this new operating system. Little is known, or for that matter decided, at this point as to the details of this new operating system, specifically what devices it will be compatible with, but it appears it will bring the famous GNOME desktop environment to handheld computers. To the delight of Linux enthusiasts everywhere, Open Source software may finally be finding its way into the world of mobile computing.
In case you haven’t heard of it, Ubuntu is a popular distribution of the Linux operating system. It is designed with usability in mind, and is aimed at average users rather than geeks, who make up the vast majority of Linux users. As is the case with all versions of Linux, Ubuntu is Open Source, meaning that it is a collaborative effort, and that it is entirely available free of charge. This means that unlike commercial software, which makes up the vast majority of what we use, individual users are free to mess with the source code, and make any modifications they see fit. Through internet forums, these philanthropic nerds can coordinate their efforts and create new and improved versions of software which, in general, tend to be far better written and far less buggy than their commercial counterparts. And, for the end user, they are entirely free. In fact, Ubuntu takes this concept so seriously that it is willing to ship free CDs of its operating system to anyone who is interested. If you are interested, check out www.ubuntulinux.com.
This Mobile Ubuntu will be Open Source’s first foray into the world of mobile technology, a world which, at this point, is small and dominated by few companies. The new Ubuntu Mobile will really be up against Windows Mobile, which is currently the only major advanced mobile operating system on the market. Ubuntu will likely prove to be a major competitor, fueled by the simplicity of mobile devices, a factor which will further eliminate the technical know-how needed to run the operating system. Further spurred by the release of Ubuntu-specific mobile devices, the release of this new operating system will likely be quite successful.