Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 19:05 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Expected, but still insanely cool: Canonical has just announced Ubuntu for phones. This is a new mobile phone operating system, with its own user interface and development platform. It's built around Qt5 and QML, and the interface reminds me of MeeGo on the N9. It's supposed to be on the shelves in early 2014, but the developer preview is out today.
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I've never been convinced its something consumers even want. Its like asking them to pick out a firmware for their Dryer.

Hardware isn't just a shell for the Software inside it, it is a part of the experience. What may make sense for Android, doesn't necessarily make sense for Windows Phone or iOS.

A good example is the Palm Pre, that gesture area below the screen was brilliant, but not really suitable for other OSes who don't bake in support.

HW and SW should be developed closely and in tandem.
As much as some people here bemoan the mobile revolution, it has irreversibly changed the way we see devices.

Where as before PCs were Black (or Beige) boxes which just happened to run Windows (and Linux if you were enterprising), the devices of today are a much more personal, intimate experiences.

I'd much rather OEMs make "Ubuntu", "Sailfish", "Android", and "Windows" phones with their own specific enhancements than try to fit one phone to 4 or 5 OSes.

When almost every "mobile device" released these days is a rehash on the same rectangular touchscreen slab design, I fail to see where OS-hardware integration is supposed to lie, or even where the need for it is.

It seems to me that the requirement to make hardware is only a way to dramatically increase the barrier to entry for new players. With generic computers selling everywhere for a few hundreds of dollars, one shouldn't need billionaires to start an OS business. Besides, reinventing the hardware wheel over and over again because of arbitrary firmware restrictions, while all the interesting parts of computing lie in software, is just a waste of engineering resources.

Edited 2013-01-04 08:24 UTC

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