Ubuntu OS launched for smartphones and PCs

Open source software developer Canonical has launched an operating system for both mobile devices and PCs.

Ubuntu 13.10 is the firm’s effort to create OS convergence across all devices and has been hailed by Canonical as the “first true mobile release of Ubuntu”. The firm added that it is working with partners to bring Ubuntu smartphone devices to market in 2014.

“This is a milestone in computing history” said Rick Spencer, who leads Ubuntu’s consumer-facing engineering. “The exact same Ubuntu OS runs on ARM phones and modern HP Moonshot ARM servers, and provides exactly the same capability as x86 platforms. Ubuntu 13.10 is a full server-grade OS that offers a mobile experience and is lean enough to support mobile devices, kicking off a new era in mobile security and computing convergence.”

The OS includes a wide range of mobile apps created by the Ubuntu developer community, including a browser, calendar, clock, weather, and calculator. This release also introduces the full software developer kit (SDK) with a complete set of tools to develop apps for Ubuntu devices, which supports both native and HTML5 development.

“Thanks to our passionate community of early adopters and designers we’ve built a unique experience for end-users and for developers: one UI framework that scales across all the personal computing form factors” added Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical.

In July this year, Canonical announced that African operator group MTN will offer devices running on the OS, after it joined the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group, bringing another 21 countries across the African region into the fold. A number of large operators, including China Unicom, LG UPlus, SK Telecom and Korea Telecom from Asia Pacific and Deutsche Telekom, EE, Telecom Italia and Portugal Telecom from Europe have already signed up.

Also in July, Canonical began crowdfunding for a project to manufacture and launch a high end smartphone that doubles as a PC. The Ubuntu Edge was designed to dual boot both Ubuntu 13.10 as well as Android and while packaged as a smartphone, turns into a desktop PC when connected to a monitor.

However, although the project attracted over $12m – the highest amount ever raised via crowdsourcing site Indiegogo – it fell short of its funding goal of $32m.

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