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Ubuntu Heads To Smartphones, and Tablets

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the have-another-option dept.

Cellphones 281

First time accepted submitter GuerillaRadio writes "Mark Shuttleworth is to announce that Canonical will be taking Ubuntu Linux to smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando, FL starting today. Shuttleworth said, 'This is a natural expansion of our idea as Ubuntu as Linux for human beings. As people have moved from desktop to new form factors for computing, it's important for us to reach out to our community on these platforms. So, we'll embrace the challenge of how to use Ubuntu on smartphones, tablets and smart-screens.'"

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Good (2)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894720)

Having a tablet oriented linux distro is going to open up the linux market. Ubuntu has a reputation for working out of the box, let's see if they can keep it with such unusual hardware.

Re:Good (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894766)

Having a tablet oriented linux distro is going to open up the linux market. Ubuntu has a reputation for working out of the box, let's see if they can keep it with such unusual hardware.

So we can look forward to the "year of Linux on the Tablet" just after the "year of Linux on the Desktop"?

The Difference (3, Insightful)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894800)

Microsoft doesn't have a monopoly there. That's the big difference. They're competing mainly with Apple/Google, and I think they can take them on.

Re:The Difference (3, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894846)

Microsoft doesn't have a monopoly there. That's the big difference. They're competing mainly with Apple/Google, and I think they can take them on.

You might be right, but Apple has proved to be as unscrupulous as Microsoft. Expect all the ridiculous patents (e.g looks like a tablet) that they have used against Android to be used against Ubuntu.

Re:The Difference (1, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895872)

Microsoft doesn't have a monopoly there. That's the big difference. They're competing mainly with Apple/Google, and I think they can take them on.

You might be right, but Apple has proved to be as unscrupulous as Microsoft. Expect all the ridiculous patents (e.g looks like a tablet) that they have used against Android to be used against Ubuntu.

Do you think we can let this meme just drop off into the sludge pit of dumb rants? Apple is going after Samsung using design patents [wikimedia.org] this is a slightly different concept that the 'standard' patent for an 'invention'. The Apple / Samsung case is about quite a bit more than a rounded rectangle. It IS a dumb thing, rather like Pepsi making a glass bottle that looked like the canonical (and patented) Coke Bottle but with sharper flutes or whatever but Apple DIDN'T patent rounded rectangles. Apple didn't patent tablets.

Channel your AppleHate(TM) [talkandroid.com] somewhere else. /end rant

Re:The Difference (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895086)

Microsoft doesn't have a monopoly there. That's the big difference. They're competing mainly with Apple/Google, and I think they can take them on.

No, only:
- A long history of locked down devices
- A lot of custom hardware on each phone/tablet
- No tradition for dual boot
- Covered by a ton of silly software patents

Just look at how many problems Linux has had, and still to some degree has, with basic functionality even on fairly standard desktop gear. Like sound, network, wifi, suspend/resume, bluetooth, power management and so on. Now try this in the phone/tablet world where a lot of the hardware is used exactly once in one generation and there's lots of magic values and toggles. I predict the YotLT is even further away than the YotLD.

Re:The Difference (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895534)

Linux doesn't have a history of competing with any corporation in any consumer market.

Re:The Difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37895786)

Likewise they aren't dealing with the inertia people exhibit around the operating systems they believe they've already learned to use.

Re:The Difference (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895820)

I dont.

It's not the OS that drives Tablet popularity and sales figures. IT's the Apps available.
Honestly a Ubuntu tablet will be a failure. Unless they can crank out 200,000+ free useful apps overnight.

Re:Good (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894876)

So we can look forward to the "year of Linux on the Tablet" just after the "year of Linux on the Desktop"?

Unix already owns the tablet market, and Android is Linux with a non-standard user space. I'm not entirely sure how Ubuntu think they'll compete with Android when it's already free*, though.

* - assuming you don't pay the Microsoft tax.

Re:Good (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894926)

Perhaps that's exactly it: Unlike Android, Ubuntu has never been subject to a Microsoft tax.

Re:Good (1)

anonymov (1768712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895464)

Well, with MS going after manufacturers, not Google and asserting patents like [technet.com]

â Give people easy ways to navigate through information provided by their device apps via a separate control window with tabs;

â Enable display of a webpageâ(TM)s content before the background image is received, allowing users to interact with the page faster;

â Allow apps to superimpose download status on top of the downloading content;

â Permit users to easily select text in a document and adjust that selection; and

â Provide users the ability to annotate text without changing the underlying document.

I wouldn't be surprised if they started harassing Ubuntu phones producers if/when it becomes popular enough to threaten wp8.

Re:Good (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895032)

Android isn't free if you want your device to access the Market - which most smart OEM's do.

Re:Good (1)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895128)

It's... complicated.

In a practical sense, you can run a free Android distro on your smartphone, install the non-free Google app bundle, and have access to the market.

What makes this OK, I'd like to understand. Perhaps that the handset vendor has already paid the license? Or that Google is turning a blind eye?

Re:Good (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895248)

It's... complicated.

In a practical sense, you can run a free Android distro on your smartphone, install the non-free Google app bundle, and have access to the market.

What makes this OK, I'd like to understand. Perhaps that the handset vendor has already paid the license? Or that Google is turning a blind eye?

I think that google turns a blind eye to individual users

Re:Good (1)

davetv (897037) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895686)

Thinking here : Is Canonical approaching an "Ubuntu Market" concept. I can't see why not. Free software (read FREE as in GNU) + any mix of non-free apps. Canonical is already playing with a cloud computing "user space" - how might this evolve and come into play over time. Canonical has a small revenue stream compared to user-base so attaching a user-base in the tablet/smartphone market might just be the catalyst to push the company forward into much higher revenue streams. I think good move for Canonical as a company myself - not unexpected.

Re:Good (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895110)

I'm not entirely sure how Ubuntu think they'll compete with Android when it's already free*, though.

The same way they "competed" with Vista on the desktop with the Walmart $200 Ubuntu PC. Too many returns.
The same way they "competed" with Windows with those Dell consumer laptops running Ubuntu ... 30% return rates suck [laptopmag.com] . Ended up being replaced by the aging XP.
The same way they "compete" with Amazon's cloud service (hint - they don't - they use Amazon's EC2 cloud service).
The same way they "compete" with Apple and Microsoft right now - oh wait - they can't even GIVE it away.
Ubuntu is shuttleworth-speak for "make a big announcement, then nothing much happens, then move on to the next Oh shiny!"

The TV and blu-ray manufacturers already have their own customized distros. Nobody's going to switch from Android to a distro that has a history of breaking something important on every update.

Re:Good (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895382)

The same way they "competed" with Windows with those Dell consumer laptops running Ubuntu ... 30% return rates suck. Ended up being replaced by the aging XP.

Do you have a source that actually says what you claim, unlike the one you linked to? It said return rates were 4 times higher, but I really doubt 30%/4 = 7.5% of all their laptops are returned. That seems to me an absurdly high number.

Re:Good (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895888)

Look around - it's been mentioned elsewhere. One retailer reported 20% [techradar.com] ... and at that point, not all returns had come back ... and it doesn't include people who were upgraded for a fee to XP to resolve their complaints (and if you check around, many users did the upgrade themselves rather than fight with the vendor).

This was happening at the same time as Ubuntu was falsely claiming that return rates were in line with netbooks with XP installed.

As for overall netbook returns, they ARE high. People get disappointed, realize that for $100 or so more they can get a real laptop, and bring it back within the 2 week return period. Or they figure it's not worth the hassle, and "gift" the netbook to someone in the family. It's one reason why the netbook market started its' collapse - prices of laptops dropped by more than half in just a couple of years. Now it continues to collapse because tablets and smartphones are much more capable than a crapbook.

Re:Good (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895410)

Well, linux actually has a shot here, and a good one. We have intel with meego, ubuntu with... umm, community(?) and android is technically linux (not really, it's just embedded OS but still).

I suppose with a bit of stretching of the facts you can say that linux is very well off in tablet world.

Freedom of choice. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37895864)

So we can look forward to the "year of Linux on the Tablet" just after the "year of Linux on the Desktop"?

What's great about open source is choice. Users can have as much source code as they want, and in as many versions as they want. There are apps to do everything. With just a little more tweaking, everything can work.

Several versions of xBSD, each in several distros. Dozens of distros of Linux, each with several versions. And millions of apps, which will work on one of these OS's.

It's very similar to politics. There are two big main choices which are for rent for a time, and will do a few jobs, or favors. Outside those, there's millions of options.

Re:Good (1)

CalcProgrammer1 (1163305) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895920)

We already have that, Android has been selling competitively with Apple for a while now, and it is built around Linux. Having a standard GNOME userspace on top of Linux would be awesome though. I just don't trust Ubuntu to create new UI's anymore after what happened with 11.10.

Unity's table look and feel (1)

kkruecke (540019) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894734)

No we know why Unity looks the way it does.

Re:Unity's table look and feel (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895064)

Learn how to type you moron.

Re:Unity's table look and feel (3, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895078)

I thought it was just a half-assed imitation of OS X with the dock moved over to the left side and inconsistent application menus. Unlike Gnome3, it doesn't seem like something that would work on a tablet (nor anywhere else). I'd like a Gnome3 version of the Asus Eeee Pad Transformer.

Re:Unity's table look and feel (2)

lee n. field (750817) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895096)

No we know why Unity looks the way it does.

Absolutely. Big mushy buttons, lots of clicks (or finger mashing) to get to anything not on the launch bar.

From what I've seen, ditto for Gnome 3. My first thought on getting that up was "this is made for a tablet".

I actually do work with my Linux box. I'm disinclined migrate to someone else's idea of how I ought to work with my computer, every six months.

Re:Unity's table look and feel (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895834)

Yeah. Gnome3's no winner either. Both appear to be designed for tablets, and phones, and ONLY for tablets and phones.

spread the pain (1, Funny)

sproketboy (608031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894740)

to other platforms. Good.

Re:spread the pain (1)

mvar (1386987) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895492)

Smartphones & tablets? Oh they better have good lawyers

A use for Unity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894756)

Finally, a use for Unity!

Perhaps they should also try a system for Desktops where the system is usable with a keyboard too? :-)

In all seriousness, this sounds quite interesting and hopefully will help shove down the prices of hardware. Not sure how it would, but here's hoping!

Re:A use for Unity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894854)

hopefully will help shove down the prices of hardware

Not going to happen. Microsoft will make sure of that with their FUD-patents extortion racket.

This is clearly what he was always planning... (3, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894758)

...since Unity has made Ubuntu completely suck on anything with a mouse and keyboard.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894842)

...since Unity has made Ubuntu completely suck on anything with a mouse and keyboard.

It's not bad on a netbook where you don't have much screen space to waste. It does suck on a laptop or desktop with a big screen, though.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37895124)

Nope. It sucks on a netbook too.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895530)

Agree. The non-configurable key bindings completely screwed up my workflow. I installed Mint instead. I know I could have chosen a Gnome session rather than Unity, but whatever. Mint looks better, and doesn't force a crappy non-configurable launcher. I'm currently quite liking the Gnome DockBarX plugin.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (1)

ChrisMP1 (1130781) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895456)

I've always just used fast, small WMs on netbooks. Currently mine runs IceWM. I've happily used Fluxbox and a fairly stripped-down GNOME 2 on it as well. Just make the panel nice and small (I fucking hate autohide...) and you're set.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894848)

Much like Microsoft and Metro. Tablet and PC interfaces just arn't the same - what works on one is painful on the other. Apple hasn't even tried to make the iOS and OSX interfaces look similar.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895012)

Metro doesn't violate fundamental human-computer interaction concepts, though. It seems like it was used/tested by actual human beings, unlike Unity.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37895172)

You know, I can't figure out why Unity exists. For all the inevitable bitching and moaning, Gnome 3 has worked really well (for me, of course). The whole left edge of the screen is safe, with just the top left corner being hot. I get immediate typing filters there an a launcher that scales in a sane way. Most important, window and workspace management is the best I've ever seen... which is a big deal to me.

But then you have Unity, which is like an intentionally shitty hack of gnome 3. I just don't understand why they did it.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895898)

try using it on a laptop with a synaptics touchpad.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895468)

Which doesn't make it any better unfortunately. Metro's sole purpose is to streamline phone and PC interface, so that MS can market "exactly same interface for both smartphones and desktop, you don't have to learn new interface!".

Marketing-wise it's a genius move. As a PC power user though, it's going to be shit for me because I don't want a forced tablet interface (start menu at least), hell I don't even like wizard menus of 7. And there is no option to downgrade to XP/classic 95 style menus even in 7 without installing third party stuff like classic shell.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895626)

You don't have to use Metro EXCEPT on the portables/tablets/phones, which is expected. You can switch back to the fully supported and upgraded 7/classic explorer-style desktop in just a couple of clicks, and there will likely be a way to choose to sign into it in the first place. You don't need to download or install anything - though, of course, if you want the good old gray menu you'll have to do a bit of work, but it's the same as 7 in that regard. What I was talking about is things like "x amount of clicks for common task Y" and "amount of switching between tasks and mental operators/operations required to do so" and "distance needed for mouse movement to do common process Q" and things like that. A lot of it is common sense and MS seems to follow it (which should be expected) but Unity is outright hostile towards the idea of making the user experience painless.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895742)

Which doesn't make it any better unfortunately. Metro's sole purpose is to streamline phone and PC interface, so that MS can market "exactly same interface for both smartphones and desktop, you don't have to learn new interface!".

Come on guys.. this isnt rocket science.. the strategy is plain as day, but you dont seem to have a clue what it is.
Metro's only purpose is to populate Microsofts app store with lots of apps so that their mobile offering dont lack the one thing that mobile users require.. a well-stocked app store.

geeesh...

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (3, Informative)

Bill Hayden (649193) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895036)

Apple hasn't even tried to make the iOS and OSX interfaces look similar.

I have to assume that was a joke, or else you haven't used Lion yet.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894870)

Exactly.

But one can install KUbuntu instead. KDE 4.7 is slick, the best mouse/keyboard oriented desktop I've seen so far.

It's too bad that Unity is the bloody *default* thing people get on desktops. It should be the default on mobile devices. The desktop default should not be Unity or Gnome3 or other mobile-oriented environments.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37895042)

I actually have really enjoyed Xubuntu. It is super quick and pretty much like an old Gnome 2.0 desktop. It looks drab out of the box, but you can make panels partially transparent, turn the bottom panel into a pretty functional launcher/dock by adding app shortcuts and so on. It does not have too many bugs - the only thing I have noticed so far is that the bottom launcher stops auto-hiding when I use it to mount usb drives. However, since Unity seems to stop auto-hiding/dogging on a frequent and random basis, I can live with that, and like the old killall gnome-panel you can do a quick killall xfce4-panel to fix it unlike with unity which requires waiting a LONG time for a reset.

I actually liked Unity on 11.04. It worked pretty well for me, and I thought the fuss was overdone. I have to say, however, that 11.10 has been too buggy for me to get regular work done. Maybe it is because I upgraded rather than doing a fresh install, but there are bugs in the dash stacking so that it is hidden behind open apps sometimes when you try and open it; the snap-to-grid function is buggy and creates random outlines for window resizing without a window having been selected; sometimes the launcher freezes and either you click on an application and it doesn't open, or you right-click and the menu to quit the applications freezes, etc.

I think that the concept of Unity is okay, but the implementation is lacking and that this is a major issue that threatens to turn people away from Linux.

I just don't have time to be a beta tester for Canonical - I use my linux machine as a workstation. However, Xubuntu is almost like my Macbook for functionality, and there is no hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing. It's sweet, and just a sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop away...

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (2)

HiThere (15173) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895878)

KDE4.7 is vastly improved, but it's still not as good as Gnome2...and FAR short of KDE3.5.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (2)

watermark (913726) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894912)

Not to mention dual monitors....

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (-1)

dc29A (636871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894948)

...since Unity has made Ubuntu completely suck on anything with a mouse and keyboard.

I just don't get the hate towards Unity. I got all my important applications hotkeyed. The icon bar has hotkey mappings too. If I have to use one non hotkeyed application, I just hit super key and start typing either description or name, and after 2-3 letters it's the first pick on the launcher. Everything is at my fingertips, notifications work well too, switcher as well, my password file is seamlessly synchronized using Ubuntu One over 4 PCs, I got out of the box support for mp3s, NVidia drivers and whatnot.

What do people who constantly rag on Unity want? I can understand they might be frustrated with some bugs, but latest release is very stable (at least for me). I am trying to understand what people miss from KDE, Gnome 2 or other DEs that Unity doesn't have or that it has implemented in a really bad way.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (5, Informative)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895054)

I want a desktop environment that plays well with multiple monitors and several open applications (each of which having multiple windows that I will want on screen at the same time, and selectable from a central location in the fewest clicks possible, with the task of exact identification handled without needing a click on most instances). You know, what Gnome 2 did quite well and what MS/Explorer has handled fine enough for over a decade.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (3, Insightful)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895312)

I am trying to understand what people miss from KDE, Gnome 2 or other DEs that Unity doesn't have

Familiarity.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895604)

If I have to use one non hotkeyed application, I just hit super key and start typing either description or name, and after 2-3 letters it's the first pick on the launcher..

When your answer to 'launching applications sucks with your GUI' is 'you just have to type the name of the application', you're doing something wrong.

If I want to start applications by typing the name, I can use the command-line. If I use a GUI, it's because I don't want to have to use a poorly-implemented copy of a command-line interface to start applications.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (2)

gclef (96311) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895784)

My personal rants against Unity:
  1) I hate the concept of tearing an application's menus out of the application's windows and putting them on the top bar. I find that very counter-intuitive and confusing. The really frustrating part about that feature is that you can turn it off, but only for the entire box. If I'm sharing a system with a girlfriend/spouse, etc, we now have to agree on how this system does that, rather than being able to do it individually according to our tastes.
  2) Unity seems to assume that all applications will run full-screen, even when I don't want them to. It has a very frustrating feature where any app that launches at greater than (I think) 80% screen size will auto-maximize. I don't want that. I want the windows of an application to stay the size I made them last time, even if that is 85% of the screen real estate. Unity doesn't allow that...it forces full-screen above a certain size, and I couldn't find a way to turn that off.
  3) its performance on multi-screen setups is just weird. The dock auto-minimizing in the middle of the two screens is simply broken...but that's really just a bug that highlights a bigger problem: you can't change the dock's location. It's on the left side of the "primary" screen. Period.

These three together point me to an attitude from Unity that runs counter to what I feel linux is about (choice & control). The cognitive dissonance of that feeling from Unity makes me want to uninstall it as fast as I can. Having the dock (or any other setting) have a *default* of what the Ubuntu team feels works best is fine. Making those settings *mandatory* does nothing but piss me off & makes me want to abandon Unity.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895936)

Multiple monitor support that is not horribly broken.
Ability to put apps in folders of my choosing.
disable the stupid pop up quick menu and go directly to my list of apps.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37895168)

And the thought of delivering it in 2014... crap...

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37895444)

To put a positive spin on it, maybe now we'll find a good use for Unity.

Re:This is clearly what he was always planning... (1)

CalcProgrammer1 (1163305) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895990)

Except it will still suck, Unity pretty much requires a keyboard to navigate more than one page of icons by typing the application name in the search bar. If you're going to do touch interfaces, at least do it right, and also note that most of the userbase DOESN'T use touchscreens. This applies to the Windows 8 developers as well, who also have a screen hogging touchscreen Start menu that is useless to most users.

Good news - Android minus Google's crippleware... (1, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894768)

Google has taken Linus and modified it to suit their aims and goals, rather than using the power of community Linux. Canonical will give the smartphone world the power of Linux minus the controls and restrictions imposed by Google. Customers will be the biggest winners here.

Re:Good news - Android minus Google's crippleware. (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894828)

They modified Linus? What did they do to him? I bet he's pretty angry about that!

Re:Good news - Android minus Google's crippleware. (5, Funny)

plunderscratch (2169382) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894940)

Don't worry, it wasn't the real Linus, they forked him first.

Re:Good news - Android minus Google's crippleware. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37895352)

LibreLinus?

Re:Good news - Android minus Google's crippleware. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37895512)

Yeah they forked him HARD!!!! ;-)

Re:Good news - Android minus Google's crippleware. (1)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895568)

Step 1 was to remove his anger component.

Re:Good news - Android minus Google's crippleware. (1)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895682)

modprobe -r anger

problem solved

Re:Good news - Android minus Google's crippleware. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37895704)

He never asked for this.

Re:Good news - Android minus Google's crippleware. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894916)

Customers will be the winners? Customers won't know.

Unity on cell phones or tablets won't be seen by more than a handful of nerd types. The general public will have *no idea whatsoever* that it even exists.

Re:Good news - Android minus Google's crippleware. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894936)

Possible, but also consider that the handset manufacturers are the ones imposing most of those controls and restrictions. They benefit from the ability to bundle un-uninstallable sponsored apps (including spyware) and can more easily ensure obsolescence and thus future handset sales if they have means to prevent software upgrades. Even if they did use ubuntu, they would probably have to find some means to lock it down. Maybe they'll use a bootloader that only loads signed OS images. They certainly won't be letting the user have root access - that would be a technical support nightmare. Even Android doesn't do that.

Re:Good news - Android minus Google's crippleware. (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895144)

Good news? You must be joking!

Re:Good news - Android minus Google's crippleware. (1)

anonymov (1768712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895154)

Canonical will give the Linux smartphone world further fragmentation.

With Android and iOS going strong and new MS and Blackberry upcoming, will there be enough incentive for developers to support yet another new mobile platform? Well, unless supporting is made as easy as minor changes to build process and codebase.

Re:Good news - Android minus Google's crippleware. (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895558)

I guess "fragmentation" is a synonym for "competition." If you want the best stuff to exist (heh, but with everyone disagreeing about what is best), then you're in favor of it. If you want the world to unify to support something that maybe isn't as good, you're against it. I guess it all depends on what you want.

Yes, you can make a case for unity. People have been preaching that for (literally!) thousands of years. And yet, not everyone is sold on the idea.

Re:Good news - Android minus Google's crippleware. (1)

anonymov (1768712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895980)

If simply existing in the same market would mean "competition", then desktop linux would skyrocket the innovation - after all, there are so many competing distros! Instead, it's mostly about Ubuntu, with Fedora and Debian getting a bit of attention now and then.

To compete, you need to attract the user with something others don't have - in desktop Ubuntu's case it's "being free and open, most newbie-friendly among Linuxes and caring for design" (with latter a bit controversial lately), but what can they bring to the mobile?

Only few will care for openness, as long as a) Angry Birds are available in the app store/market, b) changing mobile OS doesn't become as simple as changing desktop OS.

Design and noob friendliness is already there in competing platforms.

What can be there in mobile Ubuntu for Joe Average Consumer/Joe Average Developer?

Waitaminute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894820)

If he is going to announce it, but the news is already out beforehand, then....isn't it already announced? What's the point of the Orlando, FL presentation now?

Re:Waitaminute (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894906)

As I understand it, "is to announce" refers to the distinction between an informal announcement and a formal presentation.

Re:Waitaminute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37895478)

So, what is the distinction between an informal and informal announcement? The information is already conveyed. It seems like thumb twiddling to me, with some extra flashy stuff.

I'm shocked, absolutely shocked! (0)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894900)

*Looks at Unity*

Well, maybe not that shocked...

Can you dual boot a phone? (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894990)

I'm holding my breath for a manufacturer to ship a phone with ubuntu on it.

[gasping] OK... now I'm not.

Interesting- but for the near future at least, I can't see phone manufacturers shipping phones with Ubuntu on them- If you want Ubuntu on your phone you'll need to remove an existing operating system.

How many people will actually remove iOS or Android to get Ubuntu?

Can you dual boot a phone?

Re:Can you dual boot a phone? (3, Interesting)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895148)

Can you dual boot a phone?

Yes. The basic way of installing Cyanogenmod (etc.) puts a recovery bootloader on your phone, such that you can select what OS to boot.

Re:Can you dual boot a phone? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895420)

How many people will actually remove iOS or Android to get Ubuntu?

If I could remove Android and install more standard Linux platform and not lose any functionality, I'd do so.

It's one of those things that I hoped would have come with this massive advancement in mobile technology. Unfortunately I am seeing the opposite, with phones being deliberately abandoned with old OSes that are incompatible with revisions in its own line, much less the wider Linux world, and set up in such ways as to fight you.

Re:Can you dual boot a phone? (1)

Spirilis (3338) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895804)

Ask how Motorola did it, I own the Droid Bionic and its "WebTop" feature is a running Ubuntu on the phone that exports its display via HDMI. Not entirely sure how it works (I don't have the hdmi adapter to use it, either) but I know it runs Ubuntu.

Holy cow! (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894992)

I bet the two people that weren't expecting this are totally freaking out! Seriously though, let's all hope it stays there. The idea of a "unified experience" between two fundamentally different control schemes/types of computing is silly and prone to eventually pissing one side off, and Unity has drove this point home quite perfectly.

For use on smartphones (1)

Zibodiz (2160038) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895060)

As long as it's simple to install on a variety of easy-to-obtain unlocked smartphones, I'll be happy. The whole reason I don't have a smartphone yet is because I'm nervous about entering anyone's walled garden. This has been a long time coming, and I'm thrilled that it's finally here.

U.S. carriers are still in control (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895212)

The whole reason I don't have a smartphone yet is because I'm nervous about entering anyone's walled garden.

U.S. carriers are still in control of the U.S. cell phone market, and Ubuntu won't help you break that. First, any phone that comes with Ubuntu isn't going to be available on subsidy from a U.S. carrier. And if you don't take a subsidized phone, carriers will still build the subsidy into the monthly bill as if you had taken a subsidized phone. Second, even Ubuntu on a smartphone won't help you work around U.S. carriers' policy of charging you extra if you try to "tether" (use a phone as a proxy for your laptop so that you can use up the rest of your data plan's allocated megabytes), and it doesn't magically get U.S. carriers to start offering low-minute smartphone plans (still have to pay $39.99 per month for 450 minutes per month, even if you'll probably never use even 60).

(Not in the U.S.? If not, sorry.)

This makes me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37895106)

Happy

They should shut up until it ships. (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895130)

Canonical previously announced that their distro was being preloaded on three ASUS netbooks. [theinquirer.net] That was in August. Didn't happen.

Canonical issued that Linux press release, but Asus never said they were going to ship those machines with Linux. Canonical has no credibility.

My G1 is talking here... (1)

prodigel (2479082) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895134)

As long as they avoid the Android style fragmentation / lack of support for the older phones I'm waiting for more news on this!

know your market (4, Insightful)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895218)

Ubuntu's traditional market niche is the technical and professional market, people who used to use UNIX workstations. Unfortunately, with 11.10 and the upcoming move away from X11, Ubuntu is hell-bent on leaving that market: Unity is already nearly useless for power users (it doesn't work well at all on large or multi-screen setups), tools like Synaptic are becoming non-standard, etc.

Unfortunately, Ubuntu doesn't have a chance in the tablet and smartphone market either. That market is already well service by Android and iOS. Ubuntu has virtually no mobile developers. And if it manages against all odds to even get a small market share, Ubuntu will face the kind of patent feeding frenzy that Android is being subjected to.

Too bad Shuttleworth couldn't leave good enough alone. He's going to kill Ubuntu and seriously hurt Linux as a whole.

Re:know your market (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895672)

X11 is not going away it is just getting shifted to a different level. X11 will run on top of Wayland just as X11 on the mac runs on top of the Mac Graphics system. I hope that Wayland and Unity can flatten the modle a bit for most Linux users. You now have a display manger running on top of Gnome or KDE running on top of GTK or QT running on top of X, Or do yu have Gnome or KDE running on top of a Display manager running on top of QT or GTK, running on top of X?
X11 has tried to keep up but the fact display is separate from audio and printing is a real issue and will be for some time to come. Those three areas should be closely tied together and they are not.

Re:know your market (2)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895964)

The fact is that Wayland creates a new, incompatible set of APIs in addition to X11. X11 apps won't have all the same functionality and desktop integration available to them as Wayland apps. That's exactly the situation on OS X and it sucks.

So, realistically, all the engineering and scientific apps need to be rewritten to use native Wayland APIs and desktop integration. But the problem with that is that the Wayland developers have their sights set on the consumer and tablet market, so Wayland isn't going to address professional needs very well (and if you have any doubt that they don't give a damn, just look at Unity).

So, Ubuntu is doing the same thing Apple and Microsoft have been doing: targeting the consumer market, with the professional market as an afterthought. The difference is that Apple and Microsoft have consumer market share, while Ubuntu has next to none.

Re:know your market (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895750)

Yep. I'm one of those users. I'm currently in limbo (having found a userspace app called tint2 to give me a taskbar in Unity) while I decide on which other distribution I'm going to try. It sucks, too, because the time I invested into Ubuntu means more time making sure I back everything up before installing something else over top. I'm looking at either straight Debian or Mint.

Re:know your market (1)

aquabats (1985346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895828)

Im picturing more of a cyanogenmod then a android pre installed deal. Ubuntu comes preinstalled on very few devices, why change that model. id root my phone for ubuntu to give it a try...

Debian (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37895316)

Interesting, Debian derivatives have been running on mobile devices for years (Maemo on Nokia devices and various distros on OpenMoko devices).

Debian is finally getting into the mobile game too, I guess Unity will become one of the mobile UIs added to Debian:

http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/09/msg00126.html
http://bugs.debian.org/643678

I guess KDE's Plasma Active will be in there too.

Ubuntu making deals with OEMs will hopefully mean more open drivers, making it easier for folks to use Debian on mobile devices.

Seems logical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37895322)

They fucked up the desktop with Unity, now it's time to see what they can do with smartphones and tablets.

Repost on TABLET PCs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37895348)

The future of computing is TABLET PCs. Having a touch screen tablet that can flip out a keyboard to become a laptop will become the most popular thing once they are marketed right. People buying ipads today are simply wasting their money.

Ubuntu needs to keep both the Gnome and Unity desktop. Unity is awesome during TABLET mode, but I much prefer Gnome during my LAPTOP mode.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn3m09zkcbo

Canonical? I seem to vaguely remember them... (1)

bornagainpenguin (1209106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895448)

Hmm....where have I heard that name before? OH! They're that company that seemed to have a pretty stellar Linux distro based around the Gnome desktop, but for whatever reason the founder of the company decided it was HIS distro and so he didn't have to listen to the people using HIS distro and only HE could design THE ONE TRUE DESKTOP (TM)...

Lost a lot of users after that. Funny thing, never saw a company quite that intent on pissing off all their users until they leave...

Re:Canonical? I seem to vaguely remember them... (1)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895716)

Yeah, because Canonical strayed oh so far from GNOME... Have you seen GNOME 3? It looks like Unity.

What was that? You can still use GNOME anyway (or KDE, XFCE, Enlightenment, or whatever else floats your boat)?

Are you aware that GNOME's website is hosted by Canonical?

I'd love an Ubuntu smartphone, but... (1)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895576)

... I have to remember that I'm not really a customer -- only a subscriber. The telcos are the actual customers in this equation, and so far they've not taken a liking to operating systems that are too open (think Openmoko and Maemo/Moblin/MeeGo). So, although I wish Mark all the luck in the world with his new strategy, I suspect the odds are stacked against him regarding the phones.

If their netbook releases are any indicator... (1)

czehp (156215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895700)

then I don't think Canonical will provide any significant competition any time soon. I've used their preinstalled images on my decently powered Pandaboard and the performance just blows. Best of luck though, it'd be really nice to have a portable device with a touchscreen AND ssh enabled right out of the box.

Unity hell (1)

Rattking (29435) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895766)

now they are trying to put Unity on my phone and t.v.? no just no.

Could this finally be my Debian phone? (2)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 2 years ago | (#37895960)

chroot Debian on my Android was never satisfactory. I want a standard Linux phone, ideally Debian based. Yes I know, the N900, but it is too old and a dead end. I'm no fan of Unity and modern Ubuntu, but maybe on a phone, it'll win me over. Very interesting. Also, more competition is always good. :-)
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