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Ubuntu Edge Draws Nearly $13M, But Falls Short of Indiegogo Goal

timothy posted about a year ago | from the but-it's-still-a-good-idea dept.

Cellphones 125

Nerval's Lobster writes "The crowdfunding campaign to build an Ubuntu-powered smartphone has fallen short of its ambitious goal. Canonical, which works with the open-source community to support Ubuntu worldwide, decided to fund its Ubuntu Edge smartphone via crowdfunding Website Indiegogo. The funding goal was set at $32 million, and at first it looked as if the project had enough momentum to actually succeed: within the first 24 hours of the project's July 22 launch, some $3.45 million had poured in. But that torrent of cash soon slowed to a trickle. In the end, the campaign managed to amass $12,809,906 by its August 21 closing. Nonetheless, Canonical did its best to put a brave face on the situation. 'While we passionately wanted to build the Edge to showcase Ubuntu on phones, the support and attention it received will still be a huge boost as other Ubuntu phones start to arrive in 2014,' the organization wrote in a posting. 'Thousands of you clearly want to own an Ubuntu phone and believe in our vision of convergence, and rest assured you won't have much longer to wait.'" Update: 08/22 16:14 GMT by T : Oops -- headline edited to reflect that the Edge was an Indiegogo project, rather than Kickstarter.

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Smart idea (5, Insightful)

Michael Casavant (2876793) | about a year ago | (#44642803)

Using a crowd-funded campaign like this gives Canonical a very good idea about just how much interest there is in the phone essentially for free...and if they met that goal they'd be all the better.

Re:Smart idea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44642955)

of course, that's not true at all. I seriously doubt the people who would pledge money on Kickstarter (for example) are representative of the general population. Now stfu and get back to servicing your mom. And her penis.

Re:Smart idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44643123)

You do realise the audience for the Ubuntu Edge wasn't for the general populace. Canonical's Edge phone is intended for enthusiasts who are interested in funding an experimental phone. There is no better way of gauging the worldwide demand for this thing than giving the world an opportunity to pledge some money to help start the manufacturing process.

Re:Smart idea (2)

eric_herm (1231134) | about a year ago | (#44643039)

Not for free. The campaign had to be organized, the buzz too. Basically, it would have been cheaper to make a proper market study rather than losing credibility, time and money into that. Especially since they hired someone to design the phone in the first place.

Re:Smart idea (4, Insightful)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year ago | (#44643661)

How did they loose credability? They told us up-front that if the campaign did not reach is funding goal we would get our money back. Meanwhile, everyone gets to see how much demand there is for a Edge-like phone with only a month notice and little paid marketing. In the end, I would say the campaign was successful and we will probably be seeing Edge-like phones being offered within a year or two.

Re:Smart idea (1)

Windwraith (932426) | about a year ago | (#44647075)

Losing credibility? They made twelve million dollars...while not the intended goal, if you dare call that "loss of credibility" you aren't in your right mind. I'd like to see your company get that much support.

Even so (1)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#44647603)

For about 1/10th the cost, one other FOSS phone was able to get off the ground. [fairphone.com] Actually, even though the main page says 66%, they reached their minimum goal months ago so the startup threshold is much lower than that.

Their initial market is EU-only, but I would still consider getting a FairPhone if only to have a mini-tablet with the most open hardware that's feasible at this point.

Of course it did (5, Insightful)

geek (5680) | about a year ago | (#44642815)

No one trusts Canonical outside of the die-hard Ubuntu fanboys. Canonical forks everything due to their NIH syndrome. They released the buggiest, ugliest and most uselessly incoherent Desktop imaginable (Unity) and then sold their userbase to Amazon.

The Edge could be the greatest thing since sliced bread, I still wouldn't give them my money.

Re:Of course it did (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year ago | (#44642889)

Came here to say exactly the same thing. If this was being proposed by anyone trustworthy, I would happily have put down $725. With Shuttleworth behind it, I wouldn't put down 75 cents.

Re:Of course it did (2)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about a year ago | (#44642895)

Really?

I haven't tried it yet, but a couple of my friends really dig the UI on Unity and haven't complained about bugs. I was actually going to download a Live CD this weekend to try it out

Re:Of course it did (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44643143)

You sound like a fucking astroturfer to me. I bet you write reviews on Amazon also.

Re:Of course it did (4, Insightful)

metiscus (1270822) | about a year ago | (#44643919)

AC calling a poster in the 6 digit club an astroturfer. People are allowed to have opinions that are different from yours you know. Different opinion != shill/astroturfer

Re:Of course it did (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about a year ago | (#44645691)

Thanks for the assist.

Yeh, I've been called "astroturfer" once or twice because I said that even though I prefer Google Maps, Bing Maps is (gasp) an alright tool.

I only mentioned the Live CD because frankly I wasn't committed to wiping away anything in case I didn't like it... and a Live distro lets me test the waters.

Re:Of course it did (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44646041)

Hi dipshit. Go read the comment again and notice that the commenter did not say that they like it, but instead it the "friends" opinion. And wtf does a low ID have to do with anything? Really, you are a fucking moron.

Re:Of course it did (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44646085)

Well I really like Windows 8 and I think Metro is a nice upgrade to the old start menu. I know a lot of people who feel the same way. And yes, I mean that.

Re:Of course it did (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44647335)

minimus slashdotium numerium must be the new logical fallacy.

Re:Of course it did (4, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#44643275)

I use Linux for a living (I'm a physicist; all our machines run Linux). Most everyone was using Ubuntu (with a few on Scientific Linux) before Unity came out. Now it's Mint, mostly, or Kubuntu.

Re:Of course it did (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44643821)

Weird. I actually hated Unity because of all the bloggers screaming their balls off.

Then I tried Unity myself. Just to see what I think about it.

And guess what, after the initial hurdle, it has actually made me more productive. I don't touch the mouse at all when doing normal tasks. Just press Super key, type Gim arrow down twice and enter and I get Gimp (for example).

So now I like Unity.

I DON'T like the Amazon spying, but that I can turn off. Or I can just hack the Unity sources (it's just Python). I don't like the ads either but I edited the source and made Unity not show any. Plus I did apt-get remove for the lenses which I don't need (and installed a few which I need...).

FWIW I'm a what you might call "power user" (silly term though).

Re:Of course it did (3, Informative)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#44644379)

You can do that on other Linuxes too, using the alt-f2 shortcut.

I've tried Unity, and my biggest grumble is the removal of the taskbar. If I have four papers open in different copies of evince/okular and five terminals with different names, Unity won't let me find the one I want quickly. It also won't let me see, by looking at the taskbar, if any of them have changed their titles (which some programs do to alert the user).

Re:Of course it did (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44646833)

alt + f2 is MUCH faster than super + typing on my machine. Super + typing will miss whatever I type in the first second or so after pressing super as ubuntu struggles to bring up it's fancy-pants fade in hud. Alt+f2? no noticeable delay at all. Unity is a PIG.

Re:Of course it did (1)

Windwraith (932426) | about a year ago | (#44646925)

Heh, I wonder how many of the vocal haters bothered to do what you did: try it and modify it for your needs.
I can tell you this much: The more vocal some user is about Unity and how quickly they installed Mint, the less likely to have tried it themselves.
I don't use Unity myself, I use a custom KDE resembling it and using the Unity launcher API (very fun btw), but I always give Unity a try as I reinstall a newer Ubuntu version. By 13.04 it was pretty usable and looked fairly good...I believe that for users that aren't "invested" in KDE, OSX or Windows, it's a pretty decent DM.

Re:Of course it did (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44644281)

I think the maxim "change is hard" applies to this situation. It was annoying to change, but frankly, I think Unity is better than the old desktop interface. In the end it is "much ado about nothing" and people simply prefer to have things get better without enduring the learning curve of more dramatic changes. I've been using Unity for quite a while and I've found no bugs, so I don't know what people are talking about.

I started using Unity with 12.04. It was different in the sense that there is basically a "Dock" rather than a "Desktop Menu" (which, frankly, makes it harder for those who don't know the name of the program they want to use; e.g. you can't just select the default mail program, you have to search on "Thunderbird"). That said, I find the ongoing interaction at the desktop level to be easier and a better use of screen real estate. The most annoying thing was the default interaction with "Ubuntu Software Center" instead of "Synaptic Package Manager" --- however, if you know about the latter, you can certainly use that instead.

Re:Of course it did (2)

js_sebastian (946118) | about a year ago | (#44647573)

I think the maxim "change is hard" applies to this situation. It was annoying to change, but frankly, I think Unity is better than the old desktop interface. In the end it is "much ado about nothing" and people simply prefer to have things get better without enduring the learning curve of more dramatic changes. I've been using Unity for quite a while and I've found no bugs, so I don't know what people are talking about.

I started using Unity with 12.04. It was different in the sense that there is basically a "Dock" rather than a "Desktop Menu" (which, frankly, makes it harder for those who don't know the name of the program they want to use; e.g. you can't just select the default mail program, you have to search on "Thunderbird").

Just tried this: typing "mail" in the unity dash brings up thunderbird as first option. Just like typing "video" brings up movie player as first option. I'm not sure exactly how this works, but the search is not based exclusively on the application title, and generally seems pretty successful at bringing up what I am looking for when I make a fairly generic search.

Re:Of course it did (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44647351)

Is that the same rigor of thinking you apply to your experiments?

Re:Of course it did (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | about a year ago | (#44644663)

It's even worse than I thought it would be, fortunately this isn't Windows and there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.

If you really want to run your favorite flavor of Linux "on a phone", this technology is already available [linuxonandroid.org] . It's a bit clunky but it certainly does work.

Re:Of course it did (2)

tapspace (2368622) | about a year ago | (#44642975)

I actually like Unity. It's only problem is bugs (and that it's spyware). If everything worked as designed, I'd be pleased as peaches. I am disappointed that I have to replace it after finding out it is spyware (probably after a year of using it).

I have disabled the tracking features (I think), but that is not enough. I cannot in good conscience continue to support the project (and very likely, I will switch from Ubuntu as well in the near future).

Re:Of course it did (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44643353)

Pretty much. I used to think Ubuntu was awesome, but now, whenever I hear "Ubuntu" or "Canonical" I laugh. It isn't 2010 anymore and the distro is effectively dead due to Canonical's increasingly poor judgment.

As for an Ubuntu phone, I wouldn't use one if they paid me if Canonical is involved.

INSERT INTO slashdot VALUES FUD .. (0)

dgharmon (2564621) | about a year ago | (#44643547)

> No one trusts Canonical outside of the die-hard Ubuntu fanboys ..

Canonical has contributed Ubuntu into the community, for free, any criticism of their business strategy is therefore groundless ...

Re:INSERT INTO slashdot VALUES FUD .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44644261)

I have some free herion for you.

Re:Of course it did (5, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#44643557)

No one trusts Canonical outside of the die-hard Ubuntu fanboys.

Maybe, but...

Canonical forks everything due to their NIH syndrome. They released the buggiest, ugliest and most uselessly incoherent Desktop imaginable (Unity) and then sold their userbase to Amazon.

We're talking about *phones* here. The bar is far, far, FAAAAARRRRRRRRRR lower than you give it credit for. Seriously, the bar is buried down a mineshaft somewhere. You'd have to get a mole machine just to see it.

The main competitors are iOS and Android.

Forks/NIH? CHECK!

Well, iOS is more or less their own thing with their own language and their own API and everything. Android pretends to be Linux but for some reason they keep fucking with stock Linux is strange and incomprehensible ways which make it work less well. Oh and inventing totally new and broken APIs which then need fixing. Android is stuffed to the gills with NIH, compared to Unity.

then sold their userbase to Amazon.

Remember the BIGGEST competitor is android here. Basically you get to choose to sell yourself to google.

The Edge could be the greatest thing since sliced bread, I still wouldn't give them my money.

Who would you give money to? I mean your points are correct and they apply to desktop systems. But phones are SO bad by comparison that Unity really is a shining beacon of standards and openness.

Re:Of course it did (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44644909)

The bar is far, far, FAAAAARRRRRRRRRR lower than you give it credit for. Seriously, the bar is buried down a mineshaft somewhere. You'd have to get a mole machine just to see it.

The main competitors are iOS and Android.

Typical Slashdot soapbox commentary.
Android does a lot of things right. It has a great user experience on touchscreens, has excellent performance, and the API is simply brilliant.
They may have forked the Linux kernel a bit more than I would've liked, but at least from a user and app dev point of view, Android is nothing short of spectacular. The bar is pretty high there.

I've seen Ubuntu's mobile OS and honestly I wasn't impressed at all. You can see usability fails all over the place (hidden gestures a-la Windows 8, and stealing the edges from the app developers for system tasks, to name a few), and the graphical performance is lacking (their dev devices are Google Nexus phones, so performance can be compared directly).

I'm all for competition on the mobile space and am happy that we might get a more standard Linux OS out of it, but the bar is pretty high already, and after seeing Ubuntu's failures in the UI space both in their mobile offering, and on the latest iterations of their desktop OS, I don't expect it to come from them.

Re:Of course it did (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year ago | (#44646685)

I think the comparison to other desktops is used as a preview as to Canonical's behavior in the phone industry. They were much worse than everyone else in the desktop market, so they might also be worse than everyone else in the phone market.

But, you are right that if they keep their model for desktops and use it in the phone, they'll only be slightly worse than the existing players (Amazon is not as usefulas a web search engine, so the edge loses points for that)

Re:Of course it did (2)

Windwraith (932426) | about a year ago | (#44647039)

This. Unity in a phone would be a damn dream compared to how Android handles tasks and everything.
I remember seeing someone saying below (I guess the post was moderated out) that Android was pretty good for usage...that is, if you only use ONE task at a time. Trying to switch tasks, specially quickly (try browsing for a file while trying to respond quickly on Skype. Even with helper apps it's not as easy as touching an icon in the left, no matter what).
The app paradigm, as we know it, is only use-friendly for the app itself. Unless there's a visible task manager that you don't need to hold a key for 1 second to invoke, or something else that doesn't require returning to the desktop, Win 3.1 style, Android is horribly flawed for anything that is not one thing at a time.
Sure, nowadays there are sidebars in android (that look suspiciously like Unity's bar), but they tend to be either 4.x only, slow, the "launcher hotspot" tends to be in the way, or use the screen entirely. Oh, or full of intrusive ads.

Re:Of course it did (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44643673)

Never liked unity on the desktop, but a unity-like interface seems like the perfect fit for a small screen touch device like a smartphone.

Not a fan of the amazon move either, but it does make a certain kind of sense - ubuntu isn't exactly pulling in the corporate sales that redhat is, and does have bills to pay.

Besides - one of the key strengths of any linux variant is that it can be configured to work the way you want - in some cases this means spending half an hour trying different google searches, looking to find situations where people have tried to do the same thing you want to do so you can look at how they went about it, then fiddling around with text file after text file and hopefully eventually getting the result you wanted.

Other times it means googling 'ubuntu remove amazon integration' and clicking on the sixth link down - a page on an ubuntu site telling you that to kill off the amazon plugin thingy you need to open a terminal and run 'sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping'. Done.

Re:Of course it did (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44643835)

Replying to own post - did I little more digging and frankly the [url=http://zeitgeist-project.com/about/]Zeitgeist[/url] package worries me a lot more than the shopping lens. A voice in the back of my head tells me that this is nothing more sinister than whatever windows since XP has been using to work out what shortcuts to populate the non-classic start menu's most recently used applications section with, but I still don't like the idea of my actions being stored like that.

Re:Of course it did (1)

js_sebastian (946118) | about a year ago | (#44647655)

Replying to own post - did I little more digging and frankly the [url=http://zeitgeist-project.com/about/]Zeitgeist[/url] package worries me a lot more than the shopping lens. A voice in the back of my head tells me that this is nothing more sinister than whatever windows since XP has been using to work out what shortcuts to populate the non-classic start menu's most recently used applications section with, but I still don't like the idea of my actions being stored like that.

If you type zeitgeist or privacy in the unity dash, you get a nice little privacy configuration widget where you can delete past history, set it to not record history for some specific programs or about files in specific folders, or even disable zeitgeist completely. Wonder how well windows XP, let alone it's successors, fare in allowing to disable this kind of stuff.

Re:Of course it did (1)

Windwraith (932426) | about a year ago | (#44646273)

There is a thin line between fanboy and hater. And like fanboys, you are not all that rational or insightful.
Call me the day you are forced to use Unity and only Unity. Until then, you are nothing but noise.

Huh? (1)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#44642833)

'Thousands of you clearly want to own an Ubuntu phone and believe in our vision of convergence, and rest assured you won't have much longer to wait

Huh? Well, they're not making one, because there isn't enough interest to make it worthwhile. Why would another company have different results?

Re:Huh? (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about a year ago | (#44642915)

There was decent interest, but they only had the fund-raising run for a couple of months.

The Star Citizen game is around 16mill last I looked, but it's been gathering funds for like a year. But that's not escrow, so they've been using the funds they already got to do actual work.

Re:Huh? (1)

tom229 (1640685) | about a year ago | (#44643467)

I believe they are talking about the software [ubuntu.com] which is already in active development and should in a more useable state next year. If you have a nexus device you could install the developer preview today.

The edge was an attempt to make a phone specifically meant to run this software with great hardware and massive internal storage.

Wrong (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44642867)

It wasn't kickstarter, it was a different crowd funding site. Get your facts straight retard

Re:Wrong (0)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44643089)

It wasn't googled, they searched internet in Bing. Sometimes representative enough companies turns into english verbs.

Re:Wrong (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44647363)

they searched the Web, not the internet.

Re: Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44643111)

You never go straight retard.

Re:Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44643349)

Well then it's no wonder they missed the Kickstarter goal, everyone was pledging on the wrong website.

Re:Wrong (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#44643517)

You have to forgive Timmy. He's barely literate.

Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44642879)

This officially means the smartphone is dead, Ubuntu can stop making crappy interfaces for its OS, and it can concentrate on its desktop again to win in the only field that truly matters. Because no matter how much people rave about their little toys, it's not good enough to do what a real PC can do. The smartphone is severely limited in its interface, its power, its scope, its precision, and its visuals. PCs have no such limitations.

Canonical, time to turn your ship around, use KDE as your desktop, fine tune it, and attack the desktop market with a fury now that Microsoft has been weakened and Apple has all but given it up. There is still a desktop market, and always will be; don't let the naysayers clutching their toy phones tell you any differently.

Attack it, get manufacturers to deliver the new KDE Ubuntu Desktop on every PC sold, and win.

This is your only hope now that we've proved that betting the farm on a toy device is not a smart idea.

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44643037)

What are you smoking?

Smartphones will likely replace desktops when docked at some point.

Re:Good (2)

bieber (998013) | about a year ago | (#44643831)

Considering that hasn't happened with laptops yet, I'd be very surprised to see it happen with phones, at least in the near future. Just like with laptops and desktops, just because you can mostly get the same performance in a much smaller form factor doesn't mean everyone's going to want to pay the premium for the smaller size.

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

Vaphell (1489021) | about a year ago | (#44644049)

the key difference is laptops are big, heavy and unwieldy and nobody likes to lug them around for the sake of it. Since you are going to have a smartphone with you at all times either way, why not give it even more utility? Most people don't have elaborate needs that require full blown PC monster, but would love to have access to all their shit wherever they go. If the phone can provide that, great.

Re:Good (1)

Smauler (915644) | about a year ago | (#44645147)

Good graphics cards are big. Most people don't need them, true, but PC gaming is still very much alive - Diablo 3 has sold about 15 million copies. That's about a half _billion_ dollars right there, for one game.

People have been predicting the death of the desktop for decades, whether due to consoles, laptops, mobiles, whatever. It's never going to happen while good graphics cards and processors need a lot of cooling, and therefore are big.

The only reason laptops haven't taken over from desktops is that you can't make a laptop do what a desktop does for a similar price, and in some cases not at all. Good luck getting similar performance from a phone.

Re:Good (2)

js_sebastian (946118) | about a year ago | (#44647875)

Good graphics cards are big. Most people don't need them, true, but PC gaming is still very much alive - Diablo 3 has sold about 15 million copies. That's about a half _billion_ dollars right there, for one game.

Sure, your converged phone won't replace a gaming rig for hardcore gamers, but not everyone games, and not everyone who does does so on the PC.

People have been predicting the death of the desktop for decades, whether due to consoles, laptops, mobiles, whatever. It's never going to happen while good graphics cards and processors need a lot of cooling, and therefore are big.

Who's talking about death of the desktop? Desktop is useful for some people. But again, not everyone games on the PC, strange as it may seem to you. With 16GB of ram on my laptop, I could easily do all my development work on my laptop, once attached to a bigger screen and keyboard.

The only reason laptops haven't taken over from desktops is that you can't make a laptop do what a desktop does for a similar price, and in some cases not at all. Good luck getting similar performance from a phone.

Newsflash: laptops HAVE taken over desktops, in the sense that more laptops are sold than desktops, by about a factor 2 in 2012 http://www.inquisitr.com/76157/tablets-to-overtake-desktop-sales-by-2015-laptops-will-still-reign/ [inquisitr.com] , and that's excluding netbooks. Why? because performance is good enough for most people. Because the price differential is not quite as big as it used to be, and is worth it for many people in exchange for the portability. Tablets and netbooks are each also moving a comparable number of units to desktops. Again, they're good enough for many uses for many people.

Give it another couple iternations in performance, storage and battery improvements, and phones will be good enough for most people too, and will just need a bigger screen and keyboard to be usable for running most desktop applications, except for high-GPU users like games, photoshop, etc.

Re:Good (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year ago | (#44644233)

In some places it has. For instance, my mom is in a job that often requires her to work from home. So her company gave her a laptop that is secured and can access their network at her house. At work, she puts the laptop in a dock that is connected to a monitor: dual monitor workstation. When she goes home she takes the laptop with her to use at home if needed. It really is much more efficient and cheaper than giving her a desktop for work and a laptop for home use.

Re:Good (2)

gauauu (649169) | about a year ago | (#44645013)

Considering that hasn't happened with laptops yet, I'd be very surprised to see it happen with phones, at least in the near future. Just like with laptops and desktops, just because you can mostly get the same performance in a much smaller form factor doesn't mean everyone's going to want to pay the premium for the smaller size.

While it hasn't completely happened with laptops, it has to a great extent. At my office, most people get assigned laptops. 80% of the time, they are attached to a keyboard/mouse/monitor. The only people I know who buy desktops at home tend to be gamers or developers. Everyone else buys laptops. So no, they may never _completely_ replace desktops, but they might for the average user.

Re:Good (2)

slacker001 (951666) | about a year ago | (#44647897)

It's gotten to the point where it's almost odd for me to see a desktop now. At my office only a few people still have desktops because they're not up for a replacement yet. Those that are get a laptop. I've got a laptop now that sits docked most of the time, connected to my external mouse/keyboard and dual monitors. Same thing at home - my laptop replaced my desktop, but when it's time to do Real Work it gets connected to my external mouse/keyboard and dual monitors. Aside from serious gaming I don't see anyone buying desktops anymore, and I can't wait until the day when my phone can be docked just like my laptop and run real apps like Photoshop, Lightroom, and even a full browser rather than the mobile touch-friendly version.

Re:Good (1)

mestar (121800) | about a year ago | (#44644299)

100 W processor will always be faster than 10 W processor. So, no, phones will never replace desktops.

Re:Good (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44644365)

Even the 10W CPU is enough for me and the vast majority.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44645903)

The best thing about Ubuntu Edge is that the phone/PC GUI concept now has prior art.

Re:Good (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#44647877)

I hadn't really thought about that. There's nothing that distinguishes a smartphone from a PC with a 4G Card. Still, I bet there's a patent submarining around somewhere waiting for us to dare try using a very small computer as something more than a consumption device.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44648317)

Smartphones will likely replace desktops when docked at some point.

But just because a future smartphone will be able to power a desktop doesn't mean that the desktop will be "replaced" by the smartphone. Saying that is like pulling the engine out of a car and claiming that the engine "replaces" the car.

I guarantee that when you dock that smartphone, the GUI will automatically transition to desktop mode, to take advantage of the massively larger screen size and the presence of the mouse and keyboard. I'll bet that even 30 years from now the resulting desktop will bear a striking similarity to the desktops of today.

For serious content creation, we'll always need special-purpose hardware with the appropriate human-scale form factors. No smartphone with a 4 inch touch screen will ever allow me to efficiently develop large CAD drawings, efficiently edit complex multimedia content, or efficiently juggle 3 spreadsheets. That will always be true, even in the future when we can start docking our smartphones to power our desktops.

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#44643055)

The smartphone is severely limited in its interface, its power, its scope, its precision, and its visuals.

No. Smartphones are limited in their intended uses sure, but the hardware is very capable of general purpose work. Smartphones are increasing in power at a much faster rate than desktop and laptop machines.

PCs have no such limitations.

Wat.

There is still a desktop market, and always will be; don't let the naysayers clutching their toy phones tell you any differently.

Desktops are cheaper, but outside of very specialised applications, laptops are good enough for most uses. In fact, modern smartphones are good enough.

This is your only hope now that we've proved that betting the farm on a toy device is not a smart idea.

Nobody was betting the farm on this. It was just an idea. People probably said the same thing about personal computers (vs mainframes) back in the 70s/80s.

Re:Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44643611)

There isn't a smartphone, tablet or laptop that can meet the needs of my desktop. And there won't be any to replace my desktop in the foreseeable future. Even for something as simple as web browsing, my smartphone or netbook might be good enough when I am away from my desktop, but it's not good enough for long term use.

Re:Good (4, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#44643725)

A netbook isn't good enough for web browsing? The only reason I can't use a phone or tablet for 100% of my internet use, is that some youtube videos aren't allowed "on mobile" for some stupid reason.

I used a netbook as my primary development and home usage machine for several months, simply to squash my ego somewhat (before that I'd always gone for the most powerful machines I could). It was actually surprisingly usable. For doing more engineering oriented work I did need to remote into more powerful computers though, so now I have an ultrabook.

Re:Good (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#44648965)

No one is going to twist your arm and make you have a smartphone that can double as a PC. It's just something else that quadcore computer with a gig or two memory in you pocket could already be doing. In a couple of years these could be the $100 prepaid phone that you can buy at the supermarket.

I don't any downside to being "allowed" to use my pocket computer to its "god intended" potential.

Re:Good (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | about a year ago | (#44643819)

People said the same thing about personal computers (vs mainframes) back in the 70s/80s.

FTFY

Re:Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44644177)

The same thing was said about personal computers. Ken Olsen, CEO of DEC, said something to this effect in the early 1980's. Thing is, he was right for his time. Computers then were just high end gaming systems. They plugged into the TV, often the keyboard was lousy and the computer itself was under the keyboard. It was useless out of the box without another $50-$200 in accessories to be able to save data. The idea of a computing platform hadn't been invented yet, so an upgrade to a new machine from the same manufacturer meant buying all new software and parts (kind of like a game system). The promises of balancing the family budget, having an electronic encyclopedia, and automating your home were not realized due to tedious data entry, technological limitations, or devoting a $700 computer 24/7 to a single purpose.

Unlike 30 years ago, modern smartphones aren't hampered much by their technology. The main hampering is the equipment design and OS itself, which make productivity applications either limited in scope, or a royal pain to use. Ubuntu Edge sought to address these deficiencies by giving you a real OS with real applications using a real mouse and real keyboard on a real screen in addition to being a useful mobile tool as well. Others have tried and failed, Motorola with the Atrix, for example. I think that was a limit of technology and an inappropriate OS.

Re:Good (0)

Smauler (915644) | about a year ago | (#44645201)

Desktops are cheaper, but outside of very specialised applications, laptops are good enough for most uses. In fact, modern smartphones are good enough.

Desktops are not only cheaper, they are better. Games are not specialised applications.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44645317)

Wow. You people are fucking deluded. Please stop letting big companies and the NSA fool you into believing this bullshit.

I'm sorry this comment sounds trollish, but anyone that ACTUALLY believes the garbage you just spewed is the actual troll.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44643061)

Except that it would have been both. I use my phone all day long to check personal and work email, slashdot, news (note what I did there), listen to music, watch the occasional TV show or YouTube video, etc. And when I am in the office, like now, why can't I just plug my phone into a big monitor and keyboard for an hour, and then unplug it again and go mobile?

The phone they tried to sell is EXACTLY what I want. Maybe because it is Canonical, or you had to pay a year in advance, or not enough people want these features, this device won't ever see the light of day.

Tons of storage, fast processor, mobile, completely desktop ready, Linux / Android: I am ready to buy a device that has these exact features now and I am perfectly fine with the price.

Re:Good (3, Interesting)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year ago | (#44643787)

I think Canonical's mistake was limiting the campaign to a single month. I am sure there were a lot of people that wanted the phone but did not have the liquid cash to purchase one with only a month notice. If it was a three month campaign, I could see them reaching their goal.

Re:Good (1)

bulled (956533) | about a year ago | (#44644543)

For me it was the requirement to have a PayPal account. I would have given them money almost any other way but I will never go back to PayPal.

Re:Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44643229)

The idea of this experiment was to allow the user to have a computer that's as mobile as a mobile phone and as useful as an ordinary desktop within a convergant device. When you're at home or work, you connect your mobile computer to a dock and when you need to go to other places, your computer will easily move with you. You'd be able to bring some of the apps you use and the data you need along with you in one convenient package.

Re:Good (2)

Stuarticus (1205322) | about a year ago | (#44643303)

I was totally with you up until you said KDE...

Re:Good (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#44647319)

The main proposed feature of Ubuntu Phone (the name of the OS under development) is to turn a fast quadcore phone with HDMI out and Bt into a Desktop PC when you plug it into a monitor/TV/projector. So you might get your wish, but it'll be for a PC that you can carry in your pocket and use as a standard Android phone the rest of the time

While I was not interested in the piece of bling that the Edge represented, I would pay for the finished OS for my next phone in maybe 6mos to a year.

Kickstarter? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44642951)

Whaaaaat there was one on Kickstarter too? Damn, if they wouldn't have had the other one on Indiegogo they might have got it funded.

Missed the boat... (2)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about a year ago | (#44643033)

I hate to say it but Ubuntu has missed the mobile boat. It would have been nice to have an open source alternate to Android and iOS. I use Android but I've got to say, it gives me the creeps the more I read about Google and how they are mining our data with seemingly no regard for their customers.

Re:Missed the boat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44643293)

You're not their customer! You're the product, and you're paying for the privilege of allowing them to sell you out.

Re:Missed the boat... (3, Informative)

tom229 (1640685) | about a year ago | (#44643301)

You can still use android. You just have to use an AOSP implementation without Google Apps [cyanogenmod.org] . This is the beauty of open source.

Personally I'd recommend FDroid [f-droid.org] with Cyanogen Mod. It's an open source repository of android apps. Theres lot's of trustworthy 3rd party repositories [guardianproject.info] you can add to it, and you could even make your own.

Many popular proprietary android apps also offer direct apk downloads from their website. It's actually easier than you might think to survive on android without a google account and google play.

Re:Missed the boat... (1)

bytesex (112972) | about a year ago | (#44644937)

You can have Ubuntu for Android. It is in beta and it works. I use it.

Not Kickstarter (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44643095)

Come on, it wasn't Kickstarter. Indiegogo. There is a difference.

It was just a phone (1)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | about a year ago | (#44643289)

A powerful phone, by the proposed specification, but just a phone.

It is hard to excite the masses when all you're offering is another black-cased smartphone, even if it does offer HDMI output.

Re:It was just a phone (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#44643469)

Add a physical keyboard, like N900, and you instantly get a micro-laptop. Give it sane default configuration of input devices (unlike Nokia) and you hit a large niche that's currently empty.

Re:It was just a phone (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#44644383)

No, it was also a desktop when docked. Tell me again which other phone does that?

Re:It was just a phone (1)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | about a year ago | (#44645299)

No, it was also a desktop when docked*. Tell me again which other phone does that?

Any of the Nexus devices they've used to demonstrate Ubuntu Desktop 'convergence' to date...?

It was just a phone. A phone SoC driving a pretty phone screen. Giving it HDMI-over-USB doesn't make it a desktop replacement.

* dock not included nor even designed at this time. May or may not drive high-res monitors. May only support one monitor.

CDMA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44643325)

I would have plunked my money down, if they could produce a CDMA version of the phone for use on Verizon and Sprint.

Marketing ... (5, Interesting)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#44643431)

IMO, the goal was deliberately set too high to meet. Now all the money goes back to the donators.

Huge amounts of free advertising, hype generation and likely leverage in existing negotiations with hardware vendors, care of the interest $13m worth of donations the "chumps" who bought into it loaned to Indiegogo for a couple months.

Smart. Very smart.

Loaned? (1)

phorm (591458) | about a year ago | (#44644159)

I've only used KS etc, rather than Indiegogo.

Does this money actually go to a project before it reaches the end-date? The details on the site don't really mention either way.
On KS projects, your donation is more of a pledge, which only goes through if the target is made by the end-date of the project.

Re:Loaned? (1)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#44644499)

I've only used KS etc, rather than Indiegogo.

Does this money actually go to a project before it reaches the end-date? The details on the site don't really mention either way.
On KS projects, your donation is more of a pledge, which only goes through if the target is made by the end-date of the project.

Loaned to Indiegogo... the project doesn't get it, but you can make a LOT of money off the float.

That was my point -- the people who "donated" basically lost the interest on all of that money, Canonical got free advertising, and Indiegogo makes a lot of money off the interest. Everyone wins! Except the people who donated in good faith. (Although, frankly, it should've been obvious to anyone that they'd never actually be able to manufacture a quality phone at that small of a number of units at that price point as a 3rd party paying an OEM to make them.)

Re:Loaned? (1)

phorm (591458) | about a year ago | (#44645047)

So when you "donate" to a project IndieGoGo gets the money immediately?
I suppose that works well for them as an operational cost (and frankly, at an individual contribution rate most people aren't likely to make much interest,).

If you're worried about that, then the Kickstart model might work better. Your "pledge" doesn't get charged to your account (credit card/paypal/etc) until the project reaches the minimum funding+cutoff date.

Re:Loaned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44646713)

Have you seen the interest rates these days? 2 months of 1% interest is 0.0017% of $17 million = $21,700. Of course, that assumes the 17 million was in the bank for that long, but considering time charging credit cards until arrives in bank (at least a week) plus the fact that people donate over time rather than at the very beginning, Indiegogo MIGHT have made $10-15k off the deal. It's something, but you can't build much of a business around that, either.

Re:Loaned? (1)

gringer (252588) | about a year ago | (#44648183)

On KS projects, your donation is more of a pledge, which only goes through if the target is made by the end-date of the project.

Indiegogo allows you to set up "flexible funding" (not used for the Edge case) where all donated money goes to the project even if it doesn't reach its funding goal.

Too much (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about a year ago | (#44643749)

The Kickstarter price for one phone was about $700. If I want to get a phone with a Linux derivative, I can get the newest Nexus for $300. No matter what my free software convictions and Google paranoia are, they're not worth that much. Particularly for vaporware.

Re:Too much (0)

Arancaytar (966377) | about a year ago | (#44643765)

*Indiegogo. Whatever.

Too bad (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#44643941)

Maybe if they hadn't played fast and loose with the desktop GUI and amazon searches they would have still been popular enough in FOSS circles to get something done. Not now. Bye canonical.

Indiegogo v. Kickstarter (4, Informative)

Fnord666 (889225) | about a year ago | (#44644697)

As one commenter said:

Actually it does matter a great deal. A key difference is what happens to the money if the project is not funded to the goal level. On kickstarter if the project misses its goal, no money changes hands. On indiegogo campaigns can be set up as "Flexible Funding" and the hosts get whatever is pledged (minus 9% for fees).

From the Kickstarter page: [kickstarter.com]

Why is Kickstarter funding all-or-nothing?

On Kickstarter, a project must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands. Why? It protects everyone involved. This way, no one is expected to develop a project with an insufficient budget, which sucks. Remember you set your own funding goal, so aim to raise the minimum amount you'll need to create your vision. Projects can always raise more than their goal, and often do.

From the Indiegogo FAQ [indiegogo.com]

What if I don't reach my funding goal?

If your campaign is set up as Flexible Funding, you will be able to keep the funds you raise, even if you don't meet your goal. If your campaign is set up as Fixed Funding, all contributions will be returned to your funders if you do not meet your goal. Flexible Funding campaigns that meet their goal are only charged 4% as our platform fee, whereas campaigns that do not meet their goal are charged 9%.

Re:Indiegogo v. Kickstarter (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year ago | (#44647659)

On indiegogo campaigns can be set up as "Flexible Funding" and the hosts get whatever is pledged (minus 9% for fees).

And even if a campaign is fixed funding (as this one was) it seems indiegogo charge immediately and refund if they have to.

I couldn't seem to find any specifics on how things are handled if a campaign fails. In particular does indigogo pay the payment processing fees or do those come out of your refund?

Re:Indiegogo v. Kickstarter (1)

js_sebastian (946118) | about a year ago | (#44647941)

As one commenter said:

Actually it does matter a great deal. A key difference is what happens to the money if the project is not funded to the goal level. On kickstarter if the project misses its goal, no money changes hands. On indiegogo campaigns can be set up as "Flexible Funding" and the hosts get whatever is pledged (minus 9% for fees).

Sure, but this particular indiegogo campaign was fixed funding, so everyone is now getting their money back.

This was predicted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44648751)

An earlier Slashdot post predicted this shortfall.

Not news.

Specs specs specs (1)

gunzy83 (2884769) | about a year ago | (#44649143)

This campaign was launched at enthusiasts who are mostly spec obsessed and they did not have complete specs on the device. There was no working prototype either so for most of us it was too rich to throw money in without knowing what we would get and how it would perform. That leaves Ubuntu fanboys, seems there are quite a few :-D
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