The folks behind the open source community-developed operating system Ubuntu are alll excited about Ubuntu Mobile. They view this as a technology that can turn Mobile Internet Devices (their CAPS) into a "new class of computers."
This will all happen, you see, "via licensed codecs and popular third party applications."
Some of the woo-hoo, as expressed on the Ubuntu site:
- Full Web 2.0/AJAX fidelity, with custom options of Adobe Flash, Java, and more
- Outstanding media playback so you can enjoy videos, music and photos with superior quality and easy navigation
- A suite of applications that work seamlessly to meet every need of a digital parent, student or anyone who is on-the-go
- Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Dailymotion, 3D games, GPS, maps, in short, the full Web 2.0 experience delivered into your hands as a compact and powerful device that's easy and fun to use.
Sounds cool, but let's do a real-world reality check here.
Unless the device manufacturers and the carriers come on board and truly open up their networks and UIs to these applications, we're looking at nothing but niche, hacked applications from coder fanboys.
Example: in the grab at the top of this post, I'm pointing to the Skype icon. But what if your handset's carrier won't allow Skype to run? And if we are talking about Ubuntu Mobile via notebooks, wouldn't it be easier to just download and install Skype from the Skype site?
And for those of you who live in that world, please understand that enthusiasm for your apps ain't gonna bubble up from the mobile device user base.
That user base only cares about getting online, texting, performing basic functions- not installing what, in the repressive world of carrier-dictated mobile device functionality, sounds too much like a hack to me.