Canonical doesn't see Ubuntu Edge campaign as a failure

Canonical doesn't see Ubuntu Edge campaign as a failure

Summary: The company didn't make its goal, but its leaders still see the crowdsourced Ubuntu Edge campaign as a success.


Not that there was ever much doubt in the last few days about Canonical failing to make its crowd-sourcing goal for the Ubuntu Edge, but now it's official. There will be no Ubuntu Edge.

Alas, for now, the Ubuntu Edge, a combination smartphone and PC, will remain a dream rather than a future shipping product.

While Canonical raised $12.8-million on Indiegogo to develop and build the Ubuntu Linux/Android-powered Ubuntu Edge combination smartphone and PC, it was far short of the $32-million goal. So, without a white knight riding to the rescue with bags full of money, the project has come to an end. Canonical's leaders, however, don't see it as a failure.

Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical's founder, wrote, "Our bold campaign to build a visionary new device ultimately fell short, but we can take away so many positives.."

"Making the Edge the world’s biggest ever fixed crowdfunding campaign," he said, "Let’s not lose sight of what an achievement that is. Close to 20,000 people believed in our vision enough to contribute hundreds of dollars for a phone months in advance, just to help make it happen. It wasn’t just individuals, either: Bloomberg LP gave $80,000 and several smaller businesses contributed $7,000 each."

Furthermore, Shuttleworth believes, "the big winner from this campaign is Ubuntu. 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. 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."

Finally, "All of the support and publicity has continued to drive our discussions with some major manufacturers, and we have many of the world’s biggest mobile networks already signed up to the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group. They’ll have been watching this global discussion of Ubuntu and the need for innovation very closely indeed."

Sources close to Canonical expect the growth of interest in Ubuntu Phones, thanks to the Ubuntu Edge campaign, will lead to more Ubuntu phone support announcements from OEMs and carriers.

Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu community leader, said on Google+ that, "Some have described us not meeting the goal as a 'failure.' I don't see it that way. Let's be honest: $32-million was always an incredibly ambitious target. We would have liked to have done it for less money, but building a F1 superphone doesn't come cheap (and remember that the $32-million didn't include any costs for software engineering and project management... Canonical were providing that for free). It was an ambitious target, but disrupting an industry is ambitious in itself, and we gave the crowd-funding campaign our best shot. The story does not end here though."

Bacon continued: "We are as voraciously excited and committed to bringing this Free Software convergence story to the world as ever before; our work with OEMs, Carriers, and ISVs continues apace. We have fantastic work going on across all fronts, and we are on track to have a 1.0 release of the Ubuntu Phone platform in October."

I wouldn't write off ever seeing an Ubuntu Edge all-in-one device quite yet either. The Ubuntu Edge didn't take off, but similar ideas may yet make it to market.

Last, but not least, if you did "buy" an Ubuntu Edge device, Shuttleworth has said, "We’ve been assured by Paypal that all refunds will be processed within five working days."

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Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Linux, Mobile OS, Ubuntu

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  • I agree, this was hugely successful for Canonical

    They got a ton of free advertising. That's what this was about all along.
    • And the Emperor loves his beautiful cloth

      How surprising.
    • Doesn't hurt

      Not sure if it really was about free publicity all along, but the fact that they got it definitely doesn't hurt.
  • Looks like more people want to buy a video game than buy Linux

    "While Canonical raised $12.8-million on Indiegogo to develop and build the Ubuntu Linux/Android-powered Ubuntu Edge combination smartphone and PC . . ."

    Looks like more people wanted to buy Star Citizen than wanted to buy Linux: Star Citizen raised over $15 million.
    • Over the course of years...

      Canonical raised $12.8-million in month.
    • Looks like more people want to buy a video game than buy Linux

      Really? remind me just how many people brought Android devices?
  • Spin it.

    It's flop and a wrong business model.
    • OwlllllllNet..the only flop anyone see on Zdnet is your posts

      End Of Story OwlllllllNet and you should have figured that out by now

      The Real End Of Story
      Over and Out
    • I don't think it is

      Both Windows and Canonical realize that convergence is the way to go. I would've gladly paid the $800 for the Edge if I had them, and if the specs had been a bit clearer.
      • There's convergence and there's convergence

        Both Microsoft and Ubuntu are striving for UI convergence across a wide range of form factors. However, given that Microsoft is in the operating system and, more recently, device sales business, I'm not certain that it would embrace a Phone OS that becomes a desktop OS when the smartphone is docked. Seems like the Ubuntu Edge concept would be rather limiting to operating system and device sales.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Canonical doesn't see Ubuntu Edge campaign as a failure

    Canonical is in denial. Everyone else sees it as a failure but them. I knew it was going to be a failure because its running linux which has failed on everything it gets installed on. Don't worry Canonical, you can still beg for money from the rest of the linux users.
    • Canonical doesn't see Ubuntu Edge campaign as a failure

      Its sad that some people will stoop this low to tarnish the reputation of Canonical.
      • Stooping?

        Lovey has to reach up to get that low...
    • Linux is the most Successful OS

      on phones and tablets. Canonical did not reach the goal because the goal is set too high, not because it is running Linux.
    • At least it doesn't share your information with the NSA

      1) - official denial with admittance of some guilt
      2) - the truth
      3) - another suspicious denial exposing more information
    • Loverock-Davidson...your in denial now and have always been

      Your posta have always been Failures much like beloved Surface RT. Don't talk about beging...Microsoft is Begging right now for someone to buy that totally FAILED Surface Rt.

      Try spinning it any way you want but it must be driving you crazy that Linux supporters are willing to just support a Linux idea without knowing if it will win or not.

      Back to Windows Lovie because your still stuck there.

      End Of Story ....Lovie
      Over and Out
    • Wrong.

      Though they are taking different approaches, both Canonical and MS are working towards convergence: a single device for all uses. If Canonical's is wrong, so is MS. I believe they're both working in the right direction.
    • Market Share

      Take a look at the server market sometime.
  • Is it just me,

    or does that gal in the picture look totally lost?? It's like she's saying "OK, I connected this phone gizmo to this whatchamacallit using this cord, the monitor is on, now what? I've got my hand on the mouse, but there isn't any pointer thing, what am I supposed to do now?"
    • That's not what I saw

      What I saw was a picture of every single high quality Linux app running on the same screen at the same time.