Ubuntu on your cellphone? What a fantastic idea!

Would you like to see Ubuntu on your cellphone? Given the state of current embedded platforms, I know that I would.

Would you like to see Ubuntu on your cellphone?  Given the state of current embedded platforms, I know that I would.

The BBC are carrying a story about the Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded project which aims to create the open source platform for initial release around October 2007.  The platform will be developed by developers from the Ubuntu community, along with staff from Intel.

"It is clear that new types of device - small, handheld, graphical tablets which are Internet-enabled - are going to change the way we communicate and collaborate," said Ubuntu CTO Matt Zimmerman.

"These devices place new demands on open-source software and require innovative graphical interfaces, improved power management and better responsiveness."

This is a fantastic idea.  I like it for two reasons:

  1. First, most embedded platforms out there are, well, let me try to be kind, awful.  It's been a long time since I've seen a cellphone or portable media player and thought "wow, that's intuitive/nice to use/well designed/fun."  Ubuntu could change all this.
  2. The exposure that Ubuntu would get from being an embedded platform would be good for Ubuntu and good for Linux as a whole.  It could side-step that whole Windows vs. Mac vs. Linux thing (and what a messy quagmire that is) and be allowed to shine in a segment of the market that's sorely lacking.

Most embedded platforms out there are, well, awful. Ubuntu could change all this.Ubuntu will release more details of the embedded platform at the Developer Summit being held in Seville, Spain from 6 to 11 May and a final version is expected in October this year. 

I can tell you now that I'm looking forward to seeing it in action!  This release of Ubuntu could change how we interact with out mobile devices forever.



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