updated 06:26 am EST, Thu February 7, 2013
Ubuntu smartphones set for October rollout
The first new devices running Ubuntu's mobile operating system will hit the market in October, reports the Wall Street Journal. Developers will gain access to the beta versions of the operating system as early as late this month, with a variant that is designed to run on Samsung's Galaxy Nexus device. Without getting into specifics, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth also added that the company will target two geographically large markets at the time of launch.
Brandishing what Shuttleworth calls a 'leap forward' in user interface design, the new Ubuntu mobile OS is capable of being connected to a monitor and wirelessly connected to a keyboard, where it will function like a desktop computer. In this configuration, it will also be able to support Windows applications remotely served over corporate networks. The UI adopts a similar approach to Microsoft's new Windows 8 interface, where actions are initiated by swiping in from each edge of the device's screen. Among its features, users can multitask, while not leaving the current app that they might be in.
Although it is likely that there will be a range of hardware variants with various levels of processing power, Canonical has set a minimum performance specification of a dual-cor Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1GHz and matched with at least 512MB of RAM. When it launches in October, Canonical promises to simultaneously debut an app store following a similar paradigm to Apple and Google where there will be a choice of free and low cost apps, along with more expensive apps as well.