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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ubuntu Arrives at the Future for Tech

Posted by on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 2:27 PM

I don't think that anyone is going to adopt Ubuntu because of this, but it's still an important announcement:

Engadget explains it better than I ever could:

Regardless of precise dates, why would someone bother with such a latecomer to the mobile OS game? There are actually a few good reasons. Most importantly, Ubuntu is so lightweight that — by the time Ubuntu 14.04 rolls around — it'll be able to use the same code across all four form factors, with the same security features, user profiles and UI fundamentals.

Since the OS will be a constant, a smartphone-oriented app will work on an Ubuntu tablet or any other Ubuntu device without having to be ported or even tweaked.

Microsoft and Apple both seem to be trying to reach the point where they have one operating system that runs on everything—phones, tablets, laptops, desk tops—but neither one is quite there yet. Tablets and phones don't yet have the computing power to do everything a desktop can do, so we have these two parallel operating systems where apps that work on mobile computing devices don't work on desktops and vice versa. But ultimately, all of our screens are going to be linked all the time, and they're going to do so effortlessly, without any patches or kludges or workarounds. This is the sort of thing that Apple or Microsoft will announce to great acclaim in four or five years, and when that day comes, someone should be there to point out that Ubuntu got there first.

 

Comments (18) RSS

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1
The biggest problem with mobile Ubuntu (and this is coming from a person who runs Ubuntu full time on his home PC) is that they seem to be ceding almost all control of the platform to carriers. Carriers are the one set of people who can't be trusted.
Posted by arbeck http://www.facebook.com/arbeck on February 19, 2013 at 2:49 PM · Report this
2

Tizen 2.0 operating system released to developers


The Intel and Samsung backed operating system is seen as potential competition to Android in some markets


http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on February 19, 2013 at 3:13 PM · Report this
3
God damn it, Paul! Stop trying to cover tech! I love reading your book and movie reviews, and like your political writing as well. But you just don't know shit about tech!

For example, "Microsoft and Apple both seem to be trying to reach the point where they have one operating system that runs on everything" is just wrong. Microsoft is attempting that with Windows 8, but they are getting bitch-slapped for their efforts. Apple is most certainly not. They divide their OS between OS X on the PC and iOS on mobile devices. Yes, I'm aware that iOS uses a similar kernel and some of the unix underpinnings are shared with OS X, but they are vastly different at the public API and UI level, and it would be silly to argue that they are "one operating system".

p.s. I shall allow you to review e-readers.
Posted by ohthetrees on February 19, 2013 at 3:40 PM · Report this
4
Thanks for having an open mind and not being another Slog Apple fan boy.
Posted by Tom on February 19, 2013 at 3:42 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 5
It's nifty. But what does the connection cost? Thousand a month?
Posted by Pope Peabrain on February 19, 2013 at 3:45 PM · Report this
Kinison 6
Yeah and upgrading the OS will be alot like upgrading it on a typical Android device, its going to be painful. There will be helpful inconsistent guides to step you through the process and any forum you ask questions on, will be answered mostly by people who barely speak english (lots of tech nerds in Europe).

As you can see, im really not impressed with the do it yourself Android Upgrade option.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on February 19, 2013 at 3:52 PM · Report this
7
@3 is right. Apple proudly has different operating systems across different devices, and it's not at all because of technical limitations of those devices. It's because it makes no sense to try to produce one thing that works in those vastly different environments (either as the platform author or third party app developers). This will not change any time soon.

Microsoft is trying a different strategy, to some degree, and it doesn't look like it will work out to be worthwhile.
Posted by senor chris on February 19, 2013 at 4:07 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 8
Ehhhh... I think we're a long way off from a universal operating system.

I occasionally do some graphic design work that requires a fair amount of computing power, and generally have to maintain a relatively new, relatively powerful desktop computer. Not the bleeding edge of power, but a cheap laptop or 5 year old desktop just won't keep up.

Tablets are great for some things. Light and handy. Fine for general browsing and light word processing. Tablets are getting close to making many laptops obsolete. But they are a long way from having the computing power necessary for some of the more intensive programs running on my desktop machine. I think a merging of OS is a long way off yet.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on February 19, 2013 at 4:12 PM · Report this
9
"a smartphone-oriented app will work on an Ubuntu tablet or any other Ubuntu device without having to be ported"

Uhhhhhh what? Pretty sure that's not true at all. Unless it's in a high-level interpreted/VMed language. If it's an actual compiled binary, it's gonna need to be compiled for each architecture.

Android gets away with this mostly because it's almost entirely Java and all apps are written in or sitting on Java. But for example your binary executable for LibreOffice on Ubuntu for PC can't be copied to your Ubuntu on Kindle Fire (say) and still be expected to work. The CPUs are fundamentally different.
Posted by K on February 19, 2013 at 4:31 PM · Report this
10
@9 I wonder how long it would take to compile LibreOffice on a Kindle Fire.
Posted by WestSeven on February 19, 2013 at 6:24 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 11
"Since the OS will be a constant, a smartphone-oriented app will work on an Ubuntu tablet or any other Ubuntu device without having to be ported or even tweaked."

This is why I avoid Engadget.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 19, 2013 at 6:25 PM · Report this
JonnoN 12
I, for one, welcome our new x86 phone overlords!
Posted by JonnoN http://www.backnine.org/ on February 19, 2013 at 8:03 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 13
@12: Aren't they ARM?
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 19, 2013 at 8:09 PM · Report this
SchmuckyTheCat 14
Windows is already there. From phone to server, same kernel, and apps written for the Modern UI are cross-platform. That may not be useful, but it's there.
Posted by SchmuckyTheCat on February 19, 2013 at 10:52 PM · Report this
w7ngman 15
#9 compiling for a different architecture != porting
Posted by w7ngman http://userscripts.org/users/89370 on February 19, 2013 at 10:57 PM · Report this
sven forkbeard 16
@3 If you look at the evolution of OSX from 10.3 to 10.7, you'll see a gradual iOSification of the operating system. While Microsoft is trying to shoehorn Win8 onto small devices, Apple is trying to find a way to transition desktop users to an iOS system.
Posted by sven forkbeard on February 19, 2013 at 11:05 PM · Report this
JensR 17
Also KDE's Plasma desktop is doing just this and have been the last years. Ubuntu is, as of yet, not really their yet. Aaron Seigo talked about this in a blog post a few days ago.

Although as a Linux enthusiast I am aaaall for Ubuntu making some splash.

@8 Oooooh tell me about it. I work as an illustrator (as well as some graphic design) and the problem there is that sometimes its fine to work on a tablet (my husband owns a Galaxy Note 10.1 - the one with the stylus), but it will quickly just bog down after a while and trying to do anything more complex than "some picture, about X size" is just impossible.
Posted by JensR http://ohyran.se on February 20, 2013 at 12:58 AM · Report this
watchout5 18
One of the only "complaints" about my phone, and I have a hard time calling it exactly that, is that I can't hack into wireless networks with it. With ubuntu it would be easy, so a device that small and powerful enough to crack wireless? Yes please.
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on February 20, 2013 at 2:18 PM · Report this

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