Canonical wants Ubuntu on tablets and smartphones

Canonical has confirmed plans to expand its Ubuntu Linux distribution to tablets, smartphones and other mobile interactive devices.

“Everyday computer users are starting to do their computing across a broader array of devices and form factors,” explained Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth.

“[We want to] bring Ubuntu to all the personal computing form factors, on phones, tablets and smart-screens.”

According to Shuttleworth, future Ubuntu apps will offer “multiple personalities” for various form factors.

“[For example], when it is running on a desktop computer, it will have a different personality from when it is running on a tablet… From a developer point of view, there will be a phenomenal amount of coherency and reuse of the core capabilities on the application.”

Clearly, Ubuntu faces an uphill battle for adoption in the hyper-competitive mobile market, which is currently dominated by Apple (iOS) and Google (Android). 

However, Shuttleworth believes the company’s recently introduced Unity UI puts Canonical in an appropriate position to build a coherent family of interfaces. 

[“Mobile] is a natural expansion of our idea as Ubuntu as Linux for human beings. As people have moved from desktop to new form factors for computing, it’s important for us to reach out to out community on these platforms. 

“So, we’ll embrace the challenge of how to use Ubuntu on smartphones, tablets and smart-screens,” he added.