The big question hovering over the release of Ubuntu version 13.04 is, will of up to expectations (set by the company itself) of finally bringing practical, widespread usage of Linux OS to mobile devices?
[adsense] The prospect of using Ubuntu on tablet, smart phone and other handhelds has been out there ever since earlier Linux driven applications, such as drivers for the Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch, became available around the time of the launch of Ubuntu 10. In those days, of course, installation errors and the old Ubuntu “black screen of death” dominated the experience of many frustrated users.
These days, revisions such as 13.04 going forward are supposed to at last put an end to such glitches, enabling Linux users to apply that system to a host of devices, be it Linux-based smartphones, Ubuntu on tablet units, and other hardware. At present Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, is working on bringing the operating system to the Nexus 7, in addition to the 40 devices it is currently running on. Coordinating all these different uses for the OS while making them all work regardless of hardware platform is quite involved, but Canonical believes it is up to the challenge.
Because consumers demand apps to work the first time they’re using them, be it Ubuntu on tablet or other mobile device, the underlying OS upon which they will run will require more frequent revisions to ensure the functionality is there. With the newest OS, Ubuntu wants to shorten the time frame of support they provide for the releases down to nine months, to ensure all programs run smoothly, as well as to be “as quick and agile as possible,” says Canonical CEO Jane Silber.
Early feedback from consumers anticipating the rise in use of Ubuntu on tablet, phone and other devices has been positive. Says one advocate, “the OS looks absolutely brilliant so far. I would love to see it pick up traction. At the very least, one has to think it would certainly do better than Windows 8.
I will be waiting with high hopes for the first official tablet.” From here, the main test will be whether Linux can be adopted by less experienced users. If the system and apps written for it run as smoothly as the main competitors Android and Apple OSs, the mobile reign of Ubuntu will have begun.