I am a Linux user, but I do not use Ubuntu since Canonical changed the main GUI for Ubuntu. That could change because Canonical has finally announced that it will be coming out with Ubuntu that can run on mobile phones. Canonical has plans for Ubuntu to become a full operating system that can run on several devices. So there will be a full desktop on the phone. This will help with the unified ecosystem for Canonical. The idea that any Linux OS is coming out on a phone is exciting. Also, from what I can tell, Ubuntu has a nice interface, which adds to the excitement. Even though people in the mobile market expect an interface with a nice feel, for that nice interface to come from any Linux-based product is exciting.
Another advantage that Canonical has going for it is the fact that the OS can run on either ARM or x86 processor. A developer can write an application and have it run on both main processors and several devices without having to rewrite the application. This is a big advantage over Microsoft, because Windows 8 RT requires developing special versions of the application software.
No Java anyone? Another advantage of Ubuntu is that the OS does not depend on the Java environment to operate. That means that Ubuntu can make better use of the hardware and does not have depend on any other software sitting in the middle.
Are these advantages good enough to carry the Ubuntu into large market share? Just like many other people, I do question the timing of the release dates. It will not be released until the end of 2013 at the earliest. There is also the unfortunate fact that there will not be many applications at first launch, which will weigh on its success. For the timing issue, we just have to wait and see. For the issue of applications, it can be a negative at first. Over time, it could work itself out. The new operating system will have a relatively flat learning curve because the OS will include Python, GTK+, and all the other programming languages that come with the desktop. At least compared to Apple’s Objective-C, the familiar development environment will make it easier for beginners and others to get up and going with this OS. Android did not have that many apps when it launched but it is doing all right for itself. Another thing that could help with the application issues is that Valve is working to get Steam running on Linux. Since any new phone will have full-featured Ubuntu, it may be able to run Steam. The exciting part of running Steam is that it will help to get games on the phone bringing an Ubuntu-based phone more attention, adding to its weight in the market.
An Ubuntu-based phone might not make a big impact in the overall phone market and it is likely it would have a small market share under the best circumstances. But it will have a niche to fill, which makes this development exciting. I will watch closely to see how the OS plays out. If the Ubuntu phone does well, it may be the reason that I return to using Ubuntu. That is, if I can get over the UI of the desktop.