...and pigs might fly

Story: Ubuntu OS for smartphones may come next yearTotal Replies: 9
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Jun 05, 2012
8:35 AM EDT
Well.. it could happen. This is such a non-story I'm amazed it saw print.

Look, I believe Canonical is working on the product. I really do. Right now it's just vaporware and right now this is just so much additional meaningless Ubuntu hype without substance.

Jun 05, 2012
8:49 AM EDT
Pigs can fly, with sufficient propulsion.

That doesn't mean it's a good idea.

Jun 05, 2012
8:51 AM EDT
LOL, gus3, that was a perfect response! I know I got in trouble with one LXer reader who doesn't like me much for saying it in another thread, but I don't get excited about Ubuntu for Android. Show me a Linux based smartphone OS that can compete with Android and then I will get excited.

Jun 05, 2012
10:39 AM EDT
When Ubuntu first appeared it was pretty much debian with a nice installer and a good selection of packages from stable and testing.

I'm not mocking it. The installer was very well thought out and was value added to an already good base.

Debian was one of the most popular Linux distros at the time.

I do not doubt that in one year Canonical could take a very popular open source phone OS distro, add Ubuntu 'branding' to it, possibly add some value by integrating Ubuntuone 'cloud' backup and services.

However, phones are a different market. Most people will use the os that their phone came with. The success or failure of a phone OS will be decided by the wireless carriers who sell phones.

Unless Canonical offers something that carriers desperately want, the carriers will not choose Ubuntu over Android. The carriers can already get Android for free. What will Ubuntu offer to make carriers interested in installing Ubuntu on their phones?

So to break into this market, don't think about what you want to see in a phone OS, but what wireless carriers want to see...

-Free customization for your platform?

-Added customer lock-in features?

-Added features to help 'monetize' customer phone usage for carriers?

-Sales incentives for phones shipped with Ubuntu OS?

-By-pass carriers and make deals with phone manufacturers directly?

Point 4 is one of the ways Microsoft is trying with WP7.

Point 1 would help position Canonical against Google/Android, but Google could easily counter with more support.

Points 2 and 3 are things that carriers are doing now with their own customizations to Android. Canonical could offer to build these things into the OS resulting in cost savings for carriers.

Point 5 may be the toughest sell for Canonical. HTC would probably be the best to approach. Nokia is tied up with MS. Samsung and HTC are both big for Android, but HTC has many more products and so could offer more variety.

Another thing to try for would be to truly write their own linux based phone OS, but for them to think 'Lubuntu' not 'Ubuntu'. Create something visually pleasing, but with much lower resource usage. Making the phone experience visually stunning, while being fast and responsive could give an edge over Android. However, Canonical has never done that with their distro, so why would they with their phone OS?

The only other thing I can think of would be tight integration with Microsoft Office, Outlook and Exchange. Include security optimizations for Office users. This would be directing their competition against Blackberry. Microsoft has dropped the ball on this and many corporate phone users are looking for a solution. A modern smart phone with all the security that corporate wags want. That is a niche that is currently unfilled.

Jun 05, 2012
11:17 AM EDT
@caitlyn, most times when I hear "when pigs fly," that's a good rejoinder.

Jun 05, 2012
8:14 PM EDT
Quoting:Pigs can fly, with sufficient propulsion.
Actually, doesn't most people's idea of "able to fly" generally include the notion of "able to land (safely)"?



Jun 05, 2012
8:57 PM EDT
@BS, that's only an assumption. Missiles fly, but they aren't designed to land multiple times. Some aren't designed to land at all (surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles).

Jun 05, 2012
9:31 PM EDT

Yeah -- but those are none of them designed to survive the flight. I don't call that "flying" -- otherwise I could "fly" by stepping off the the roof of my apartment.

Jun 05, 2012
10:36 PM EDT
> Pigs can fly, with sufficient propulsion ... That doesn't mean it's a good idea.


> I don't call that "flying" -- otherwise I could "fly" by stepping off the the roof of my apartment.

As with flying pigs, that doesn't mean it's a good idea. :)

Jun 06, 2012
12:19 AM EDT
How about when cats fly? For real?


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