Smartphones will be able to run an adapted version of the open PC operating system Ubuntu, with manufacturer Canonical showcasing the OS at next week's CES in Las Vegas.
Canonical has designed the OS for what it described as 'high-end superphones' and entry-level devices. The company said it hopes the OS will be particularly popular in the enterprise space, with users being able to run PC apps on a phone when docked with a screen, keyboard and mouse. The operating system potentially gives manufacturers the ability to run converged services across PC, phone and television. Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and vice-president of products at Canonical, said: 'We are defining a new era of convergence in technology, with one unified operating system that underpins cloud computing, data centres, PCs and consumer electronics.'
Around 20 million desktop PCs run Ubuntu and Canonical predicts almost 10% of new desktop and laptop computers will go on sale running Ubuntu in 2014. The OS is based on the open source Linux software.
Canonical said among the features Ubuntu will offer are the ability to find content and switch between apps by using the four edges of the screen, hidden controls that only appear on request, native and web-based HTML5 apps and voice and text commands.
Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical, said: 'We expect Ubuntu to be popular in the enterprise market, enabling customers to provision as single secure device for all PC, thin client and phone functions. Ubuntu is alread the most widely used Linux enterprise desktop, with customers in a wide range of sectors focused on security, cost and manageability. We also see an opportunity in basic smartphones that are used for the phone, SMS, web and email, where Ubuntu outperforms thanks to its native core apps and stylish presentation.'
Author: Graeme Neill