Open source software company Canonical has said that a forthcoming mobile version of its Ubuntu operating system could allow companies to give employees a single device for both mobile and desktop use.
Ubuntu for Phones is a compressed version of Canonical’s Ubuntu desktop distribution of Linux. Not only can it operate as a smartphone operating system, but it can also run desktop apps. That means that if a device carrying the OS is connected to a keyboard, mouse and monitor, or a thin client terminal, it could be used as a desktop PC.
This, Canonical CEO Jane Sibler says, could be used in the enterprise. “We expect Ubuntu to be popular in the enterprise market, enabling customers to provision a single secure device for all PC, thin client and phone functions."
The company expects Ubuntu for Phones to be deploy in one of two ways. It can run on low-end smartphones natively, or can be installed on Android devices as a secondary operating system. This second option will require higher end devices, however, with HDMI and USB support.
"Ubuntu is already the most widely used Linux enterprise desktop, with customers in a wide range of sectors focused on security, cost and manageability," said Sibler. "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."
At a press conference in London yesterday, Canonical said that devices with Ubuntu for Phones pre-installed will be available from next year. It also said that the desktop version of Ubuntu has over 20 million users around the world.