Ubuntu, one of the big names of the desktop platform industry will make an appearance also on mobile devices, stated today Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonical Ltd. The company backing up Ubuntu OS from the past year, has finally made the decision to unveil today a small, but working version of what’s about to come for the mobile industry.

Inspired by Ubuntu’s desktop version, MeeGo and even with a flavor of Windows 8, the mobile Ubuntu operating system can already be experienced on tweaked Android smartphones and starting with the upcoming year, people should expect full-state devices.

Ubuntu Mobile OS, by Canonical

ubuntu phones

In a market strongly dominated by Android and iOS, a third but proper competitor has yet to reveal itself, even though big names like Microsoft and RIM already exist. In the new wave, right alongside Tizen and Firefox, Ubuntu will have to struggle to become relevant and win some precious percentages.

Unlike most underdogs, Ubuntu is going to heavily bet on Android in order to get a head jump. As the CEO of Canonical presented, Ubuntu mobile OS (it’s not the final name, but we’ll call it so) will be supported by most Android vendors and platform-specific applications will be easily ported from Google’s OS.

Running on a Linux-based kernel, the long awaited mobile version of Ubuntu will embed a touch-optimized user interface which mostly relies on edge swipes instead of buttons for navigation, just like Windows 8 or, should we say the long buried MeeGo OS. Moreover, menu icons will feature an extended set of options and the system itself will also integrate voice recognized commands.

As for delivery, Canonical claims that any Android vendor can install the upcoming Ubuntu platform on their devices and although no carriers or names have been mentioned, the first, full-featured smartphones will arrive in 2014, possibly even at the end of this year. Until then, a demo experience can be previewed this year at CES, right on a tweaked Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

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