The Chinese government has selected Canonical’s Ubuntu as the basis for a new reference architecture for a Chinese OS in order to provide a flexible, open, widely-used and standardised operating system. Moreover, The China Software and Integrated Chip Promotions Centre (CSIP), Canonical and the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) have formed the CCN Open Source Innovation Joint Lab in Beijing.
The initial work of the Joint Lab is focused on the development of an enhanced version of the Ubuntu desktop with features specific to the Chinese market. The new version is called Ubuntu Kylin (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuKylin) and the first version will be released in April 2013 as part of Ubuntu’s global release schedule. “Red Flag has always been the country’s biggest open source project. But it seems that Canonical wants to make free software even bigger’, says Klint Finley of wired.co.uk.
Also in headlines recently, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical, has been nominated by Forbes as the ‘Disruptor of the Year’ in computing amongst 12 other key leaders in their respective industries. “Its software [Ubuntu] can turn your tablet, laptop, smartphone or television into one connected system. That puts it in direct competition with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android and with Microsoft”, says Caroline Howard of Forbes.
Ubuntu running on Tablets was launched on the 19th February and made its global debut a week later at Mobile World Congress (MWC). The launch completes the Ubuntu family for phones, TV, PCs and tablets, delivering the same capabilities on all four screens, a fact not lost on the media. Mobile Magazine wrote: “Ubuntu too has been called out for having tons of potential with its very scalable OS that works with phones, tablets and computers.”
Demos of Ubuntu running on phones and tablets at the MWC show drew the crowds and attracted wide acclaim in the media. CNet said “… it knocks rivals like Firefox OS and Samsung-backed Tizen into a cocked hat….on first impressions I’m hugely taken with Ubuntu Touch. It’s elegant, thoughtful, and versatile, while remaining beautifully straightforward.” Meanwhile, Tech Thirsty said “Tech enthusiasts the world over were looking forward to checking out two new mobile OSs at MWC too – Canonical’s Ubuntu Touch and Mozilla’s Firefox OS. Unfortunately for Mozilla, what can we say, Ubuntu got more attention at the event.”
While Ubuntu for phones and tablets stole the show for many MWC visitors, Canonical offered much more there. A particular highlight was the recent release of images and open source code for the Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu, enabling enthusiasts and developers to familiarise themselves with the Ubuntu experience on spare handsets. Already there have been more than 110,000 downloads of the preview. At MWC, visitors could also have their Nexus 4, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 devices flashed with Ubuntu.
The industry’s growing interest in Ubuntu was also in focus with Canonical demonstrating its API in cooperation with GSMA, Deutsche Telekom and Orange, that allows integration and interoperability with the carriers’ authentication and billing systems.
An extremely popular panel discussion at MWC involved the coming together on stage of the heads of Mozilla and Jolla with Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical. Watch it here, or read the report. The discussion focused on the new wave of operating systems coming into the mobile space and the need for innovation to shake up the industry.
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