It's the year of Linux — on mobile, at least. Canonical aims to have its new Ubuntu OS in developers' hands in late February with phones available to consumers in "two geographically large markets" this October, reports The Wall Street Journal. The mobile version of the popular open-source operating system was announced last month, sporting no buttons and a gesture-heavy interface similar to what we're seeing on BlackBerry's new Z10. We don't know who will be making Ubuntu devices, but Canonical says that it will be easy for Android phone manufacturers to convert to its platform.
Canonical discussed its design philosophy for the new operating system with Co.Design, describing an almost zen experience for the user inspired by everything from other phones to Japanese architecture. We have doubts about the ease of using an entirely gesture-based OS, but Canonical claims that thanks to muscle memory and simple cues like the phone's edge, it's actually "a leap from where mobile user interfaces were." Our own Vlad Savov took a first look at Ubuntu when it was announced, but in spite of sluggish performance, his biggest concern for the new platform was whether it could find a place in a crowded mobile market. With new versions of iOS and Android likely to come before that, Ubuntu may have a difficult time standing out when October rolls around.