2015 is certainly 'A Good Year' for Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu. Spanish phone-maker Bq started selling the first Ubuntu phones this year in the European market. Now Chinese vendor Meizu is debuting their first Ubuntu powered smartphone at MWC. The good news is that unlike Bq, Meizu will be selling the phone globally, including in the US, and their hardware is much more powerful than that of Bq.
What makes Ubuntu phones unique is that the same code will power all of the Ubuntu devices - from smartphones, to desktops to TV sets. Canonical has been working hard to make their ‘convergence’ story a reality and with Unity 8 (the UI they use for phone and which will be used in future Ubuntu desktop OS ) they are inching towards that reality.
Canonical has created many new technologies for their phones, including the Unity interface as well as MIR, their own display server. At the same time they also didn’t shy away from using many of the open source technologies to build their platform.
Canonical has also created a Chrome OS-like transitional upgrade model where users will be able to upgrade their operating systems without carriers slowing down, delaying or denying it -- something often seen in the Android ecosystem.
Looking at the current mobile landscape where major companies are working towards creating their walled gardens, Ubuntu seems to be more open and flexible. As far as ‘Linux’ on mobile is concerned, Ubuntu is the community’s biggest hope.
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