So Ubuntu, arguably the most popular Linux desktop OS out there has decided to jump into the mobile space.
Quite frankly I think they took too long and it may just be too late. The problem is that we don’t have products anymore. An OS is not a product. Its an ecosystem. You need to have a large population of users, developers and manufacturers willing to bet on your system for future profit.
Windows had the biggest first mover advantage but they clearly botched it up and if their recent spending on R&D is anything to go by, they are not going to make that mistake again. The linux world has suffered from fragmentation and nonsensical duplication of features, code and effort. Why we have over 100 distributions(versions) of linux OS. Ubuntu itself is a modification of the Debian distribution and Mark Shuttleworth probably wanted more control in the direction the OS takes hence the offshoot but nonetheless there is a lot of waste around.
That being said, the Ubuntu Phone is late to the party but it just might be the show stopper especially if they figure out how to run android apps. Also if the development and upgrade cycle is maintained for the phone ecosystem like it is on the desktop, then many (Technical) users would move if only for the frequent updates. It tends to make you feel like you are being taken care off.
Well I personally cant wait for the first phones to show up. Will definitely be on the line in wait only if the price is right.
I use a Macbook Pro running Mac OSX 10.7.5 and its safe to say its a tough sale for anyone with a linux and windows background. The OS is restrictive, very few customizations that I can use and though beautiful, wants you to buy all the apps. It also doesn’t help that the proprietary format of the apps and the immense cost of owning one of these machines greatly reduces its mass market appeal.
Recently the need for a windows environment necessitated the installation of windows on the macbook and nowadays the only way to go is 64 bit so as to utilize the full RAM. The process was painless enough what with the help from the mac based Boot Camp app that does the hard disk partitioning for you and downloads the latest windows drivers for the apple hardware.
I find the mac environment to be more stable(as compared to Windows 7), tends to consume less resources of the machine doing the same task and feels more fluid in carrying out transitions between windows, minimizing , maximizing and related actions on the interface. Application interactions with the OS are however much more restricted leading to some frustrations if you are a previous windows or linux user. For instance, I have not found a way to configure a bittorrent client to initiate a system shut down when it finishes downloading a torrent. I do not like wasting resources and keeping the Macbook on all night with most of those hours spent doing nothing sounds unattractive to me. Also no USB tethering of your smartphone for internet access. I did not understand this one.
Also moving files back and forth between an external hard disk and the macbook is a pain for no particularly apparent reason. A multitude of other nuances that are taken for granted in the other environments are just not doable here. I suppose these are meant to make the OS very limited in terms of what an unknowing user can mistakenly change by installing a rogue app.
I still find myself mostly booting into the Mac environment more when I want to have some fun be it writing this blog post, playing music or watching a movie. The windows side is for the boring stuff, project work, report writing, document editing etc.
The Mac is made for the wealthy as is evidenced by its price, content and usability quirks. That being said I do not find its interface advantages big enough to warrant investment by a regular laptop/computer user.