Ubuntu Announces Smartphone OS, Will Show It Off At CES

Ubuntu is absolutely the most well-known flavor of Linux over on the desktop side, but it's far from owning a huge swath of the market share. But can Canonical make inroads in the mobile market? The image shown here may look like your average Galaxy Nexus, but look a little closer at the screen: that's not Android. That's Ubuntu. The fabled Linux OS has been reworked and reintroduced for mobile, and the company is trying to market this as "the superphone that's also a full PC." Strangely, we actually wondered if Microsoft would eventually disown Windows Phone in favor of just porting Windows 8 to mobile, but it looks as if its cross-town Linux rival got there first.

Unfortunately, no actual hardware or carrier support has been announced. And in today's world, you won't get far without either. That said, the OS looks absolutely beautiful, and because it uses the same drivers as Android, there should be plenty of API / dev support already in the waiting. The SDK will allow programmers to craft HTML5 apps, and because there's just one OS for all form factors, a single app can have interfaces for phone and desktop – in just one upload to one store. And, in theory, if a phone were crafted with docking abilities, you could turn the phone into a full-fledged Linux PC with the right peripherals.

The company will be on-hand at CES next week, presumably wooing OEMs and vendors who may be interested in offering yet another promising platform. But, with WP8's trouble to gain ground and RIM's impending comeback, we have to wonder if the world has room for another mobile OS? What do you think? Sound off in the comments section below.