Canonical's Ubuntu Touch OS set to go live via major handset manufacturer tie-up

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Dec 11, 2013 10:58 AM EST

Canonical's Ubuntu Touch OS set to go live with major handset manufacturer tie-up

UK-based privately-held computer software firm Canonical Ltd will be launching a new line of smartphones running on Ubuntu Touch OS real soon. According to Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical had inked its first deal with a major mobile manufacturer to supply their Ubuntu OS-run smartphones. The report on CNET did not disclose financial and other pertinent details about the deal.

Shuttleworth said, "We have concluded our first set of agreements to ship Ubuntu on mobile phones. We've shifted gears from ‘making a concept' to ‘it's going to ship.' That has a big impact on the team."

Ubuntu is an operating system that is used by 20 million users globally everyday, according to its site. It is based on free software and is named after a philosophy term used in Southern Africa which means human-ness. canonical is the developer of Ubuntu.

Shutterworth also added that his company is also in advance discussions with several other companies. He stated, "We are now pretty much at the board level on four household brands. They sell a lot of phones all over the world, in emerging and fully emerged markets, to businesses and consumers."

According to a CNET article, the nine year-old company's milestones is still far from the successes of dominant players in the smartphone market, Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Shutterworth, on the other hand, recognized the competition, and even smaller mobile OS players like the Windows Phone of Microsoft, Samsung's Tizen and Intel and Mozilla's Firefox OS, among others. Shutterworth believed that Ubuntu Touch with its programming foundation that is flexible and an immersive services-oriented interface, will be able to obtain a sizeable share in the smartphone market.

"Volume is important. We want to do stuff that people use every day," Shutterworth stated. He clarified, however, that Ubuntu Touch OS was not meant to occupy only a little niche of the smartphone market.

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