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Canonical Maps out Ubuntu Strategy at CES

TVs, cars, phones -- Ubuntu isn't just about Linux anymore. And, oh yeah, desktops, too.

The name Ubuntu is closely tied to Linux, but that doesn't mean Ubuntu is only interested in Linux servers and desktops. This week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind Ubuntu, is showing off where it's headed in the consumer space.

Canonical is demoing their Ubuntu TV concept, which puts the Linux vendor's distribution onto TV sets. They're also showing In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems powered by Ubuntu. Helping to connect those items together with desktop users, the company is also stressing the importance of their multi-platform UbuntuOne service. UbuntuOne enables users to share and synchronize content across desktop and mobile devices.

"The strategy is to move Ubuntu beyond the PC space where we traditionally have been working," Peter Goodall, Product Manager for Product Strategy at Canonical told InternetNews.com. "So we're adapting Ubuntu to multiple devices."

With Ubuntu TV, the goal is to deliver an operating system for the TV. The solution is fully integrated with the TV and doesn't require a separate box or device. Goodall explained that the system combines the way people access TV today, including cable and satellite feeds as well as getting access to online content. The system will also enable users to included their own content, like pictures taken from a mobile phone.

"As I take pictures on my Android phone with UbuntuOne, it uploads all my photos and I can stream it to my TV," Goodall said.

UbuntuOne can also be running on an Ubuntu Linux desktop, a Windows desktop or even an Apple iPhone.

"Notwithstanding the name UbuntuOne, we actually are not based on Ubuntu," Christian Parrino, Vice President, Online Services at Canonical told InternetNews.com. "Ubuntu is just one of several platforms that we support."

That said, Parrino noted that the majority of UbuntuOne users today are running Ubuntu Linux. A fast growing use-case for UbuntuOne is for Ubuntu users that have multiple devices, so they can sync on both Ubuntu as well as Windows or a mobile phone.

Ubuntu also has a multi-platform stance when it comes to the different types of system architectures that it will support. For traditional Linux desktops and servers, x86 is the norm, while in the consumer space for Ubuntu TV the system is likely to be running on ARM. Goodall noted that Canonical has a history of working with ARM and is already working on ARM boards from multiple vendors.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist




Tags: Linux, Ubuntu, Canonical


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