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Ubuntu may beat Windows 10 to phone-PC convergence after all

Chris Hoffman | May 8, 2015
Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth says Canonical will launch a phone capable of being used as a PC later in 2015, possibly ahead of Windows 10 phones.

The release date slip gives Ubuntu a chance to beat Microsoft to launching this feature. Both projects are scrambling to get the software done with a release date of sometime in 2015.

Canonical's schedules have been slipping, too

There are reasons to be a bit skeptical. The Unity 8 desktop interface and Mir are still in fairly rough, unpolished shape--you can see it for yourself by trying the Ubuntu Desktop Next images.

Unity 8 and Mir were supposed to have been part of the default Ubuntu desktop image for several releases now, but this is clearly taking longer than expected. Unity 8 and Mir may be ready for Ubuntu 15.10, "Wily Werewolf," in October. We'll see.

On the Ubuntu Phone front, the BQ Aquaris is still the only Ubuntu phone that's ever been released, and it's only available in Europe. The first Ubuntu phone for the rest of the world, the Meizu MX4, still isn't out. Meizu and Canonical haven't even announced a release date for it yet.

Canonical will probably still get there, but Microsoft might beat Ubuntu to convergence even if it does launch the new phone this year. If the phone slips to 2016, Microsoft will almost certainly beat them to market. Canonical has fewer developers and didn't spend $7.2 billion to acquire a smartphone manufacturer , so it's definitely an uphill battle for the open-source community.

The race is on.

 

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