Ubuntu Linux to run on Android handsets! Who saw that coming?

In surprising news from jolly old England, Canonical announces that Ubuntu has developed an Ubuntu for smartphones and tablets. We'll be able to switch out Android for Ubuntu on many existing devices. The company also hopes that manufactures will ship devices with it pre-installed.

Mark Shuttleworth; Ubuntu for smartphones

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers sound surprised.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Here's Joab Jackson with the who, what, when, where, why, whither, whence, and wherefore:

Canonical is developing a version of Ubuntu for smartphones...in part as an alternative to Android. ... [We] should expect the first Ubuntu smartphones to be released late 2013 or early 2014.

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Like the massively popular Android, this version of Ubuntu is based on the...Linux operating system kernel. [But] Ubuntu does not require [a] Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to operate [giving] a performance boost to handsets running Ubuntu, compared to...Android.

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It will work with handsets running either x86 or Arm processors.  MORE

Leo Kelion speaks peace unto nation:

The Linux-based software will allow users to run desktop apps on their handsets, allowing them to double for PCs when docked to monitors.

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A version of the code will shortly be made available to developers to start adapting their apps. ... The firm then plans to release [it] for Galaxy Nexus phones by February, and later for other handsets and ultimately tablet[s].  MORE

Canonical's Jane Silber writes the canonical blog post for the canonical Linux distro:

[It's] our latest and, in my opinion, our most important ever product. ... With the arrival of Ubuntu on smartphones, we can reveal the extent to which [the Unity] work has paid off. ... What is remarkable...is the extent to which it is instantly recognisable...yet it is perfectly designed for its form factor.

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Developers can re-purpose web applications...using the very same web app API, or they can adapt HTML5 apps they’ve already written for other mobile platforms.

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You can see Ubuntu for phones...at CES next week and...at MWC in Barcelona in February.  MORE

No, I resolved never again to make yet another stupid gag about Ted Samson's hair:

The company is pitching the Ubuntu smartphone as a convergence device...[that] enterprise IT departments can adminster via standard management tools.

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Beyond supporting HTML5, Ubuntu provides a native developer environment that uses QML...support[ing] native apps with engines in C or C++, and JavaScript for UI glue...available for download today...[and] full native OpenGL, popular among game makers.

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Hardware makers who build handsets that run Android will have little trouble adopting Ubuntu, says Canonical.  MORE

Meanwhile, John Gruber plays a UX expert on TV:

Looks OK aesthetically, but the purely swipe-and-gesture based UI is a loser. ...gestures are the touchscreen equivalent of keyboard shortcuts...almost never a good choice for the primary interface for a task. [This is] like a desktop interface with nothing but keyboard shortcuts.

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I expect [it] to be about as relevant as Ubuntu is on the desktop.  MORE
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