Despite the naysayers out there that says Windows 8 is the wrong direction and that the idea of a hybrid mobile/desktop OS is a bad plan– the age of a universal OS is now closer than ever.
While Microsoft’s Windows 8 is the most advanced effort to merge mobile and desktop efforts, even Apple’s Mac OS X has started to borrow more and more ideas from iOS, including LaunchPad and the idea of an AppStore.
It isn’t just Apple and Microsoft that are interested in a future that merges mobile and desktop efforts together more closely, though. Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux distro, has also talked about working to bring its Ubuntu/Linux technologies over to the mobile world in the past.
Talk is cheap though, and sometimes you just have to jump forward and DO, despite what people might think. This is the bold step Microsoft took with Windows 8, and now Ubuntu might be taking as well.
A quick visit to Canonical’s Ubuntu website will show off a big countdown image that counts down to 12PM US Central timing, today. The mantra with the countdown is “So close, you can almost touch it”.
While we can’t say for sure what the big secret is, odds are that Ubuntu is bringing new touch features over to Ubuntu. I highly doubt that Ubuntu is creating a new version specifically separate for touch, so in this effort Ubuntu might appear to be quite a bit like Windows 8— bringing mobile and touch under one roof.
Hardcore Linux fans have criticized these more “user-friendly” moves from Canonical over the last few years, so it is likely this new feature set won’t be exactly embraced that well by Linux enthusiasts either. So why do it? Same reason as Windows made big changes.
Canonical isn’t happy with just being a niche OS, and hopes to carve out a bigger piece of the market by adopting more mainstream tactics. This is similar to how Microsoft isn’t content to just exist in the traditional PC world, they want a bigger piece of the mobile pie.
What do you think of Windows 8 so far? Do you like the idea of modern operating systems merging the mobile and desktop efforts under one OS or not?