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?

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  • garak0410

    Windows 8 is a good OS. I am enjoying it and I am going through the growing plains of accepting it has ah hybrid. It is still jarring to go from the Start Screen to the desktop but I am getting used to it. It is quite stable and I am actually making use of the Start Screen. I have a Surface as well but I may go Pro so I can run some older things on it.

  • Eric S. Mueller

    Not very long ago, the latest version of Ubuntu’s major selling point was “It doesn’t have Metro”.

    I’m enjoying Windows 8, which I upgraded to last week. It was the most effortless Windows upgrade I’ve ever had. I’m still trying to decide what I think of the Metro apps though. I don’t mind the interface; I’m finding the tiles to be easy to work with and easy to get information from quickly. I still prefer to work with legacy Windows apps though. Using Metro apps on my laptop is just like using iOS apps on my iPad.