You’d have to think really hard to name another person in computing technology that drives so much force behind a product. Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonical has made Ubuntu what it is.

And although his plans to publicly fund a smartphone powered by his operating system did not become reality last year, he is currently fine tuning the upcoming release of Ubuntu Touch — yes, a touch optimized version of the popular OS.

This flavor of Linux for smartphones and tablets is still in development, with Canonical doing all it can to make it compete with other such operating platforms, including Windows 8.

In a new interview, the Canonical founder said that while initially the company only wanted to dive into the mobile phones, they expanded their horizons and now want to get into the tablet business too:

“We brought the tablet schedule forward and pushed the phone schedule back a little back. So middle of this year to Q3 this year we’ll see both phones running Ubuntu on the market.”

He further said that some big vendors are ready to invest into making and shipping Ubuntu mobile devices, and a couple of hardware makers have already announced the first smartphones powered by the platform in fall 2014.

This is when we will also see tablets and slates powered by the touch optimized flavor of Ubuntu.

A new entrant in the field is always good — it keeps other companies in check and working to deliver innovation, and driving technology forward. With Mozilla also rushing in its Firefox OS devices, we truly are living in the golden age of mobile technology.

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  • Ray C

    I could care less. At this point I’m tired of talking about Ubuntu. It’s almost an unhealthy obsession for some people. Are people really that dissatisfied with EVERY other product on the market that the success of Ubuntu or some future flavor of Linux is like life or death for them?

    • Ted Smith

      I get what you’re saying, Ray. I don’t even disagree necessarily. All I’ll say is it’s hard to deny Shuttleworth’s power and influence right now. He’s definitely influential.

      • Rodney Longoria

        Regardless Ted, we ARE talking about Linux aren’t we … which has how much market share? Until they break the mold and make it more like Mac OS X, I just don’t see it happening.

  • Radu Tyrsina

    New? Two weeks ago

  • thomas rinehart

    Variety gives consumers choice, and increases innovation. We the consumers are the winners.

    • Emily W

      You’re right. I don’t see how this will be bad for anyone. If anything, I expect this to make Windows better.

  • Jake

    I don’t know much about Mark Shuttleworth. It looks like I need to do some research, because he’s obviously extremely important. This guy commands some respect according to this though.