Oh snap, here comes another entry into the mobile OS game. Instead of some no-name third-party, though, Canonical has plans to step up to the plate with Ubuntu and see how it fares at on-the-go computing. Once the finishing touches have been put on the the upcoming LTS (long term service) release -- version 12.04 -- Canonical plans to start porting Ubuntu to mobile handsets, tablets, and even smart TVs.

Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical founder, stated that Android will be their primary competition, going as far as to say that Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility has "[shaken] up the hardware vendors, so some of them are looking for non-Android alternatives."

OEMs have tough choices. They can build their own operating system, such as what HP did for a while with webOS or work in a consortium. Consortiums can’t win. They can’t take a forceful, direct view with their products. The smartest OEM strategy is to play people off against each other. Thus, some OEMs want to have Ubuntu as a disruptive element. A strong Ubuntu can be both more co-operative with OEMs than a larger company and give them leverage with Google and Microsoft.

Mark is ready to play hardball.

If you're giddy with excitement thinking about Ubuntu running on your mobile, hit the brakes and take a breath. According to Shuttleworth, it will most likely be April 2014 before we see multi-device support baked into the OS.

What do you think -- would you be interested in Ubuntu on your tablet/smartphone? Or is 2014 just way too late for any newcomers to enter the mobile world?

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