Ubuntu, the most popular, open-source Linux system, maintained by Canonical is celebrating 11 years since the release date of Ubuntu 4.10 Warty Warthog.
Unlike other Linux distros, Ubuntu has big ambitions. A few years ago, Canonical have decided to create Ubuntu Touch, the mobile version of Ubuntu and Snappy Ubuntu Core, which is an Ubuntu-based OS for the Internet of Things and Embedded devices. For now, Ubuntu Touch is available by default on Bq Aquaris E4.5, Bq Aquaris E5, Meizu MX4 and officially supported on the LG Nexus 4 device.
Yet another ideal for Ubuntu is to be the first operating system that reaches full mobile-desktop convergence, meaning that both Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Touch will be sharing the same source-code, but the apps will behave different, depending on the platform: when running on desktop systems, they have minimizable windows, while on mobile desktops the apps are full-screen only.
Yet another advantage of convergence is the fact that the same version of the software can be installed on both the mobile device and the desktop system.
A third advantage is the fact that a convergent Ubuntu Touch system can transform into a full flagged desktop, when keyboard and mouse are plugged.
There are a few convergent apps already available for Ubuntu, the music app being among the best released yet.
But Canoninical is not the first OS developer that reaches convergence. Microsoft is trying the same via its Continuum for phone, a software that lets the users obtain a desktop-like experience when plugging the phone to an external mouse and keyboard, the phone transforming into a start menu.
But, unlike Canonical who has made big steps towards convergence already, Microsoft’s apps behave as they would on tablets: they run only on full-screen mode.
A good example is the Acer Jade Primo, which is a smartphone that ships with a desktop dock, a keyboard and a mouse, specially created to transform the mobile system into a desktop-like system, but it has the limitations mentioned above.
Google is also working towards convergence, the endgame being to merge Android with Chrome OS, the system that powers up Google’s Chromebooks. While Chrome OS has already received support for Android apps, Google is advancing with baby steps, unlike Canonical which closer to the finish line.