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TrendingTech: Ubuntu Edge

19 August 2013 by Emma Blunt

They have set their targets high in the name of innovation but will Canonical raise enough money for the development of Ubuntu Edge, a device people are calling the next generation of personal computing?

Canonical, the developers of the Linux-based Ubuntu operating system are rallying for one last big push in their bid to secure $32m for the production of around 40,000 of their Ubuntu Edge smartphones. They are using the fund-raising site Indiegogo to raise this money but must reach the full amount by the 21st August. If they don’t then they will have to return the pledges of their backers, which many will see as a blow to innovation. So far, despite raising $2m in 7 hours and 59 minutes, the company are still shy of their $32m target.

What is Ubuntu Edge?

The Ubuntu Edge has been described as “the next generation of personal computing: smart phone and desktop PC in one state-of-the-art device.” Ubuntu is different to other operating systems because of its ability to run the same desktop applications as a PC installed with its software. The Ubuntu Edge is essentially a mobile smartphone and desktop all in one. When docked with a monitor, the programs on the device change user interface to that of a desktop application.

Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical’s founder, posted a message on the company’s website recently, explaining that “the Ubuntu Edge is already making a difference. [The campaign] is making it clear that we’re no longer satisfied with minor updates; we’re looking for true innovation.”

The Ubuntu Edge will have 4 gigabytes of RAM, a whopping 128GB of storage and the battery will use silicon-anode technology, to pack more energy into the same dimensions. The device is also set to have a 4.5 inch screen made out of sapphire crystal and will provide users with the means to boot into Android, adding yet more versatility.

“As this news has spread,” Shuttleworth wrote, “we’ve seen industry thought leaders coming round to the idea that convergence can be a real force, and that this project represents a new way to underwrite innovation.”

The smartphone market is fairly well inhabited by the likes of Google Android, Apple iOS and Microsoft Windows phone and Canonical are aware that they’re not a big consumer brand like Nokia and Microsoft. However, what they are standing for is innovation and for those willing to invest in it, this is a far more compelling project than those using the usual technology. As Shuttleworth observed: “There’s a sense that the mobile industry has become constrained in its ability to deliver innovation.”

So, even if Canonical do not reach their target on this occasion, they can still be proud of pioneering and encouraging new mobile technologies that will, one day, find their way into the mainstream and change the face of personal computing.