If you head out over to the Ubuntu homepage you will see a countdown timer prominently displayed at the center. This timer reaches zero on January 2 and the only clue given is the tagline that says “So close, you can almost touch it”. While we could speculate as to what this really is the sure thing is that Canonical, the company overseeing Ubuntu’s development, will be launching a new product which will be officially announced when the timer reaches zero.
What could the product be? Judging from the tagline it’s going to involve a touch based feature. The company might be announcing a touch based operating system which will operate on various devices. Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth announced earlier this year that a cross-device operating system was being developed and is expected to be released in 2014. This means that any possibility for an Ubuntu Smartphone or Tablet being announced is out of the question as of now.
One likely probability is that the company will be making an announcement regarding Ubuntu for Android. This project of the company which was demoed earlier this year on a Motorola Atrix 2 seems to be a stop gap measure until the full touch based OS will be released.
Here’s how it works. Your smartphone will still be running on Android. When your device is docked it will launch the full Ubuntu experience which will appear on a connected external monitor. As soon as you take out the dock your smartphone will revert back to the Android system.
With only hours away until the company makes an announcement a lot of people are eagerly awaiting what they have in store for us.
Ubuntu is an operating system that is based on the Debian Linux distribution. It was first released in 2004 and follows a six month release pattern. The current version of the OS is 12.10 Quantal Quetzal which was released last October.