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Canonical unveils plans for touch-enabled Ubuntu

15 Feb 2013
Ubuntu phone devices

Canonical is set to release a test version of an Ubuntu build for touchscreen smartphones.

The company said that on 21 February it would be posting a developer preview of the OS designed for Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 handsets.

According to Canonical, the release is the latest step in a bid to expand Ubuntu from a desktop operating system to a larger platform which includes mobile devices.

"Developers who have experience bringing up phone environments will find it relatively easy to port Ubuntu to current handsets” said Ubuntu integration lead Pat McGowan.

"We look forward to adding support for additional devices for everyday testing and experimentation."

The preview release, which the company said is designed for developers and enthusiasts to use for testing purposes, will be followed by a campaign at the Mobile World Congress show. Support staff will be on hand to offer attendees free installations of the mobile OS on their devices.

The company said that the general release of the touch OS, Ubuntu 13.10 is scheduled for October of this year. Canonical is looking to deliver the release as an all-inclusive code bundle supporting PC, mobile devices and smart television sets.

Canonical first unveiled its plans for a smartphone version of Ubuntu in January, revealing plans to take the Linux build to both ARM and mobile x86 processors.

While ambitious, the company will face strong competition in a market currently dominated by iOS and Android. Recent studies have estimated that combined the two platforms power 90 percent of the total smartphone market.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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