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Canonical Will Take Ubuntu to Smartphones, Tablets

Shuttleworth made the announcement at the Ubuntu Developer Summit and just a few days after a Forrester analyst stated that Linux's plans for world domination, outside the server space, have been canceled. However, Canonical thinks that it can bring its Linux flavor to all personal computing form factors.

"An application for Ubuntu in the future will have multiple personalities. When it is running on a desktop computer, it will have a different personality from when it is running on a tablet," Shuttleworth said. "From a developer point of view, there will be a phenomenal amount of coherency and reuse of the core capabilities on the application."

Of course, Ubuntu will face at least the same number of challenges everyone else does - challenges that caused webOS to crash and burn; challenges that are preventing Windows Phone to gain traction; and challenges that force Blackberry down in market share. The mobile OS market has become a platform game, which Ubuntu can play if it can successfully rally developers who have the passion to create applications. According to Shuttleworth, Ubuntu's advantage would be a unified code base. He also argued that the Unity interface would deliver a similar look and feel across several platforms.

Canonical's biggest hurdle may not so much be technology, however. It may be the idea for something unique and special - something that is at least as good as Android, yet different enough to have its own appeal.