Going by the account of Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu will be ready to power tablets, phones, TVs and smart screens by April 2012. Mark Shuttleworth, in his recent blog post, wrote "By 14.04 LTS Ubuntu will power tablets, phones, TVs and smart screens from the car to the office kitchen, and it will connect those devices cleanly and seamlessly to the desktop, the server and the cloud."
Unity, the desktop interface in today’s Ubuntu 11.10, was designed with this specific vision in mind. While the interface for each form factor is shaped appropriately, Unity’s core elements are arranged in exactly the way we need to create coherence across all of those devices. This was the origin of the name Unity – a single core interface framework, that scales across all screens, and supports all toolkits, he writes in the blog.
At the Ubuntu Developer Summit, Mark Shuttleworth said that the time is right to move the distribution to additional devices.
Canonical, the company that funds Ubuntu development, appears to have "invested in the design and engineering of Unity, motivated by the belief that desktop interfaces would merge with mobile, touch interfaces into a seamless personal computing platform in the future."
This development, according to the community, may turn out to be good for the open source world and at the same time, prove tough for the Ubuntu and its parent company, Canonical. Android, an open source mobile operating system from Google, already occupies significant portion in the smartphone and tablet computing market. The evolution of Ubuntu beyond the PC market will leave it face a difficult situation.
Canonical and the Ubuntu community have established Ubuntu’s place in desktop, server and cloud deployments. We have also invested in the design and engineering of Unity, motivated by the belief that desktop interfaces would merge with mobile, touch interfaces into a seamless personal computing platform in the future. Today we are inviting the whole Ubuntu community – both commercial and personal – to shape that possibility and design that future; a world where Ubuntu runs on mobile phones, tablets, televisions and traditional PC’s, creating a world where content is instantly available on all devices, in a form that is delightful to use.