Canonical, the benevolent dictators behind the most consumer-friendly version of Linux, have announced a new, mobile version of their Ubuntu distro and their intent to release Ubuntu phones. Make all the "year of Linux on desktop" or "yet another LiMo" jokes you want, but as someone who loves mobile software, I'm interested to see what Canonical brings to the table. Succeed or fail, new interface concepts, new features, and new approaches to mobile computing helps every platform, even if only by showing what's possible -- and what isn't.

My quick take is that, like BlackBerry 10, Canonical is betting heavily on gesture-based interface, without any clear or consistent hinting system to improve discoverability and usability. That's the least of the challenges they'll face in bringing their concept to market, however, much less securing a significant share of the market.

Check out their product site, however, to see what else they have up their sleeves, and check out Jerry Hildenbrand's write up on Android Central for excellent take on the potential and pitfalls of Ubuntu on phones.

Then come back and let me know what you think. Does Canonical have a shot in world where everyone from webOS to Microsoft has struggled?

Source: Ubuntu via Android Central