So its that time of year again, we released a great product and instead of being content, we want to make an even greater one next time. It’s scary to think that I leave for the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) next week but as a Canonical employee we are all charged with coming up with great idea’s on how to make our particular field of interest even more awesome than it is now.
I personally have been working on the Ubuntu Netbook Remix flavour of Ubuntu and our ARM based offerings. With my experience, I truly believe that ARM has huge potential to break out of its ultra-embedded space and into the mobile ultra-smart phone or netbook area. All my efforts this coming 6 month cycle will be here.
Nokia has a great example of an ultra-smart phone, the N900. If you gave this device a 7″-10″ screen and a near-full size keyboard it would have rave reviews as an up-and-coming netbook distribution. Android is doing the same albeit in a different manner, coming from a very focused Mobile distribution to maybe something more? Canonical’s approach is another top-down example. We have traditionally targeted the desktop and server environments but as netbooks get cheaper (and hardware not particularly powerful) we all need to evaluate where the support line is drawn. The boundaries have definitely blurred on where the smart phone stops and the netbook begins.
Mer is another example of where some ARM distro’s are going. For me Mer is very interesting; Mer traditionally targets the lower horse-powered hardware which follows even closer to what todays phones have to offer. Not all phone hardware (and netbook hardware) is created equal and maybe the opportunity to offer Hi-Def playback and 3D acceleration on all platforms isn’t possible but I would definitely like to see Mer and other open source distributions on consumer-grade phones.
So, what I’m interested in these next 6 months is not just where I as a Canonical employee can take Ubuntu, but where I, as an ARM developer, generously employed by Canonical, can help the whole ARM eco-system. What would you like to see Canonical improve in the ARM embedded space in the next 6 months? All suggestions welcome.