Tag: canonical

Ubuntu Edge: Pipe dream, or the future of mobile?


Is it us, or are the advances in smartphone technology getting a little… samey? Since the beginning of the year we’ve seen multiple new handsets arrive on the scene and whilst they’ve all brought something new (the S4 probably being the standout here), they’ve not really brought anything too inventive to the table. The S4 brought the fastest processing we’ve seen yet on the market, HTC gave us the best sounding phone speakers and Apple… we’re yet to really see what they’ve got up their sleeves, but we can only hope that something interesting.

The Ubuntu Edge is hoping to change this, by aiming to do what smartphones and mobile devices seem eventually set to do anyway; and that is replace our desktops entirely. How will it do that? Well, according to the indiegogo page, it’ll do it by being absurdly powerful. Aside from having a screen protected by sapphire crystal, reportedly so hard that only diamond can scratch it (although no mention currently of how it takes a solid knock to the corner); the Edge is set to have “the fastest multi-core processor”, at least 4Gb of RAM and 128Gb of storage. That and the battery is apparently going to use silicon-anode technology so it’ll have more power than the nearest equivalent tech. In terms of mobile, these specs are massive; the S4 is only about half as powerful as the Edge promises to be. Heck, the Edge is looking to be more powerful than most mid-level laptops.

What the Edge is looking to do is be the all-in-one, the desktop and the smartphone. Using Ubuntu’s docking capability, it can attach to a monitor and the usual PC peripherals and instantly become a full blown working for your work. The implications are big, especially for big business. Suddenly they don’t need to fork out for 2 devices, they just need to buy one and it can do everything. Lower costs, and easier device management, win-win right?

So what’s Canonical, the UK based company behind the Edge, looking to get as their final crowdsourcing figure? $32,000,000. Yes, that’s 32 million dollars. With the current highest earning Kickstarter being just over $10,000,000, it seems something of a pipe dream to ask for 3 times as much as that for something that is essentially an incredibly geeky item. Whilst we in the tech world know Ubuntu and Linux, it isn’t exactly a frequently talked about thing between friends over drinks. And also, we’re starting to drift into the Alienware style marketing for mobile. Just as AW claim to make the fastest computers out there, the Edge is looking to do the same, but most of us don’t need a phone or computer than can run the economy of a middle sized nation.

With 29 days to go, there’s still plenty of time for the Edge to prove us wrong, but at the moment… we’ll hedge our bets.

So what happened with the Edge? We posted a followup to our original post here.