The Ubuntu phone distribution is soon to be released to the public; this is a Linux distribution that can scale from a phone to a desktop computer with the one desktop interface. This will be a whole new paradigm of operating systems; designed for the desktop and also capable of installation onto a mobile device such as a tablet or a mobile `phone. Is this the future of operating systems or will the desktop computer still be around in the future? I hope so, I love using a desktop computer to make Doom maps and play UT 2004; doing that on a tablet computer like a Microsoft Surface or an Ubuntu tablet would be a painful experience. There is a place for the desktop computer as well as tablets and smart-phones. Smart-phones with cameras and web access on the go are very handy; an Ubuntu tablet would be very helpful for browsing on the move using WIFI, but a desktop computer is still the best for playing games and content creation. The Ubuntu distribution therefore is a desktop operating system that scales down to run on a tablet computer. With the move to mobile computing and wireless networks everywhere, the ability to use a mobile device to do work is very convenient. This is the future of the Ubuntu distribution; a mobile operating system to compete with iOS and Google Android.
Read about it on the homepage. This looks like a beautiful interface; I wonder if you could trigger the mobile interface on a desktop form factor. I guess that would not make any sense. Linux on mobile devices is split between the Android and Ubuntu mobile alternatives. Will Ubuntu mobile leverage Google maps to create a good competitor to the flawed iOS maps that has famously led many motorists astray? That would be a very good addition. I have a Blackberry mobile `phone and I can not find a good maps app on it. Yet my old Nokia E72 has a perfectly functional GPS app with full maps of Australia installed and I can use it when walking around to find my way. The Ubuntu mobile distribution needs to find out what people are upset about with other operating systems and then offer a better service to supplant the competition. Although if there is good friendly competition then this can be a good thing; like the competition between Windows and Linux. As long as it does not escalate into war. Like the battle between Netscape and Internet Explorer back in the old days of the Internet. Ubuntu in the days of 7.04 and 8.04 was a very good distribution to install with the Gnome 2.32.2 desktop environment. Now that Mateu exists you can run the MATE desktop on Ubuntu and you do not need to use the Unity desktop.
That is not the whole of Ubuntu even though it is shown everywhere. There are many other alternatives on the desktop. Minimalist window managers like Specrewm are one way to use your Linux applications without a clunky desktop getting in the way. Try out spectrewm and you will be surprised how fast it is. This is a tiling window manager that is hard to beat if you want something fast! Here is an animated screenshot of this awesome window manager. Looks very nice. There is a list of key bindings on this page: https://opensource.conformal.com/cgi-bin/man-cgi?spectrwm. The main ones are Meta-h to enlarge a window and Meta-l to shrink the window. Useful for expanding a browser window. I am using the spectrwm window manager on Linux Mint 14 and it is fast and sleek indeed. Type sudo apt-get install spectrwm to install this and try it out on your box. Imagine if someone made an Ubuntu respin that used Spectrewm? Just a desktop littered with xterms and a bar at the top with the date and time. Nice.