Canonical founder “pretty confident” about Ubuntu app growth

Canonical founder “pretty confident” about Ubuntu app growth

20 MAR 2014

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth (pictured) said he is “pretty confident about the pace of the app ecosystem growth” for the Ubuntu platform in the mobile market, despite the fact that it has not so far been available in commercial devices.

“We have a platform that has not yet shipped officially on any devices, but we have hundreds of apps in the app store, and we have public commitments from guys like Evernote. Our goal is to have the top 50 apps at launch, and I think we will hit that goal,” he told Mobile World Live.

Last month, a number of new partnerships were announced designed to bolster the Ubuntu ecosystem, across categories including music (Grooveshark, 8Tracks and Spinlet), news (Euronews) and mapping (Mapbox and AND Maps), as well as media player VLC and password manager LastPass.

Shuttleworth said the cross-platform capabilities of Ubuntu provide a compelling argument to support growth. “If you are a developer, and you build a single application for phone, tablet and PC, that’s a very powerful story. We will extend that into other form factors as well, and we take that convergence vision very seriously. It is at the heart of our vision for personal computing,” he said.

Unlike other fledgling platforms such as Mozilla’s Firefox OS, Ubuntu also supports native app development alongside HTML5. “There are a bunch of different ways to develop native applications, for games or information apps, and then we have a great HTML5 story which is exactly aligned with Android and iOS,” Shuttleworth said.

And he also noted that many developers are already familiar with Ubuntu from its efforts beyond the mobile market: “Developers love Ubuntu on the cloud, on the desktop.”

“For all of those reasons, developers find it very natural to support Ubuntu, and they want us to succeed,” Shuttleworth observed.

Watch the full interview here.


Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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