Home opinion-and-analysis The Linux Distillery Shuttleworth: Ubuntu Linux on track for full convergence before Microsoft

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Microsoft is widely expected to converge its operating systems across desktops, mobile phones and tablets. However, according to Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu Linux is on track to achieve full convergence first.

Windows 8 has proven itself to be somewhat schizophrenic, with essentially two separate interfaces, while the similar-looking Windows Phone 8 maintains a separate app store.

Recently Microsoft merged developer accounts across the two platforms such that if a developer had an account to create and publish apps for Windows 8, they now also have an account for Windows Phone 8, and vice-versa.

Yet, apps are still distinct; unlike Apple's iOS, there is no concept of a "universal" app for Windows at this time, although it is generally expected Microsoft is heading that direction.

Meanwhile, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, states Ubuntu Linux will achieve full convergence before Microsoft.

Shuttleworth announced that Canonical is working to unite the code base for all its Ubuntu variations over desktops, mobile phones, televisions and even its server incarnation. This goes further than Microsoft would, with any merger of Windows Server and Windows desktop operating systems being extremely improbable and unlikely.

Ubuntu is still continuing to target major releases in April and October as it always has done, but Shuttleworth doesn't see convergence happening in version 14.04, suggesting it could be achieved in versions 14.10 or 15.04. In either case, he still expects this to predate Microsoft achieving the same thing across Windows desktop and phone operating systems.

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David M Williams

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David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. Within two years, he returned to his alma mater, the University of Newcastle, as a UNIX systems manager. This was a crucial time for UNIX at the University with the advent of the World-Wide-Web and the decline of VMS. David moved on to a brief stint in consulting, before returning to the University as IT Manager in 1998. In 2001, he joined an international software company as Asia-Pacific troubleshooter, specialising in AIX, HP/UX, Solaris and database systems. Settling down in Newcastle, David then found niche roles delivering hard-core tech to the recruitment industry and presently is the Chief Information Officer for a national resources company where he particularly specialises in mergers and acquisitions and enterprise applications.

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