Canonical is the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, the open source operating system. Ubuntu is a firm favorite in the server world, but that’s not enough for a company whose charismatic founder (and one-time space traveller), Mark Shuttleworth, wanted Ubuntu to be the operating system for everything.
To this end, Canonical has spent a couple of years building a lighter-weight version of Ubuntu that first saw the light of day within a mobile phone setting. It has to be said that Canonical tried to go down the smartphone route several years ago, when it tried to shoehorn Ubuntu onto Android handsets. At the time, the idea was that Ubuntu would be used when the phone was docked with an external monitor. The Ubuntu operating system would then kick into gear and create a true desktop computing experience out of a tablet. That never flew, and the company launched a crowdfunding campaign to build a full mobile operating system. That campaign failed, and Canonical instead created its own mobile version of Ubuntu.