With eight days left in its thirty-day campaign to raise $32 million dollars, Ubuntu looks like it’s going to come up short in their bid to crowdfund the Ubuntu Edge smartphone. This is far from shocking as this would have meant that the aggressive thirty-day crowdfunding campaign would have more than doubled the record amount raised by the Star Citizen video game over the course of an entire year. The Edge aims to be the next generation smartphone, a device far more powerful than current smartphones and one that doubles as a PC. Ubuntu aims to bring its desktop and mobile technology to the mainstream while also luring Android users into its smartphone. The phone would simultaneously run Android and Ubuntu’s mobile Touch software.
So what is Ubuntu in the first place? Unless you’re a Techcrunch addict or building the infrastructure to your company’s network, it is likely Ubuntu and its Linux-based open source software are under your radar. Started in 1991, it was the first open source and free operating system developed. In a sense, Linux was an early example of a crowdsourcing platform. Anyone from developers to curious beginners could use the platform and collaborate to build their own version of a Linux-based operating system or application. Even if you want nothing to do with Linux, 80% of your pockets are lined with it as Android was built on the platform. Ubuntu has the world’s most popular free operating system, utilizing Linux in a user-friendly conventional desktop form.
Why the Edge and Why Crowdfunding?
The concept of the Ubuntu Edge project seems obvious. Why not look for the best upcoming tech and throw it together to stay ahead of the competition? As Unbuntu’s founder Mark Shuttleworth explains, the industry giants are the roadblocks to introducing new smartphone technology. Phones are built with the goal of selling tens of millions of copies. Manufacturers simply do not want to include up and coming technology until it is proven that the hardware can be affordably manufactured at high volumes. Since there is no testing ground or small scale experimental production in the industry, the innovative progress of the market runs at the pace accepted by the mainstream manufacturers. Think of it as playing safe; even a heavily marketed phone with the “best” technology is not really showing the consumer what technology is really capable of.