Ubuntu for Android to replace PCs?

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Canonical has announced Ubuntu for Android, which will allow enabled phones to run a full desktop OS when docked to a screen and keyboard. Canonical is showcasing the new product at the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona.

“The phone experience is pure Android - it's a normal Android phone. When the device is connected to a computer screen, however, it launches a full Ubuntu desktop on the computer display,” explains Canonical.

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth says: “The desktop is the killer-app for quad-core phones in 2012. Ubuntu for Android transforms your high-end phone into your productive desktop, whenever you need it.”

Ubuntu for Android functions as an add-on to the Android mobile OS, and all data and services are shared between the two environments. Canonical says the hardware requirements will include HDMI and USB support, which it expects to be standard features for the high-end handsets that will be released this year.

The Ubuntu desktop will also be able to run Windows applications using thin client and desktop virtualisation tools. According to Canonical, Ubuntu for Android will be a compelling product for the enterprise in terms of reducing IT complexity to a single device - providing both a phone and a desktop.

“The first PC for the next billion knowledge workers could be a phone - but they won't just want to use it as a handset. They will want all the flexibility and productivity of a full desktop, as well as the convenience of a smartphone on the move,” says Canonical.

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