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One operating system to rule them all?

For years, everyone who tried Windows on a phone would complain that Microsoft were idiots – and that you could not move a clunky/chunky Windows OS onto a handset. Now Microsoft, ever popular chaps that they seem to be, are getting battered for putting the mobile interface onto a desktop. KitGuru wonders if these attempts are all doomed to failure?

OK, Windows might not be THE operating system to push across to all devices, but what about something with a Linux-base?

Apple has managed to get ‘something that looks similar' across to phones, tablets, laptops and desktops – but there are definite areas where you KNOW that you have a different operating systems. Specifically when it comes to applications or apps.

While the makers of Angry Birds may not have experienced too much difficulty in porting the drive-you-nutz-crack-your-head-on-a-wall game from one kind of device to the next, try loading Adobe Creative Suite onto an iPad and see where that gets you.

Now, according to reports in the mass media, Ubuntu is going to try to make the leap.

For those unfamiliar with the name, it's not a famous software engineer that you've never heard of from sub-Saharan Africa. If that was your first thought, then you'd be forgiven – for its origins are from the south of Africa – it's actually a way to describe how people are with each other, the way we understand, share and interact – universally – without having to explain everything to each other. Nelson Mandela's view of Ubuntu in action, was to see a hungry or thirsty man enter a village and – without needing to ask – people would know that he needed support, refreshment and sustenance.

South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth runs a company called Canonical – which leads the development of the Ubuntu operating system – a popular Open Source Linux distribution (i.e. it is free of charge to download/use and anyone can help make it better).

How many people use it?  Well, Canonical expect the installed base to hit around 200 million very soon. But if plans to port it across to mobile devices go ahead successfully, then that number could be smashed.

Shuttleworth and Co have now made a version of Ubuntu that will run on phones, but even if it is successfully taken up by developers, handset manufacturers and others across the world – you still won't be able to run Adobe CS6 on your tablet etc.

Why not?  Simple enough. Adobe has no plans to make a version of CS for Linux/Ubuntu any time soon.

Ubuntu might get there first, but if a single OS is to unite the planet, then it's MUCH more likely to be Windows – as Microsoft already has the apps it needs – and Apple has shown that Apps run the house (in terms of revenue and profit).

Current estimates are that Microsoft will be in position for a single, core operating system somewhere around 2016 (give or take a year), but which time the mobile devices we own/use will be MUCH more powerful.

Oh yes, we design 48-sheet posters on our phones with Windows 10 and CS8

KitGuru says: The 1GHz processor hit the desktop when Adrian Thompson (now Sapphire's head marketing guru – but then helping to run UK system builder Carrera) decided to push a modded AMD CPU into a test with PC Pro. Now we have multi-core processors, with more than 1GHz available, in our pockets. Surely convergence is inevitable?

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