Soapbox Stand: Is Ubuntu Edge Worth It?
The hubbub around the Ubuntu Edge just keeps going and going, doesn’t it? It’s not just that the device is sprouting from Canonical, Ubuntu’s main funding company, but that it represents a big push to break the chains of the common modern smartphone gamble. But with just ~28 days left and ~26 *million* dollars short of the overall goal, one has to wonder if the idea will make it.
Sure, Canonical could possibly self-fund a small deployment themselves, but I view this crowdsourced project in another light. I truly believe Canonical is at least in part, testing the waters of current mobile frustrations in the U.S. market. The problem isn’t so much Android or iOS, but the freedom to pick an independent device, and to develop what you want for it, regardless of what carrier you are on (*cough* Google Wallet on VZW). I for one, wish I was out of my current Verizon contract, and on an independent device such as this or a Google developer device.
One has to ask though, “can this compete in the Android dominated market?” The answer is likely a resounding no, but like Linux carved a niche with the technie crowd, and the enterprise world (for instance, apache web servers), Ubuntu Edge could be that “cool” device that I.T. folk will banter about around the water cooler. I love me some Android, but who knows how this could turn out. The only way to decide is to vote with your wallet. Which unfortunately for me, is quite empty.
Whether or not you disagree with Mark Shuttleworth’s vision of this phone and its future is up to you. Despite the negativity around the company’s constant radical changes to Ubuntu, many love the easy access of the distribution, evident with the recent Steam platform release. While Canonical could very well deliver on this dream, it is uncertain if carriers in the U.S. will play ball and let Canonical have their way in regards to network features. I would expect the device to deploy, if funded, on less restrictive networks, such as Spring and T-Mobile. Only time will tell…