I was just at the Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded wiki page and saw the list of target devices. I didn’t like what I saw:
The devices were all UMPCs.
Perhaps you remember the “Origami” project started by Microsoft, which was really a cool idea for a new form factor, but a bit bulky. Not to mention, there wasn’t a device on the target list that was under $500. That’s a lot of money for a “mobile” device. Perhaps as an embedded venture, it may work, but mobile!?
I would have targeted the Nokia N800. It already runs Linux. Even at Hackndev.com, there are many ports available for Palm devices. Now, I have split ways with Palm, after they have changed their focus to smartphones (too expensive, data plans are $60 a month!), and started using Microsoft’s OOXML. Not exactly the best incentive, although they are going to release a Linux-based OS based smartphone sometime later this year.
This all falls under the catagory of the Palm Foleo. While it is a nice device, I don’t think making it a “Smartphone” companion was a great idea. People don’t want to lug around a $600 sub-notebook (my laptop cost $524) with a $300 smartphone. Why carry 2 devices when one isn’t necessary? Basically, they (Palm) aimed the device hierarchy as laptop(or desktop) => smartphone => Foleo. Not too user friendly if you ask me.
The same goes for the UMPCs. If I did a “mobile” version of Ubuntu it would really be mobile, as in “Fit in pocket.” Also, $500 and up is not a “mobile” friendly figure. Mobile devices 1) need to be cheap, as is the Nokia N800, and 2) it needs to be on devices that have actually sold well, for better adoption by the mass market. You don’t see everyone running around with UMPCs, do you?
Anyways, I thought I would get that off my chest.