Despite all the flak that Microsoft has drawn in recent times over Windows 8, its strategy of pursuing design continuity across traditional PCs and smart devices has won it a few admirers as well — some of them from unlikely quarters.
Canonical boss Mark Shuttleworth is one such unlikely admirer of Microsoft’s one-style-fits-all interface strategy: "Microsoft has clearly articulated a design vision that's designed to expand across platforms," the most powerful man in all of Ubuntudom told our sister site Tech Radar. "As much criticism as the [Windows 8] has taken, I have to agree with them. It recognizes it needs to make a bold foundation. It's very difficult to make bold transitions like that without tickling somebody's nose hairs."
Actually, on second thought, this isn’t that much of a surprise, especially considering how Canonical is trying to do the same with Ubuntu. But that is precisely where, Shuttleworth insists, all the similarities end.
"I think our story scales a bit more smoothly from phone to tablet to PC," he said. “I think we have an advantage in that our core OS is much lighter in a way. Because it works on phones it makes it to the PC faster - we're stripping out all the fat on the phone.”
Canonical is currently trying to crowdfund the development of the Ubuntu Edge smartphone (see video), a device that will “dual-boot both the Ubuntu phone OS and Android, and convert into a fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC.” The company is trying to raise $32 million in an all-or-nothing crowdfunding effort, meaning that if it fails to raise the desired sum it will give up the ambitious project altogether.