Aspects of the Ubuntu Edge, a smartphone project that failed in its crowdfunding effort two years ago, may be making a comeback in a new device. Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has announced the company has been working with an unnamed manufacturer to produce a device that can work as both a smartphone and as a desktop computer, a core concept to the failed Edge handset, one which will be launching soon.
The Edge touted the ability to operate as a smartphone running Ubuntu, though once docked and connected to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, it was able to operate as if it was a computer, complete with the full Ubuntu desktop and applications. The idea was to allow the user to take their data with them wherever they go, and to access it from both the device's smartphone and computer states.
In a pre-Ubuntu developer summit keynote video, spotted by SlashGear, Shuttleworth commented about Microsoft's own announcements concerning convergence. He welcomes Microsoft's Continuum concept, calling it a "wonderful validation" of ideas Canonical has worked on over the last few years. With Microsoft's own system, it does provide users a larger desktop-style workspace and access to desktop-style universal apps, but does not appear to offer the Start menu, the keyboard and mouse controls, and other items typically associated with the desktop.
Shuttleworth doesn't say when the device will be launching, except it will do so this year, nor what specifications the device will use. The Edge used a multi-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 4.5-inch 720p display, and had sapphire protection, though it is unclear if the upcoming device will share any of these specifications with its unfunded predecessor.