(CBS) - The operating system (OS) Ubuntu is joining the smartphone and tablet game.
Founder of Canonical Mark Shuttleworth announced today that Ubuntu is slated to come to smartphone, tablet and TVs. A rep for Canonical told me the company hopes to have the software rolled out by 2014, but much of that depends on the pace of device manufacturers.
What this means for consumers is that hardware companies will soon have an alternative to, Google's Android or Microsoft's Windows Phone. Because Ubuntu is free to use and install on any computer, it could be a cost-cutting opportunity for developers who are willing to take the road less traveled.
Ubuntu's desktop interface, Unity, already looks like it can be ported to a smartphone or tablet.
Some of you might be saying, "U-bu-whaa?" We don't blame you. Users of the Ubuntu OS have traditionally been people who have a deep affection for Linux, the OS created by Linus Torvalds.
Ubuntu is an operating system like Apple OSX and Microsoft Windows for desktops, except it is open source and has a robust community that can contribute to the development of the software.
One of the reasons why Ubuntu is appealing is because there are fewer, if any, viruses. According to a spokesperson at Canonical, that's because, "Most viruses written in the world are targeted on Windows or Mac OS. As Ubuntu is a different operating system, it is not vulnerable to the vast majority of those viruses. In addition it has very robust security itself, making it even more stable."
Mark Shuttleworth originates from South Africa and founded the Ubuntu Project in 2004. The software is named after the South African philosophy, which translates to "humanity to others." Canonical distributes Ubuntu.