Will converged platforms solve mobile fragmentation?

With the preponderance of connected devices that we work with an surround us every day, it’s an all too common predicament to determine which tools are secure, which ones need an update and which ones are compliant or up for audit.

These challenges posed by the growing fragmentation of mobile platforms can be solved by the convergence of software and device platforms, according to Mark Shuttlewoth, CEO of Cononical Ltd. the United Kingdom-based software company that also provides leadership to the Ubuntu open free and open source operating system program.

The last time the tech industry saw a convergence of this sort, he said, was back in the 1980s and 1990s when it became possible to write applications on a Windows desktop and then publish them to a Windows server.

Speaking at the recently concluded Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Shuttleworth said increasing processor power and declining silicon costs will power this convergence, the Techworld.com reported.
Ubuntu phone
 

For instance, he said, Ubuntu is already running in mobile phones not as an embedded OS or an RT version but rather as a full Unix operating system – the same Unix OS that runs on servers and desktops found in a wide range of security-sensitive environments.

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“We think it will become true for all platforms that, in the future, you won’t have embedded Windows and Windows RT and Windows on a desktop and Windows on a server, you’ll essentially just have Windows, he said.

Apple and Google will converge their respective platforms as well, Shuttleworth said, because being able to manage and audit a platform that is widely used in their devices makes better sense than dealing with fragmentation across devices.

As platforms are slimmed down to work on smaller devices such as phones, he said, complex work such as maintaining these operating systems will be pushed to the cloud. As the platform get leaner for mobile and embedded applications, the plalform will also get leaner for the cloud, he said.

Shuttleworth said convergence is occurring not only at the software level but also at the infrastructure layer.

For instance, he said, OpenStack illustrates how private cloud vendors are collaborating to make it easier for users to plug and play different components.

Another example is Ubuntu. The Ubuntu platform running on mobile phones is the same one running in the cloud.

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