Canonical’s goal to build a smartphone that could act like a desktop PC when you connected a mouse, keyboard, and monitor always seemed like a bit of a longshot. The company wanted to raise $32 million through crowd-funding site Indiegogo. That’s more than anyone’s ever raised for a crowd-funded project to date, and it’s for a phone running a brand new operating system from a company that’s never made a phone before.

Over the past few weeks the team has managed to raise $11.5 million in pledges from about 25,000 people, which is kind of an astonishing amount. But it’s still not even halfway to the finish line, which means the project probably won’t get fully funded unless Canonical founder (and half-billionaire) Mark Shuttleworth pulls out his wallet to make up the difference.

Ubuntu Edge

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23 replies on “Lilbits (8-19-2013): Ubuntu Edge on the edge of failure”

  1. “But it’s still not even halfway to the finish line, which means the project probably won’t get fully funded unless Canonical founder (and half-billionaire) Mark Shuttleworth pulls out his wallet to make up the difference.”

    There is another possibility. Indiegogo can let Canonical extend the deadline. It has been done before.

    “Campaign goals and deadlines are typically set once you go ‘live.’ As a one-off, we can make exceptions to a campaign’s goal or deadline.”

    https://indiestatik.com/2013/05/08/indiegogo/

    Mark Shuttleworth has opened up for the possibility to extend the deadline of the campaign, if there is enough interest:

    “Mr Shuttleworth said that if the campaign made significant gains in the coming days, Ubuntu would consider extending its online campaign. If it remained far from its goal, all the money would be returned to contributors.”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23714549

    If this project will be extended depends on whats happening in the next few hours, and that depends on the amount of people that is aware of this project. If you don’t know about Ubuntu Edge, you can’t buy it. If more people know about Ubuntu Edge, more people will buy it, because it is an amazing phone.

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ubuntu-edge/x/4167260

  2. If they used Lubuntu LXDE as a front end, I would love it. When they went to Unity, I left using the full blown version of Ubuntu. And Kubuntu, is fine, except too much. I just want to run my apps, quickly, and have them work, period.
    Don’t have time for the FAT GUI world at all.

    And, besides, If they come up short, guess who will come up with the rest of the money? If anyone should, it should be that CHOICE be given, to NOT have Unity. So far, no vote taken from Ubuntu users, just Unity shoved down our throats.

    1. FAT GUI ?

      you know they’re building Unity-next which is being ported to QT and cutting down on resources, right?

  3. I said it and i’m saying it again: Canonical is/was pointing to high: they should have started with something more down-to-earth thing: 2 or 3 affordable but wise hardware specs smartphones with Ubuntu OS (wich BTW LOOKS AWSOME …) and start polishing their new OS. After that…. who knows…

    It’s pitty because these money that have been raised (even not that much perhaps) could have been used for a more down- to-earth project by Canonical.
    Anyway, this was a great publicity stunt.

  4. Still sensing the original $32m thing was more of a publicity stunt (WOW, stop! press! biggest! EVER!) than a necessity. It’ll still happen, but scaled back, choosing a sensible and suitably open existing hardware platform, and throwing the software development to the community. After all, from a hardware point of view, this really isn’t that much more complex than slapping a cellular radio, touchscreen and a battery on an Android TV stick (many of which can be persuaded to run Linux right now).

    1. it’s A LOT more complex and harder than that, especially if you want to get it through the FCC and similar so you can actually SELL IT.

      1. Not if they use that suitably open existing hardware platform. FCC approval is for hardware not for software or bundling, AFAICR. Ultimately, this is only going to take off if it will run on generic ARM hardware. Imagine if desktop Ubuntu was only available on some obscure hardware configuration that only Shuttleworth had?

  5. @Brad Linder, you have an error in the story. The following should read just over 1/3 instead of just over 1/2

    “Over the past few weeks the team has managed to raise $11.5 million in pledges from about 25,000 people, which is kind of an astonishing amount. But it’s still just over halfway to the finish line”

    1. (32-11.5)/32 = 0.64 to the finish line. Over half way or 2/3 to the finish line makes sense to me.

        1. No. Emphasis on to. That’s the keyword. What you did was ~36% from the start line…

          1. Read the original sentence:
            “But it’s still just over halfway to the finish line”

            Are you saying $11.5 million raised is over halfway to the finish line of $32 million needed ?

          2. Yes, that sentence refers to how much more to go in order to reach the finish line which is 32 – 11.5.

            The 1/3 word would make sense if it said “it’s 1/3 of the way to the finish line” or “it’s reached 1/3 of its goal.”

          3. Here’s a picture:
            $0 $11.5 million $32 million

            I’m using the words “still,” “to” and “finish line” to see the sentence as referring to how much until the end of the goal.

          4. No, the statement is saying you are a certain distance towards the finish. That’s why it was incorrect. If you don’t understand the meaning of to , here it is: https://dictionary.reference.com/browse/to
            https://www.brainyquote.com/words/to/to230701.html

            Think about it. Take this example, you work 300 miles away and you had driven 100 miles. Then your boss calls and you tell him “I’m just over halfway to work” . Do you think his going to understand that as meaning your over 150 miles from work as your saying he would?

            But the biggest mistake your making is this, the word halfway cannot be used as random measure, it defines a point that is midway between the start and the finish. So as soon as you say its over halfway, that immediately pegs it midway between the start and finish.

            Again, do you think the author would have changed the statement based on what I said if it was originally correct?

        1. No it wasn’t and the “correction” didn’t even change anything. Nice going downvoting the guy, Vcoleiro1…

          1. Sigh,

            Really, are you serious, this was the original statement

            “But it’s still just over halfway to the finish line”

            and it was changed to this

            “But it’s still not even halfway to the finish line”

            It was wrong and it was changed. Facts speak louder than words.

            If the original statement was correct , the author would not have changed it . Think about that.

            What you and some others are failing to understand, is the actual meaning of the word “to”. In this context , it means the motion traveled in the direction towards a point .
            ie over 1/3 of the way to (direction of and motion traveled towards) the finish. Here’s the definition of the word “to”
            https://dictionary.reference.com/browse/to
            https://www.brainyquote.com/words/to/to230701.html

            But the biggest mistake your making is this, the word halfway cannot be used as random measure, it defines a point that is midway between the start and the finish. So as soon as you say its over halfway, that immediately pegs it midway between the start and finish.

  6. My question is…If they do not raise the full $32 Mil in the alotted time, what happens to the funds raised? Is it returned or do they keep it?

    1. The Indiegogo funding page says this:
      “This campaign will only receive funds if at least $32,000,000 is raised by its deadline.”

  7. Mir and Unity is the dealbreakers.
    Lots of otherwise hardcore Linux users literally avoided this like the plague because of those.

    1. And people avoided android because of surfaceflinger ? ……………

      give me a break.

      Also if not unity what other “phone UI” they wanted canonical to use ?

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