Is the Ubuntu Edge phone doomed?

Today in Open Source: Ubuntu Edge fundraising stalled? Plus: Gnash flash player stuck, and the state of the Linux desktop

Is the Ubuntu Edge Phone Doomed?

It seems that Mark Shuttleworth's attempt to raise $32 million dollars to fund the production of the Ubuntu Edge phone is not working out. Apparently, it's stuck at around $7 million dollars.

It’s beginning to look as if the naysayers are right about Mark Shuttleworth’s hopes to raise $32 million to produce about 40,000 Ubuntu Edge devices. It ain’t going to happen, unless he manages to pull another rabbit out of the hat. Right now, his Indiegogo campaign is stalled at a little over $7 million, where it’s been for several days.

I’m not going to go into the details that led to this, we’ve covered that already, but it’s beginning to look like the Ubuntu Edge happy train is running out of steam, especially since about half of the money raised came in the first day or two of a campaign that’s now in day nine.

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I'd like to say I'm surprised about this, but I'm not. I have not been very optimistic about yet another phone platform being released. Android and iOS have huge marketshare, with Windows Phone coming in a distant third place.

Why do we need yet another mobile phone platform? What exactly does the Ubuntu Edge offer that we don't already have? Yes, it's cool that it can dual boot Android and Ubuntu, but how many people are crying out for that feature? Not many, as they fundraising total seems to indicate.

I doubt we'll ever see the Ubuntu Edge in production. There's simply no need for it, and maybe it's time that Shuttleworth realized that.

Gnash Flash Player New Release?

Speaking of products that there's little or no real need for, the Gnash Flash Player appears stuck at the current release. There's no word on when a new version will be released.

Gnash, the Free Software Foundation project to have an open-source implementation of Adobe's Flash/SWF run-time, hasn't seen a release in almost exactly one and a half years. While it's been 18 months without a new release, development continues and there's been a number of features committed.

The Gnash 0.8.10 release arrived last February with new features. Since then, development has continued with Git commits occurring frequently, but there hasn't been a new tagged release. It's a bit of a surprise given that Adobe Flash is still widely used and Gnash is considered a "high priority" FSF project.

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