Canonical plans to provide Android smartphones with a desktop-style OS with Ubuntu for Android-- a hardware dock and software combination aiming at first-PC customers and enterprise use.
The idea is similar to the Motorola Atrix, which used the Motorla Webtop OS and the hardware Lapdock. However Canonical pushes the concept even further by having the phone switch to a different OS (ARM Linux) when docked via HDMI and USB ports.
Canonical says it will take advantage of current smartphones (with multi-core processors and fast 4G connections). The Ubuntu OS will share kernel with Android, meaning it will run the same apps and access the same data (such as contact lists) inside the phone.
The dock also connects to a monitor, keyboard and mouse-- but no details are yet available on who is manufacturing compatible docks, or eventual costs.
The project is still in its infancy, as Canonical says phone manufacturers need to pre-load Ubuntu for Android in their phones-- devices Canonical says will be available by late 2012 (with no mention of models or manufacturers either). Still the idea has a lot of potential, especially with companies like Citrix, VMWare and Adobe already supporting Ubuntu.