For the last couple of years a number of companies have been trying to find a way to converge the operating system and user interfaces of mobile and desktop devices. Perhaps time is getting a bit scarce now as smartphone processors come pretty close to the computational power, memory size and graphics capabilities as full grown desktop PCs. Sure their screen and battery is smaller but at some point it will be trivial to interconnect them with a bigger screen, keyboard and mouse and ask them to be the 'desktop'. Perhaps we reach this point with tablets first? But what kind of operating system will run on it?
With almost the screen size of a small notebook the only things thet are missing in a tablet product we use today is a hardware keyboard and a mouse. Apple is getting closer and closer to this point with the latest Macbook 2015. Running a full iOS, it nevertheless is pretty much a tablet with a keyboard attached due to its thinness and use of only a single USB 3.1 connector. Unlike a tablet however, it runs full iOS. But the keyboard is attached to the screen and the graphical user interface is still geared towards keyboard and touchpad.
Microsoft is also on it's way with the Surface line of notebook / tablet hybrids, even though commercial success is nowhere to be seen yet. Their Surface notebooks / tablets are now also running a full Windows operating system on a tablet sized device with removable keyboard with an x86 processor, so that is perhaps even closer to a converged device than the Macbook desribed above. I don't like the Windows 8 style graphical user interface and closed source is not my piece of cake either but they are definitely innovating in this space.
The third player in the desktop/mobile space is Google with Android and Chromebooks. While I like the fact that Chrome OS runs on Linux, the idea that everything is in the Google cloud makes their vision of a combined mobile/desktop future not very appealing to me. I can imagine my data to be stored on my own cloud server at home but I'm not yet willing to give up the huge advantages of on-device data and application storage when it comes to speed, security and being able to get work done in places where Internet connectivity is not present or too slow.
So perhaps it's time now to get hold of a 'Surface' and install Ubuntu on it to see how usable the Unity graphical user interface or perhaps KDE or something else is on a tablet once keyboard and mouse are removed!?