In an interview with ZDNets Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has spoken of plans to bring Ubuntu to mobile devices, tablets and TVs.

In his pre-UDS chat with ZDNet, Shuttleworth said called the move ‘a natural expansion [of] Ubuntu as Linux for human beings.’

“As people have moved from desktop to new form factors for computing, it’s important for us to reach out to out community on these platforms. So, we’ll embrace the challenge of how to use Ubuntu on smartphones, tablets and smart-screens.”

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Android.”

Vaughan-Nicols put the proverbial white-elephant in the room to Mark Shuttleworth, who was more than optimistic about Ubuntu’s chances against it: –

“The device world is highly competitive and highly dynamic, while Android and iOS dominate handheld devices, disruptive elements could still establish themselves. Therefore, Ubuntu and Windows can still be a real force.

…from the industry viewpoint, Google acquisition Of Motorola Mobility has shook up the hardware vendors, so some of them are looking for non-Android alternatives.”

And Ubuntu tablets?

“We’ve also already heard from people who are already shipping tablets that they want Ubuntu on the tablet.”

I’ve also heard from people who are already buying tablets – and they want Ubuntu on the tablet, too!

Ubuntu 14.04

Before you get too exited, I should point out that you won’t be powering up your flat-screen TV to the sound of Ubuntu’s familiar jungle chimes, or prodding your finger on a 100% tablet-optimised Unity desktop until around Ubuntu 14.04 – that’s April 2014, fact fans.

And whilst that date may seem a long way off, it’s potentially for the best.

“Smart TVs” haven’t really taken off as many had predicted – Ubuntu can seize on the “why not” and bring its own value to this area.

Non-Apple tablet sales have only just begun to take off – perhaps Windows 8 will ignite this market further as users seek a device with more oomph than Android?

And in a world of vying smartphones OSes (from Bada to iOS) the exact void a ‘disruptive element’ could fill has yet to be properly identified. I mean, good-will can only take you os far, right Maemo?

But it’s an exciting prospect, isn’t it?