For most of the tech press, the Smartphone race has become one of two companies: Apple and Google. Microsoft and RIM seem to be competing for any possible buzz they can muster, but this is a nascent market and something new could upend the table. Canonical has announced that they've ported their Ubuntu Linux variant for smartphones, which will actually let you use your phone as a full fledged computer, which for some users might be a dream device. Especially IT managers for Milwaukee businesses.
Despite being announced today, devices with the OS are not expected to ship until 2014. (They've also announced their OS as an App, Ubuntu for Android is still being released later in 2013.) According to Ars Technica, Canonical plans to work to bring many existing Android apps to the new OS. There will be a single image that will be expected to work on phones, tablets, and desktops. The Verge posted a hands on with the OS that shows it's actually quite different from existing Smartphone OS', relying more on touch gestures and missing a lock screen. They also reported that Galaxy Nexus users should have an image to test with soon. Giga OM has an editorial that praises the OS' possible use as a "one device to rule them all" strategy.
You can easily see how this device could be promising, but they need to deliver on that promise immediately. Both Palm and Microsoft hit the market with potential and didn't manage to make a dent in Android and iOS' sizable leads in the market. The base excitement around the possibility of hooking up a monitor, mouse, and keyboard to your phone is enough to make a sizable splash when the early phones are released. There's already a lot of FUD around this OS as a non-started, so it will be important for Canonical to deliver something that silences critics.