CANONICAL HAS announced a new series of partnerships for the Internet of Things (IoT) aimed at the industrial and telecoms sectors.
"Certified and supported Ubuntu platforms set the standard for safety and security in connected devices," said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and Ubuntu.
"Device manufacturers who choose Ubuntu Core on certified platforms now have a popular platform that meets corporate and government requirements for security updates and management."
Canonical's Snappy Ubuntu Core platform was launched recently and aims to replace generic and proprietary systems with a range of products based around a simple, standard operating system.
Canonical makes the point in a blog post: "The device market is historically fragmented, with little established provenance for software installed on access points, switches, routers and industrial controllers."
Snappy Ubuntu Core is designed to allow every module of a system to be associatively upgraded and deployed from a single command, making it ideal for large-scale systems over multiple locations.
The INQUIRER spoke to Ubuntu head honcho Mark Williams at the launch of Ubuntu core.
"As people add more items and complexity to their home networks, they want stuff to just work and to keep working, no matter what vulnerabilities we discover in the huge mountain of open source software that is powering all of it," he said.
"Many of these items that you'll be buying will be Ubuntu anyway, but Snappy will allow them to be fully robust, fully automated and fully secure."
The news of this latest alliance, which will unite names such as Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, which have already agreed to publish their APIs to Snappy, is representative of the fast pace at which the IoT is moving.
However, it also represents the rather chaotic, organic nature of the IoT that sees us heading for a format war that will make VHS and Beta pale into insignificance.
Alongside the Snappy Ubuntu Core announcement, there's the IPSO Alliance, Intel IoT Solutions Alliance, AllSeen Alliance, Bluetooth SIG, LoRa Alliance, UK Digital Policy Alliance, Hypercat, Zigbee, Z-Wave, Thread Group and just today Bridge Alliance has aligned with Ericsson.
All of them believe that they are the one true way, working together between big name companies, but in isolation of each other, essentially in competition to 'be' the IoT.
It's almost as if there's a holy war on the horizon as different IoT religions battle to find the right way to worship the same 'god'.
Meanwhile, Fitbit doesn't work with Android's Fit platform and Samsung's security cameras don't actually sync with anything else on the IoT.
The HTC M8 is capable of supporting ANT sensors but the option has been switched off in the firmware, rendering many fitness watches useless without an external dongle. The gaping holes for the end user are still plain to see.
Out in the wider world, the UK Digital Policy Alliance is about to roll out 10 pilot IoT cities, and there's no guarantee that it isn't backing the Betamax and will have to rip the whole lot out and start again.
Of course, the solution is simple at a software and consumer level. Apps like the constantly magnificent IFTTT and Atooma allow many competing platforms to coexist, but there still isn't a clear vision of what the IoT will actually look like at an infrastructure level.
Snappy Ubuntu Core is a good example of a complete end-to-end solution that offers everything from hardware compatibility across x86 and ARM processors, to app stores for developer and end user software.
But for the IoT to accelerate at the rate that the technology allows for, these alliances need to work together to ensure a universal common standard.
Whether that will happen remains to be seen, but it took Heartbleed to get a common approach to patching SSL, in the Core Infrastructure Initiative, and even then Google is curating its own concurrently, so we're not holding our breath.
The unstoppable velocity of the IoT means that one way or another this is all going to get settled very quickly.
Either a single alliance will form to curate a single standard, or the fight will leave the IT industry and battle it out on the shelves this Christmas as the war is taken to the consumer.
We should be shocked, but...
But the search giant has now squashed the bug
But it's not yet available here in Blighty