Canonical's Ubuntu efforts for mobile Internet devices (MIDs) have yet to pay dividends. However, Ubuntu users continue to express strong interest in MIDs designed to run Ubuntu, according to WorksWithU's weekly reader poll.

Though hardly scientific, the poll found that:
  • 36 percent of participants "absolutely" intend to buy Ubuntu MIDs
  • 45 percent of participants might be interesting in a MID purchase, depending on features, functions and price
  • And 19 percent of participants expect to purchase a smart phone or a netbook rather than an Ubuntu MID device
One-hundred and six readers participated in the weekly poll, which ended January 23.

The MID initiative remains a work in progress for Canonical. The company first announced its Ubuntu MID effort in mid-2007, and Canonical expected MIDs to become widely available in 2008.

However, MIDs have faced a range of challenges. Many users seem content to use traditional notebooks and smart phones. Moreover, so-called netbooks (running Linux or Windows XP) were the surprise hit of 2008.

To Canonical's credit, Ubuntu-driven netbooks are widely available. But I think the netbook craze -- coupled with emerging platforms like Google Android -- have limited Canonical's ability to drive interest in the MID concept.

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