doesn't get nearly the attention or credit it deserves in the
consumer realm. Most web servers run on Linux, and anyone who engages
in secondary education in programming will undoubtedly spend some
serious time within a Linux environment. Yet, out in the public realm,
hardly any average consumer would understand how to get around within
an Ubuntu setup, let alone something with a less user-friendly UI.
Today, Canonical (makers of Ubuntu
) revealed a new desktop environment
called 'Unity' at
the Ubuntu Developer Summit, which will be a desktop environment for
Netbook Edition, released in October 2010. It's available today for
developers building applications for the netbook environment, and with
the race to create even cheaper netbooks fully on, this may just end up
having a huge impact when the cost of Windows refuses to let netbook
costs sink any lower.
Unity is designed for
netbooks and related touch-based devices, and it includes a new panel
application launcher that makes it fast and easy to access preferred
applications, such as the browser, while removing screen elements
that are rarely used in mobile and netbook computing. Also today,
Canonical announced Ubuntu Light, an implementation of
Ubuntu that is based on Unity and intended for the dual-boot
'instant-web' market. This new version, which is more like a
"pared-down" version of Ubuntu, features chat, IM, browser and media
applications and is aimed at PC
manufacturers seeking an 'instant-web'
experience that complements Windows on consumer PCs.
Ubuntu Light distinguishes
itself by connecting the user to the web, with a running browser, in
under 10 seconds. The product includes a media player and tools to
integrate with Windows to access music files, photos, etc., and Ubuntu
Light can be used on a standalone PC or notebook without
Windows, but it is particularly designed for dual-boot environments,
where it is installed alongside Windows and presented as an option at
boot. Best of all, Ubuntu Light is available to OEMs today, so there's
hardly a reason why you should have to wait awhile to see this rolling
out to new machines.