Canonical Plans Ubuntu Release For Tablet PCs

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News Posted: Fri, Jun 11 2010 5:57 AM
It's one thing when Apple tips their hat to Microsoft by announcing thatBing is now a selectable search engine within the next iOS release, butwhen someone in the Linux world gives a hat tip to Apple, well, we allhad to check and make sure the world below wasn't frozen over.Canonical's CEO Chris Kenyon recently had a discussion surroundingtablets and slate PCs, and this is one of the lines: "The devices worldis a really exciting space right now and we're reallybullish on it; hats off to the iPad team for doing what they did."

There's no doubt that many people are crediting Apple to bringingmainstream attention to a form factor that failed years ago in mostsectors, and now everyone seems to be putting together plans to rivalthe Apple tablet that has managed to sell two million units in aroundtwo months. What's interesting is that a major Linux build is alsofollowing suit, not waiting to see if this bandwagon will be shortlived. Canonical is responsible for what's possible the world's mostpopular consumer Linux build: Ubuntu.

It's still not used nearly as much as Windows or OS X, but it certainlyhas a dedicated user base that's growing by the day. In the near future,we may see an Ubuntu tailored specifically for tablets, as the companystrives to extend their presence in the mobile arena. According toKenyon, Ubuntu could be customized for tablets by late in next year'sQ1, with him stating that the company has "broader and bigger ambitionsthan just netbooks." In fact, Ubuntu already has a build madespecifically for netbooks, so it shouldn't be too difficult to whittlethat down a bit more for extra mobile devices.

The tablet-specific version will be built about v10.10, which iscurrently code-named Maverick Meerkat in keeping with tradition. Thereare also plans to merge the tablet and netbook OS into a single UbuntuLight, which certainly makes a lot of sense given the move to touch evenin the netbook space. It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out;Microsoft seems content with using a full version of Windows 7 even ontablets, while some consumers may prefer a more stripped-downexperience. Could this be an opportunity for Linux to leapfrog Windows?Maybe!

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realneil replied on Sat, Jun 12 2010 8:34 AM

This is an interesting development. Tablet makers can use a Linux flavor and get much faster performance from their devices. (along with tighter security)

Can't wait to try one of them out.

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