Tomorrow Canonical will show off a tablet friendly version of its Ubuntu Linux distro; this is a few months after the software company showed off Ubuntu for mobile. I didn’t write in depth before on Ubuntu’s phone OS or Mozilla’s Firefox OS during CES because of time. So given what will happen tomorrow, I wanted to post my impressions.
(So I hopefully will be real quick, but I make no guarantees)
Linux is an odd operating system sometimes. Because of its free nature and its status as a geek OS, there is no one “true” version of Linux. Various Linux distributions, called distros, are out there for people to download. Now for the most part Linux is aimed at very technical computer users or users who prefer freeware or open source software. It has seen success on the backbone of technology; servers, development, and infrastructure.
Ubuntu is one of the few Linux distros that is aimed at the mass computer audience. That pursuit of the market has led its maker, Canonical, to make choices with the software that causes conflict with some parts of the larger Linux community. Things like adopting Unity for rendering and integrating Amazon services. The UK based company has made no bones about getting into mobile.
Its put out Ubuntu for Netbooks, Ubuntu for Android, and recently Ubuntu for mobile phone. Tomorrow Ubuntu will make its appearance for tablets and I wonder if it will aim at it traditional place on Intel devices or will it aim itself at ARM devices. Ubuntu for Android and the mobile OS are already available for the ARM processor but Ubuntu has been an Intel based system, so will know tomorrow.
If the tablet OS is similar to its phone cousin then I expect a system that uses gestures similar to Windows 8 and a UI that reminds me of the NextStep OS and Samsung’s early version of its TouchWiz interface. The question facing Ubuntu is the same for any operating system outside of the iOS/Android space; will it get the developers and the apps and OEM support. For Ubuntu it will be an interesting case because its phone initiative will premiere in 2014.