OPEN SOURCE software developer Canonical is preparing a version of the Ubuntu Linux operating system for tablet computers.
Speaking to Network World, Chris Kenyon, Canonical's vice president of OEM services, said the tablet OS will be a lightweight version of Linux with a simplified, touch-friendly user interface. He said that tablets with the Ubuntu tablet OS will appear at the beginning of next year.
Canonical is hoping to step up its presence in the mobile space, but it might find itself having a tough time against other open source offerings like Google's Android and Chrome. It might also encounter tough competition from Palm's WebOS and Apple's Iphone OS.
The last time that Canonical developed an edition of Ubuntu for mobile devices was in 2008 for mobile Internet devices, but it failed to take off. The version that's being looked at for tablets is Ubuntu 10.04 for servers, PCs and netbooks.
The outfit is chatting with tablet makers so that it is possible to get the OS to run faster while consuming less power, Kenyon said. µ