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Canonical shows off Ubuntu for tablets

Claims it's all about multi-tasking and multi-user
Tue Feb 19 2013, 16:59

LINUX DEVELOPER Canonical has taken the wraps off its Linux based Ubuntu tablet operating system.

Canonical started the year by showing off its Ubuntu smartphone operating system and now the firm has given a preview of the tablet oriented version of Ubuntu Linux it will show off next week at Mobile World Congress.

The firm's Ubuntu system for tablets with its Unity desktop will run on Google's Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets and has taken a cue from Microsoft's 'Metro' user interface with the side docking of applications.

As Canonical tries to span its Linux based Ubuntu distribution from desktops to tablets and finally to smartphones the firm is relying on its controversial Unity user interface to win new users. While it relies on Unity desktop to impress new users, the firm also talked up multi-user support and the ability to issue voice commands.

Canonical claimed that its Ubuntu tablet system doesn't need chip specific optimisations to run well. Rick Spencer, VP of Ubuntu Engineering at Canonical said, "Our four-year engagement with ARM has shaped Ubuntu for mobile. We benefit from the huge number of contributing developers who run Ubuntu every day, many of whom are moving to touch devices as their primary development environment."

Canonical produced a trailer showing off what Ubuntu Linux running on a Nexus 10 tablet can do, and while the demonstration looks swish, there are still question marks over whether the world really needs another tablet operating system, given that Microsoft is finding it hard to sell Windows RT tablets and Blackberry had only muted success with its Playbook against Apple's Ipad and the multitude of Android devices.

Nevertheless, Canonical said that a preview release of Ubuntu Linux for tablets will be avialable on 21 February. µ


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