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Operating Systems Ubuntu GUI Handhelds Linux Hardware

Canonical Developing Ubuntu OS For Tablets 228

snydeq writes "Canonical is preparing a version of the Ubuntu OS for tablet computers as the company looks to extend its presence in the mobile space, InfoWorld reports. The OS will be a lightweight version of Linux with a simplified, touch-friendly user interface, and tablets with the Ubuntu OS could become available late in winter 2011. The focus will be on developing an OS with a simplified user interface that provides quick access to the most-used applications. Development efforts will also focus on adding on-screen keyboard features and compatibility for multitouch drivers."
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Canonical Developing Ubuntu OS For Tablets

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  • Re:So... (Score:4, Informative)

    by DeadDecoy ( 877617 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @07:18PM (#32517796)
    Well, the consequence of putting Ubuntu, or any linux distro on a tablet, is that it would provide a less restrictive platform than the iPad. If you want your own drivers, software, etc, then you can just apt-get them. I imagine this will also be nicer for developers as they wouldn't have to wrestle with vague rules on getting their work submitted to the apple store. What Canonical should do, after this, is setup an opt-in app store, such that users can support developers if they want to.
  • Re:Why so long? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kitkoan ( 1719118 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @07:26PM (#32517888)

    The iPad is out NOW. Windows tablets will be out SOON. Why be so late to the game? I don't understand the slowness of FOSS to catch Win/Mac.

    And the android tablet was out in 2009 []. I don't understand why the Win/Mac are so slow to catch up...

  • Re:X11? (Score:3, Informative)

    by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @07:41PM (#32518042) Homepage

    If this has X11, I doubt it will be especially lightweight.

    Hmm, why? Xorg uses less than 5MB in all PCs I have.

    I also doubt that graphics will be worthwhile.

    Again, why? Xorg may currently have many hacks, but it works fine. Linux based OSes were of the first to show desktops as 3D surfaces, and even have real time video playing on them.

  • by spagetti_code ( 773137 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @07:51PM (#32518120)
    You are correct - Its the APPS.

    If this is a business device, the killer app is OneNote. Sure tablets dont suit a lot of people, but if you want to take notes, do research, read and link information, be mobile etc... Onenote is it. Evernote is not. (right idea, wrong execution). There are also niche applications (medical etc), but from a general business focus... do Onenote.

    If its a consumer device - create an open iPad. BUT you will also need to ensure that Music, Reading, Web browsing, Gaming, Sharing work brilliantly. Only Apple has really succeeded with that, as long as you live in their ecosystem. If you can made those apps work openly **and** get the media providers on board, then you stand a chance.

  • Technically... (Score:3, Informative)

    by headkase ( 533448 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @08:07PM (#32518242)
    Linux is a kernel. This means it's part is a dispatch and control mechanism for the operating system as a whole. The complete operating system includes other things such as libraries and utilities to name some. Correct me if I'm wrong?
  • Re:X11? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @08:39PM (#32518556) Homepage

    X11? Pfffft. Some of us quite happily ran X11 on 486s. The problem is not X11.

    Any tablet is going to be heavily dependent on proper GPU drivers regardless of what's powering it. Ubuntu has an advantage for being more open and having a wider developer base that also includes power users. The bar is much lower and the community is more interesting.

    Hardware that is already supported in Ubuntu has an advantage here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @08:46PM (#32518614)

    Having tried Canonical's last 2 releases on my two Intel-based laptops, and getting only blank black screens once X starts up, I hope they fix their video driver problems.

  • Re:X11? (Score:5, Informative)

    by oakgrove ( 845019 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @09:00PM (#32518728)

    If this has X11, I doubt it will be especially lightweight.

    Er, the Nokia n series including the 770, n8x0 and n900 all use X11. Works fantastically.

  • Re:HELL YES! (Score:3, Informative)

    by sootman ( 158191 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @09:23PM (#32518864) Homepage Journal

    The JooJoo and the iPad are both $499. How is the JooJoo "way cheaper"?

  • Re:So... (Score:2, Informative)

    by dissy ( 172727 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @09:32PM (#32518924)

    I don't see a lot of people wanting to buy a tablet only to replace the existing OS.

    I might not qualify as 'a lot of people', but I will be damned if I will leave Windows 98 on my Fujitsu stylistic 2300!

    20 years ago was a long time, but I am pretty sure my intent was replacing its OS right fast after buying it.

    Ubuntu runs on it just fine today. Back then I used slackware and then debian, as ubuntu didn't exist yet.

  • Re:Why so long? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @10:11PM (#32519184)
    Microsoft has had their OS on tablets longer than you've probably been using computers. At least 10 years. If you have been using computers longer than that you should be ashamed of yourself for being so slow to know this. It's been mentioned numerous times around here and several of them have had moderate success.
  • Re:X11? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Homburg ( 213427 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @10:12PM (#32519194) Homepage

    MeeGo uses X11 [], it seems.

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Thursday June 10, 2010 @12:19AM (#32519914) Homepage Journal
    Desktop and server Linux depends on GNU. Embedded Linux does not to nearly the same extent. I tend to use the term GNU/Linux [] to distinguish desktop-style Linux from the sort of Linux you see on a router appliance.
  • Re:So... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:16AM (#32521146) Homepage

    To counter your example, i have the following machines running ubuntu:

    a packard bell desktop (c2d 2.2ghz, 2gb ram, ati x1600 video etc)
    a self build desktop (q6600, 8gb ram, 64bit, nvidia 8600 video)
    a dell latitude c610 laptop (with a cisco pcmcia wireless card since theres no built in wireless)
    a dell latitude d600 laptop (the onboard broadcom wireless didnt work in 8.04 but does out of the box with later versions)
    an asus eee 901 (running the netbook version)

    all of these machines get updated to the latest version when it comes out, and none of them have had any issues

    what exactly were the 4 machines you used and what type of hardware did they have which didnt work?

    as for returns, this is due to a number of factors... the linux distros installed on netbooks were typically second rate distros that were difficult to update, difficult to add additional apps to etc...
    they were also quite often mis-sold, people buying them often didnt realise they were getting linux and they were poorly promoted - even if linux was mentioned that was pretty much it, none of the advantages of linux were presented in the marketing literature (and in many cases those advantages were neutered by the crippled distros)...

    If you are selling hardware, only offer ubuntu on machines which you know it is compatible with, and mark any addon peripherals like printers as ubuntu compatible or not... provide the customers with literature which explains the benefits of linux, especially the package management systems etc...

    Incidentally, when it comes to updates breaking things - updating an xp box to windows 7 resulted in my hp printer/scanner no longer working as a scanner (it could still print)... i had to download new drivers from hp, but being an older model those drivers had never been updated to support anything newer than 32bit xp.

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.