OPEN SOURCE software developer Canonical is preparing a version of the Ubuntu Linux operating system for tablet computers.
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 tablet-specific version will be built about v10.10, which is currently code-named Maverick Meerkat in keeping with tradition. There are also plans to merge the tablet and netbook OS into a single Ubuntu Light, which certainly makes a lot of sense given the move to touch even in 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 on tablets, while some consumers may prefer a more stripped-down experience.
As Kenyon explains it, the OS will be a slimmed down version of Ubuntu 10.10 with a simplified, touch-friend user interface.Canonical is currently in talks with tablet makers and component manufactures to make the OS run faster while consuming less power. If all goes to plan, expect to see Ubuntu-based tablets start to materialize in the first quarter of 2011.