infoTECH Feature

June 11, 2010

Ubuntu, Unity and Ubuntu Light under Development for Varied Forms

Ubuntu (News - Alert), Unity and Ubuntu Light are being developed for any variety of forms - netbooks and tablets among them, according to a Canonical spokesman.
Ubuntu Light is going to be seen most immediately as a desktop VM in the instant-on market. The tablet form, from Canonical at least, is a while away and there is no immediate work on a specific tablet operating system, the Canonical spokesman said today.
Canonical unveiled a new desktop environment called Unity at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Belgium last month.
Unity will be the desktop environment for Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition, to be released in October 2010, and is available now to developers building applications for the netbook environment.
Unity is designed for netbooks and related touch-based devices. It includes a new panel and application launcher while removing screen elements that are rarely used in mobile and netbook computing.
In parallel, Canonical also announced Ubuntu Light, an implementation of Ubuntu that is based on Unity and intended for the dual-boot instant-web market. This pared-down version of Ubuntu features chat, IM, browser and media player applications and is aimed at PC manufacturers seeking an instant-web experience that complements Windows on consumer PCs. 
Ubuntu Light connects the user to the web, with a running browser, in less than 10 seconds. The product includes a media player and tools to integrate with Windows to access music files and photos. This is a new market for Ubuntu and research into the requirements for this market drove many of the design principles for Unity.
For mobile users, or simply for cases where the simplified interface of Ubuntu is more appropriate, Ubuntu Light saves time associated with a full Windows boot and login. Ubuntu Light can be used on a stand-alone PC or notebook without Windows, but it is particularly designed for dual-boot environments, where it is installed alongside Windows and presented as an option at boot.
Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning "humanity to others." It also means "I am what I am because of who we all are." The Ubuntu operating system brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the world of computers.
Moreover, Ubuntu doesn't divide its efforts between a high-quality commercial version and a free, community version. The commercial and community teams collaborate to produce a single, high-quality release, which receives ongoing maintenance for a defined period. Both the release and ongoing updates are also freely available to all users.
In a related matter, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has extended and revised its hardware certification program for Original Equipment Manufacturers and Original Design Manufacturers. Canonical has made the changes to better align certification with the manufacturer's needs and also to encompass the broader spectrum of use cases for Ubuntu as it becomes a more established part of the OEM ecosystem.

Ed Silverstein is a contributing editor for TMCnet's InfoTech Spotlight. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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