Ubuntu for Tablets – Let the Freedom Rule

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Today, in a grand unveiling, Ubuntu founder, Mark Shuttleworth announced the arrival of Ubuntu for Tablets. Well, the news itself is no news until you realize the potential of what Ubuntu is offering. One user experience across all interfaces i.e. desktop, smartphone, tablets and TV.

That seems quite a bold move by an open source driven company. Especially considering Apple, Microsoft and Google are still struggling to get their OSes to work seamlessly across all sets of devices. So far with mixed results at best.

Ubuntu is not new in the desktop game. It already commands a hefty 20 million plus user base on desktops, making it one of the behemoths of Linux desktops. There is also a large software application base in tens of thousands including games and office applications which will be available for use on all platforms. So, in essence, it has a following and a dedicated user base which will be keen to try the OS on new platforms including phones and tablets.

Mark Shuttleworth has set his sights on 300 million Ubuntu users within the next two years. That is certainly a very ambitious goal and will take a lot of effort and every ounce of Ubuntu’s appeal to achieve.

And Ubuntu OS for touch devices certainly have some interesting and innovative features. Here are some new innovative features promised:

  • Multi-users with encryption support for data. This is a standard feature readily available on desktop version of Ubuntu. Having it on tablet will make life more secure for an enterprise tablet user.
  • Multi-tasking. Ubuntu will feature multi-tasking on its tablets with split-screen feature called side stage, that allows users to run native apps and phone apps simultaneously in two separate parts of the screen. Run Skype video on one part, and take notes on the other.
  • Voice Control. Well, it does not promise to be Siri like as on iPhone, but it is touted as the default interface for communicating with apps. So it wont tell us the weather or make our appointments, but will probably do note taking, minor commands like launching apps. That will free us from using a keyboard all the time.
  • Same Design Different Devices. Believe it or not, but Ubuntu will run the same OS interface on your TV, Smartphone, desktop and Tablets. That’s a lot with completely different needs. Will they succeed where others have faltered? Can’t wait to see how the world responds to it.

Already some Ubuntu affectionados are installing Ubuntu onto Microsoft Windows Surface Pro tablets. But now we can run Ubuntu touch on Google Nexus devices including Nexus 4 smartphone, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets. By October of this 2013, supposedly, dedicated hardware phones and tablets will be available.

With this move, Ubuntu is definitely taking open source computing to the next level. And it also keeps the open source movement alive for the next unit of computing and help drag us right into the post-pc era.

You can learn more about it on Ubuntu for tablets and smartphones from their website here.

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Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

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