The drive toward better tablet technology is still on a full-tilt run forward, but later today, there may be an entry that a lot of Linux users will be hard pressed not to take notice of. There's a countdown clock running out at Canonical, the folks behind Ubuntu (News - Alert), that's steadily ticking down toward 6:00 PM in the U.K. But what will come about when that counter reaches zero? If some projections prove accurate, it may be a new tablet powered by a fully touch-enabled version of Ubuntu.
The Canonical countdown clock comes with not only the time ticking down to the magical 6:00 PM in the U.K., but it also comes on very impressive graphics featuring the phrase "So close, you can almost touch it." That by itself suggests that it's got something to do with touch controls--why use a phrase like that if there wasn't touch involved?--but there may be more afoot. Some sources are indicating that not only is Canonical looking to bring out a touch-enabled Ubuntu, but also a co-production with an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to bring a new tablet out that's running the new Ubuntu right alongside it.
The reports indicate that, once that 6:00 PM banner is reached, Canonical will be presenting a "new breed of Ubuntu devices, under the Ubuntu Touch banner.” This would seem to be part of an overarching strategy for Canonical, who has long been very much up-front with its need to stay relevant by keeping up with the mobile revolution. The idea, based on remarks from Canonical's founder Mark Shuttleworth, was that they could get to the point where they had one OS for computers that would also run on smartphones. Given that there are also reports of Ubuntu TV and Ubuntu for Android (News - Alert) set to follow, it's entirely possible that a change that brings Ubuntu to a wider array of platforms could be ready to arrive.
While only time will tell just what the ultimate result of the press event Canonical has planned actually is, it's a safe bet that Linux fans likely won't be disappointed and will probably at least see Ubuntu available for a wider array of devices. While there may not be an actual device to show, there's likely to at least be a refined OS, and that's a good enough start for most anyone to get behind.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman