Ubuntu on tablets is the latest Ubuntu platform from Canonical, the company behind the popular Linux distribution. Barely two months ago, the company announced Ubuntu for smartphones. Before that, was Ubuntu for TV and before that, too, was Ubuntu for Android.
While Mark Shuttleworth and crew seem to be making all the right moves, making their operating system available on popular hardware platforms, they are having a hard time bringing the most important ingredient for success aboard. That “most important ingredient” is, of course, the hardware vendors. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs).
An announcement of this sort is usually accompanied by a lineup of partners – hardware and software, but so far, Canonical has not managed even one. As far as I can tell, those guys don’t seem to care.
From information available on the platforms page, Ubuntu on tablets, like its siblings, looks good. In many ways, it looks different from similar products on the market. There is, for example, the traditional login screen that looks just like what’s available on Ubuntu Desktop. While this looks good, the problem here is that unlike desktop computers, tablets (and smartphones) are very personal devices. How often have you shared your tablet or smartphone with another person, even those within your household?
Look ma, no buttons! Aside from a power button, Canonical is promoting a device with no other physical button on it.
Another feature-highlight is called “defense-ready security.” That’s just fancy phraseology for full disk encryption. I think every modern tablet computer has support for full disk encryption, so this is not a unique feature. But it’s nice to see support for it in Ubuntu on tablets. (Note to Mark Shuttleworth: We are still waiting for complete support for full disk encryption in Ubuntu Desktop.)
There’s more to Ubuntu on tablets than this short piece I’ve written. You may get the details from here. The platform will be on display at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, which takes place from February 25 to 28. Between now and MWC, let’s hope that at least one OEM will publicly show interest in Ubuntu for tablets.
Watch Mark Shuttleworth tout the features of Ubuntu on tablets.