COMPUTEX - Ubuntu mobilizes tablet software

Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded set for October release.

Canonical, the corporate sponsor of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, has revealed the specs for a mobile version of its software, due in October.

The announcement, made at Computex 2007 in Taipei, follows the announcement of the project a month ago by Canonical chief technology officer Matt Zimmerman.

"It is clear that new types of device - small, handheld, graphical tablets which are internet-enabled are going to change the way we communicate and collaborate," Zimmerman said at the time.

The platform, to be called Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded, will be based on Intel's 2008 Mobile Internet Device (MID) platform, which the chip company unveiled in April.

Ubuntu Mobile will aim at a full internet experience, with video, sound and fast and full-fledged browsing on the MID platform, Canonical said.

The software will be optimized for MIDs using Intel's low-power processors and chipsets. It will deliver fast boot and resume times and will reside in a small memory and disk footprint.

Canonical director of operations Jane Silber said the initial response to the project has been positive, and the company is hoping that coming up with a clear roadmap and release date will encourage developers to get involved.

The October release date brings the mobile platform into line with Ubuntu's standard release schedule. Canonical is working with Intel on the project and intends to get the software delivered on devices from system manufacturers next year, the company said.

Intel is working on a similar project with Red Hat Linux in China.

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