Ubuntu moving into UMPCs and subnotebooks

In an interview with the Guardian, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth just came out and admitted that a version of the OS specifically aimed at Asus Eee devices was, indeed, in development:
TG: Will you be coming out with a tailored version of Ubuntu for the ultraportable sector? MS: We're announcing it in the first week of June. It's called the Netbook Remix. We're working with Intel, which produces chips custom-made for this sector
Fantastic news. You can slap Ubuntu on a subnotebook as it is, of course, but I've read there's a certain degree of general wonkiness on getting it to run perfectly on the hardware. I think this is a real smart move: the desktop space is pretty much owned by Vista and OS X, both of which are simply too beefy for Eee-class devices. Ubuntu could own this space if they tried... an excellent way to introduce their OS to more consumers. interview: Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu [Guardian] Image: Lloyd Humphreys
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3 Responses to Ubuntu moving into UMPCs and subnotebooks

  1. Tommy says:

    I’m looking forward to this. I love mine, even with the small screen and flaky keyboard. But the software is pretty bad and ASUS doesn’t seem to have much interest in fixing it.

  2. John Brownlee says:

    Sorry, Zuzu, I think my wording is a bit off in this post. Ubuntu isn’t going SPECIFICALLY after the Eee, but all subnotebooks and UMPCs.

  3. zuzu says:

    I highly support this move by Canonical/Ubuntu.
    (Although part of me wishes it was the HP MiniNote instead.)

    I’ve said for a few years now that companies such as Fujitsu with their LifeBook (or Asus with their EeePC) are in well-suited market positions to follow the trend Apple blazed with OSX and use active developer support for quality software in order to sell hardware.

    In this case Ubuntu sought Asus, rather than vice versa, but the outcome seems essentially the same. Active convergent development between the hardware and the software will mean an “it just works” level of support, but with Linux and the GPL (unlike half of OSX), the software will remain Free. However, there won’t be a need for TPM DRM as Apple uses, because the market draw is based on not having the fiddle with drivers and settings for installation. (c.f. JWZ and his explanations on jumping ship from Linux to OSX for this reason.) In the Linux community, active developer support for hardware is a necessity that you dismiss at your own peril. Other hardware (like the MiniNote) may be cooler feature-wise, but stick with what’s popular just so you don’t waste your life figuring out how to make the ALSA sound drivers work.

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