There’s a countdown teaser on the Ubuntu homepage, the timer will hit zero at 6PM today in the UK. It’s expected that at this time there will be an announcement made regarding a touch interface enabled Ubuntu OS. The site’s main banner hosting the countdown timer has the following strapline; “So close, you can almost touch it.”
Ubuntu is a free to download and use Linux based operating system. It was launched by Canonical Ltd, a UK based company, in 2004 and has since become the most popular Linux distribution on personal desktop/laptop computers. Canonical has committed to releasing a new version of Ubuntu every six months and there have been quite a lot of changes to the system over the years as well as Ubuntu variants which aren’t supported by Canonical.
In 2010 Ubuntu introduced a “controversial” new interface called Unity which contained contextual advertising to help pay for Canonical company expenses. Now it looks like there will be a new version of the Unity interface optimised for touch enabled devices. The new Unity interface is rumoured to unite desktop, netbook, tablet and smartphone with the same multi-touch ability and look and feel.
The new touch enabled Unity interface will present Canonical, the same challenges that Microsoft came against during its development of Windows 8/RT. It’s going to be very interesting to see how the interface designers at Canonical solve the fridge/toaster device interface problem. All will, hopefully, be revealed at 6PM...