The next version of Ubuntu will support touch input.
Direct your browser to Ubuntu's homepage and you'll be greeted to a countdown timer that's set to expire on January 2, 2013 (tomorrow). It reads, "So close, you can almost touch it," a fairly obvious indication that Canonical plans on announcing a touch-friendly version of Ubuntu, just like Windows 8. Well, not just like Windows 8, though Ubuntu is headed towards a universal user interface (UI) that will look and function the same across multiple devices.
Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth revealed as much during a question & answer session on Slashdot last month, indicating that Ubuntu is close to realizing his goal of unifying the OS.
"Let's make one OS that runs on the phone AND on your supercomputer. We're close to that now - we know Ubuntu makes a great cloud OS and a great server OS and a great desktop. So I think the next frontier is to create a seamless experience from the embedded world to the cloud. And yes, that's very much what we are focused on at Canonical," Shuttleworth stated.
It's the same approach Microsoft has taken with Windows in Windows 8, and the challenge Canonical faces is the same, in that it must find a way to unify the OS without alienating a subset of users. Many would argue that Microsoft failed that part of the challenge on the desktop.
In any event, we'll have more details to share tomorrow.