Ubuntu is getting touch support, but it's for smartphones.
After teasing the web community with a countdown timer to its secret touch reveal, Canonical on Wednesday spilled the beans about what's coming next for Ubuntu: smartphones. Like Windows 8, Ubuntu is trending towards a single operating system for multiple devices, though not necessarily with identical interfaces. In fact, Ubuntu for smartphones will sport a "distinctive" interface that makes use of all four edges of the screen for a more immersive experience.
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.
Richard Stallman accuses Canonical of spying on Ubuntu users.
Canonical, the company behind the wildly popular Ubuntu distro is under siege from Free Software Foundation president Richard Stallman. Stallman has accused Canonical of spying on users, and oddly enough, they aren’t even denying it. In fact, they even admit plans are in the works to expand their efforts in upcoming releases.
Give Dell credit for wading into open source waters with "Project Sputnik," a pilot program to build a developer solution based on Ubuntu 12.04LTS. After six months of exploration and feedback from testers, Project Sputnik has now landed and is renamed Dell XPS 13 Laptop, Developer Edition. It's a thin and light 13.3-inch Ultrabook powered by Intel's Core i7 3517U processor and driven by Ubuntu, though you could potentially end up paying more versus a similarly spec'd Windows 7 model (with slower processor) or Windows 8 model (with half the storage space). Let's look at the hardware.
A Linux port of Steam has been on the cards for a while now. Back in July, the Valve Linux team revealed in its inaugural blog post that it was working on getting a fully-featured Steam client up and running on Ubuntu 12.04. Apparently, that project has made enough progress for Valve to start looking for beta testers.
Canonical on Thursday announced that the final version of Ubuntu 12.10 (codenamed "Quntal Quetzal") is all polished up and ready for mass consumption. It's "the perfect alternative for anyone considering a move to Windows 8," says Canonical, which points out that Ubuntu 12.10 works naturally across devices. Unlike previous versions of the open source OS, the latest release puts a heavy emphasis on the cloud.
An extra step has been added to the Ubuntu download process, one which Canonical hopes will urge users to open up their wallets and contribute to the open source operating system's future development. Now when you go to download Ubuntu, a donation screen appears where you can not only flip a few funds at Canonical, but also tell them where exactly you think your cash would be best utilized.
Back in May, Canonical announced that shipments of PCs with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed were expected to crack 5 percent of the overall PC market this year. Part of that figure comes from the company's collaboration with Dell on "Sputnik," a project that slaps a developer-friendly, Dell XPS 13-optimized version of Ubuntu on -- you guessed it -- a Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook, complete with all the driver kinks worked out. That project isn't quite ready for the mainstream yet, but Dell recently rolled out a sign-up sheet for developers who want to get in on Linux-licious Sputnik beta testing.
Do you Ubuntu? If the answer's "Yes," then you probably installed the operating system yourself, using an .iso image and a little keyboard finger-grease. Congratulations! You're the One Percent of the computer world; most users, especially everyday users, would never even attempt to load a Linux variant on a PC. If they want to go truly mainstream, Ubuntu and its Linux brethren need to come preinstalled on OEM-built computers -- and that's why the numbers and news tossed around at yesterday's Ubuntu Developers Summit are so heartening.
If you're a Ubuntu Linux user, there's a new entry on your to-do list for today: downloading Ubuntu 12.04 (aka "Precise Pangolin"), the just-dropped long-term support release for the operating system. That means it gets five full years of bug fixes and updates, and it brings a host of improvements and fresh features to the OS -- including upgrades to its divisive Unity interface.