Yesterday at Computex, Canonical announced a new Linux distribution based on Ubuntu Linux, built especially for small-screened netbooks.
It’s a very important move for the netbook / sub-notebook market. Between Intel and VIA supporting this market on the hardware side, now you have Canonical/Ubuntu working towards applications optimized for the 7-inch to 10-inch devices (and lest we forget – Microsoft is even extending the life of Windows XP for these devices).
It’s being referred to as Ubuntu Netbook Remix and, in Canonical’s own words:
a reworked desktop image of Ubuntu built specifically for a new category of portable Internet-centric devices â€“ netbooks. These affordable, power-efficient, small screen devices, based on the ground breaking low-power micro-architecture of the IntelÂ® Atomâ„¢ processor, and Ubuntu allow consumers to enjoy email, instant messaging, Internet surfing and on-line access to photos, videos or music with an affordable, reliable device…..Canonical is also working with ISVs to ensure that popular desktop applications are certified on Ubuntu, and will run on the Ubuntu Netbook Remix.
Ars Technica put together a hands-on preview of Ubuntu Netbook Remix and took a look at the launcher as well as the application switcher/manager (both very important given the limited screen size of these devices.
They point out that Intel and Ubuntu worked together to optimize the distribution for Intel’s Atom CPUs:
“At Intel, we see netbooks as an opportunity to expand basic Internet usage throughout the world through simple and affordable devices for consumers,” said Intel software and solutions group vice president Doug Fisher in a statement. “The combination of Ubuntu Netbook Remix with Moblin technologies optimized for the Intel Atom processor will deliver a good Internet and media experience on Intel-based netbooks.”