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Canonical Announcing Ubuntu Tablet Tomorrow? 121

Posted by samzenpus
from the tomorrow's-tech dept.
hypnosec writes "Canonical has a countdown on its site that indicates a possible tablet announcement tomorrow. With the Ubuntu Touch developer preview launching this week, the announcement about a tablet or at least an operating system for a tablet from Canonical has, it seems, taken a backseat. From the countdown that reads "Tick, tock, tablet time!" it is evident that Canonical is going to make some announcement about tablets tomorrow."
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Canonical Announcing Ubuntu Tablet Tomorrow?

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    When they say "Tablet" they mean "Pill".

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday February 18, 2013 @07:27PM (#42939793) Journal

    Since the Ubuntu tablet will not have 'keys' in a physical sense; being a largely featureless slab of glass on the front just like everything else on the market, Canonical is pleased and proud to announce that 'keystrokes' will not be transmitted directly to valued advertising partners!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can it be stripped and installed with Debian Linux?

    • by zoward (188110)

      Can it be stripped and installed with Debian Linux?

      ...and will we want it to? I wasn't aware of Debian having resonable touch support (but TBH, I really don't know). How are the specs? How open is the hardware? Assuming reasonable specs, and open hardware drivers (and that's assuming a LOT), I'd like to see KDE Plasma Active on it.

      I'd also like to see if Canonical can produce a usable tablet. I'm not a huge fan of Unity, but I'm willing to be impressed if they can make something impressive. Ball's in your court, Canonical.

      • Plasma Active, Nemo, Cordia HD etc are all just touch screen environments running on top of the ruins of Meego.

        There's nothing stopping anyone repackaging those rpms as debs. Which is probably Canonical's starting point, plus a Unity skin.

        As for hardware, aren't they using the Google Nexus devices for developer images, i.e. Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4 for phones and Nexus 7 for tablets?

  • Dead last (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tftp (111690) on Monday February 18, 2013 @07:46PM (#42939949) Homepage

    I hope they will come up with some reason for the consumer to go out and buy an Ubuntu tablet. As things are, the competition is pretty strong. Android and iOS have all bases covered, with hundreds of thousands of applications, and with several years on the market, and with millions of deployed devices, and with the user base trained.

    Sight unseen, I'd say that an Ubuntu tablet may not even win against a Windows 8 tablet. It still may be that Ubuntu people have some bright idea that hasn't occurred to Apple and Google, but that is not very likely. Price-wise, they are competing with a free OS (Android) that Google spends millions on in R&D, and with finished tablets that can be had for under $100.

    • Re:Dead last (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rasmusbr (2186518) on Monday February 18, 2013 @08:12PM (#42940119)

      That's true if we think of the market in terms of dollars, everyone who's prepared to pay $499 for a tablet already owns one. If we look at the market in terms of number of users and potential users I think we'll find that more than 95% of everyone in the world does not yet own a tablet. Even if we limit ourselves to the 2.5 billion or so people who have a high enough income that they could potentially invest in a cheap tablet I bet more than 2 billion of them don't yet own one. All those people have yet to be trained to use iOS or Android on a tablet, and most of them probably don't even own a smartphone yet.

      Mark Shuttleworth has said that they're primarily targeting consumers in the developing world and corporations/organizations in the developed world, which sounds like a viable plan to me if they can execute it. My doubts revolve around Canonical's ability to deliver a decent version of their OS (both from a consumer perspective and from an app developer perspective) in a timely manner, before the market has been completely saturated by cheap Android tablets and perhaps a cheap version of the iPad. I think it's more likely that it will take them several years to get to where the OS is competitive with Android and by then it will surely be too late.

      • by tftp (111690)

        Mark Shuttleworth has said that they're primarily targeting consumers in the developing world and corporations/organizations in the developed world

        Android is free. The $99 that you pay for a low end tablet is all going to the manufacturer, to pay for the hardware. How will a different and less popular OS make it cheaper? What can you offer in UNIX/Linux that you cannot offer on Android? Why would you build a tablet application for Unity (using what?) and target hundreds of customers if you can build an A

        • by rasmusbr (2186518)

          In the low end market it's not the price of the OS that determines which phone is cheaper, it's how lightweight the OS plus apps are. If you can make an OS that runs better than the competition on last year's mid-range hardware you can deliver a fast and modern experience at a lower price. If you could deliver something as compelling as the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 experiences (albeit with lower resolution displays) on last year's hardware you could begin to gain market shares in the low end market.

          As I s

      • by Kjella (173770)

        Mark Shuttleworth has said that they're primarily targeting consumers in the developing world and corporations/organizations in the developed world, which sounds like a viable plan to me if they can execute it.

        What part of that sounds like viable? To me it sounds like OLPC for tablets, except they think to make a profit on it. Is there any track record of a "poor man's device" succeeding in computers or small electronics? I'm thinking razor thin margins and extreme need for volume to drive unit price down, exactly what a large incumbent industry is made for like the dumb phones Nokia has been pounding out billions of. This is a lot more on the hardware side, a huge Android manufacturer thinking "If I order the ch

    • Re:Dead last (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Nerdfest (867930) on Monday February 18, 2013 @08:28PM (#42940235)

      I think there's a market for a 'real' Linux OS on a mobile device. The N800 sold like crazy for how available it was, and people still covet them. It's not a huge market, but I think it's there.

  • by jones_supa (887896) on Monday February 18, 2013 @08:03PM (#42940059)
    If you don't want to wait the countdown, there's already a high-res photo [hashemartworks.net] of the device available.
  • Open hardware? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pr0nbot (313417) on Monday February 18, 2013 @08:31PM (#42940261)
    The most exciting thing about an Ubuntu tablet would be if it means open source drivers for all the hardware. A reference tablet that anyone can install OSS onto would be great for tinkerers. (Or is the Nexus 7 already this?)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The most exciting thing about an Ubuntu tablet would be if it means open source drivers for all the hardware.

      It doesn't. It's gonna be a typical ARM SoC with blob drivers.

    • Given a Ubuntu tablet uses more or less the same kernel and device driver framework (minor revisions aside, they're licensed in exactly the same way) as Android, this is only really going to be true to the degree that it's true of Android.
  • What keylogger will they be running on this one?

  • but it's another thing to have an interface that will work on it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I haven't seen a style blueprint for ubuntu phones/tablets interface yet, only that it'll run on QT. Personally, I'd like a full gnu/linux stack on a phone (and I use the N900), but I just don't see how Canonical are going to compress the years of tinkering done by apple, android and maemo to make a consistent touch-friendly interface that works on a small device. I'm ready to be surprised, but I think most of us are going to be disappointed.

    I think Jolla looks promising, although they've a lot to prove, and at the moment there is way more hype and vapour than substance.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:03PM (#42940409)
  • they already had their desktop crippled into a near-useless tablet by Unity

    • by EmagGeek (574360)

      You know, it is trivial to use something other than Unity on Ubuntu.

      There are also kubuntu and xubuntu if you want to start with something else from the get go.

      I use xfce myself.

      • by rubycodez (864176)

        it is not trivial if you start with Unity, it leaves shitsta^h^h^h^h^h^h artifacts that screw up better desktops. since they're focusing on their tabletly UI and not better desktops, better to change the underlying distro too.

        • by EmagGeek (574360)

          1) sudo apt-get install gdm gnome-shell synaptic deborphan

          2) When prompted, select gdm as default. Then reboot.

          3) sudo apt-get remove unity unity-2d unity-2d-common unity-2d-panel unity-2d-shell unity-2d-spread unity-asset-pool unity-common unity-lens-applications unity-lens-files unity-lens-music unity-lens-video unity-lens-shopping unity-scope-musicstores unity-scope-video-remote unity-services indicator-messages indicator-status-provider-mc5 appmenu-qt appmenu-gtk appmenu-gtk3 lightdm unity-greeter overl

          • by rubycodez (864176)

            wrong, you forgot to remove those artifact files in home directories I mentioned, your desktop will have quirks

  • Here I was hoping that it meant they were finally going to take their medication, and cure themselves of the disease that has given us Unity, Shopping Lens and other mistakes of the last couple of years.

  • by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich @ a o l.com> on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @08:16AM (#42943265) Journal

    Dear submitter,

    Had you bothered to go actually look at the countdown timer, you would have seen the words "Tick, tock, tablet time!" in large print right there in front of your face, and you would have known to end the title of your summary with a period instead of a question mark, and avoided the whole "let me go make myself look like an ass on Slashdot" thing.

    Thank you for your time.

  • So, is this going to lead to Half-Life on a tablet? Was this part of Valve's decision to release for Linux (read: Ubuntu)?

If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst

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