Ubuntu website teases us with Wednesday announcement

There's been tons of debate over the past year and a half on Microsoft's embrace of a touchscreen interface for Windows 8. Now, a well known Linux-based OS is strongly hinting it may be offering a touchscreen UI in a future version.

The Ubuntu website current has a countdown clock on its main page that will reach zero at 1 pm Eastern time on Wednesday. The countdown clock has the tagline of "So close, you can almost touch it", which has led to speculation that an announcement concerning a Ubuntu version made for touchscreen PCs will be made tomorrow.

Ubuntu's creators at Canonical have hinted strongly in the past few months that they want the OS to be inside the hardware of mobile products, including tablets and smartphones. Indeed, the latest version of Ubuntu, 12.10, includes an interface called Unity that looks like it was supposed to be made for touchscreens. In the official press release for 12.10 in October, Canonical claimed that Ubuntu was now "the perfect alternative for anyone considering a move to Windows 8".

Of course, that's easier said than done. Even with the slow growth of Windows 8 in its first two months, it seems to already be working inside more PCs worldwide than Linux.

Source: Ubuntu | Image via Ubuntu

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Intel rumored to be working on TV set-top box and service

Next Story

The Sims 2 online features to shut down Jan. 14th

51 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Me too, tried Linux for many years: Ubuntu, Arch, Tiny Core, Fedora...

There´s no rival for Windows. I have no the time to learn a new OS all over again or fooling round with Linux, so I´ll stick with MS.

great now i can have orange, purple and charcoal on my android. cant get enough of the worst color scheme out there. i could go to their forums and get advice on how to change colors or perform a simple task and be talked down to like i'm still in diapers. or i could come here and find out after everyone finishes their argument about the left isn't really left if you're in the opposite direction.

Cool hope it works out for them, I do enjoy fooling around with Linux although I am not a unity fan. I normally use Mint Linux also (based on Ubuntu).

I think the mobile/tablet market is a good thing to aim for. I can see more phones/tablets taking on Linux than PC's. Its a good OS don't get me wrong but when it goes wrong, it really goes wrong to the point in having to reinstall at times. Not only that but sometimes installing / removing something can really be a pain.

The constant updates and new versions of Linux can also be a pain. They are released far to frequently. I know that's a good thing but its also a bad thing, if they are releasing so many damn security updates and stuff does that not show how insecure it can really be? .

Anyway yeah good luck to them.

Chicane-UK said,
I like how some people don't even put effort into their trolling. Great work.

well its free and no body wants it. They are getting better but it is still crap. am using it on one of my machines because ki study com Sci at school but it is crap still. And not a single linux box in my uni if we have to run Solaris we use the Solaris machiines or as many prefer run it through xming via windows. 2013 year of linux...

You don't like it. That's fine - that's your opinion and you're entitled to it. To simply dismiss it as "crap" is utterly ridiculous. It's a totally free, fully functional multiuser operating system. It underpins a large majority of the world smartphone market in the shape of Android, it's used in critical systems across the planet, powers the majority of world web servers (or at least it used to... not sure what the stats are these days), is used on almost all of the worlds supercomputers.

I agree that for most people it's still a bit of a pain on the desktop, and certainly I wouldn't expect people like my parents to be able to use it. But it's not crap.

Chicane-UK said,
You don't like it. That's fine - that's your opinion and you're entitled to it. To simply dismiss it as "crap" is utterly ridiculous. It's a totally free, fully functional multiuser operating system. It underpins a large majority of the world smartphone market in the shape of Android, it's used in critical systems across the planet, powers the majority of world web servers (or at least it used to... not sure what the stats are these days), is used on almost all of the worlds supercomputers.

I agree that for most people it's still a bit of a pain on the desktop, and certainly I wouldn't expect people like my parents to be able to use it. But it's not crap.

First of all, I love Linux. Now that's out of the way I know what you are trying to say but its not entirely true nor relevant. First of all "Linux" isn't an operating system, Linux is actually a kernel and to call yourself a Linux OS or like most people just call a linux computer/smartphone/whatever you must be using the Linux kernel. Now, the linux kernel lets just say, to put it nicely, is crap- lightyears behind the NT kernel but I'm not going to get into that. Yes it is used in many millions of smartphones under the name Android however 99% of Android don't know/care that their phone is using the Linux kernel and dare I say thats probably for the better. When ever we talk about malware or exploits Android is not Linux but whenever we talk about the number of Android handsets their are then of course, naturally, Android is Linux.

Used in critical systems across the planet? Sure, in some places but not in the form of Ubuntu or Android or Arch but more in the form of low level, stripped out and completely changed up versions of the Linux kernel which leads me onto the point you make about the worlds supercomputers.

Linux users love to brag about how most supercomputers and massive node clusters run LINUX. Well that is entirely true but not for all the right reasons or at least the reasons that you think. The kernels used in these supercomputers barely resemble the Linux kernel they are so far mutated and detached that they don't even operate like the Linux kernel with layers feeding to GPU and stacks for networking, graphics and sound. The reason these computers are running Linux (or a form of it as i have just outlined) is because the kernel is OPEN SOURCE and do the devs can get it to run on many thousands of cores and address stupid amounts of memory whilst having no unnecessary overhead like a process which checks for user authenticiy or one that checks the disk is in order. That's it. Believe me if the NT kernel could be licensed every supercomputer would be running it and ironically the computers actually controlling the so called Linux based super computers are actually Windows PCs and more often not they are the ones feeding data over fibre connections for calculation the mutated/stripped linux kernel is just operating in between!

Yes it does power the majority of WWW servers and will continue to because of price point and scalability but Windows Server does actually have a pretty solid chunk and it is rising.

So yeah it's not crap in a way because it does have its place, one of those places however is not the desktop and it shouldn't be on phones either.

nik louch said,
Apple should do a touch screen...? Like the market leading touch interface, iOS?

Market leading? Only on tablets, and there are more touch machines with Windows CE out there then there are iPads.

Great for them They are Linux to me I cant wait to see what they have new.

all other distros are so far behind ubuntu.

I just tried fedora 18 yesterday and it screamed at me and told me i was not allowed to install google chrome lol Ubuntu all the way for me from now on

sorry for the rant lol

Mr.XXIV said,
Linux is so lucky OS X doesn't sell the way Windows does as far as features go since Linux / Unix.

Apple would not due to the fact that selling software for them does not bring in a profit margin that they like (or so we are told). My personal opinion, they lack the engineers necessary to support white boxes. The last time they had clones it did not go so well and that was with a vastly inferior, less complicated OS (i.e. Mac OS, not X) and almost all support issues were handled by the vendors themselves... Super Mac/elect.

Totally true. As a developer, I'm pretty satisfied with the limitations I can lift and carry whenever needed since most apps on this OS are native-ly reliable, nowadays. The Terminal is my hero.

Oh for gods sake... Maybe linux is not present on desktops like Windows, but its already everywhere as embedded software for circa idk 4-5 years?... So stop b*ing about "year of the linux".

insanelyapple said,
Oh for gods sake... Maybe linux is not present on desktops like Windows, but its already everywhere as embedded software for circa idk 4-5 years?... So stop b*ing about "year of the linux".

Strange, I encounter dozens of times more Windows CE embedded systems then Linux.
Only area in the world where you encounter 'plenty' of Linux is in super computing and webhosting. And in webhosting its actually in decline.

Shadowzz said,

Strange, I encounter dozens of times more Windows CE embedded systems then Linux.
Only area in the world where you encounter 'plenty' of Linux is in super computing and webhosting. And in webhosting its actually in decline.

I know... I just love my Galaxy S3 and Note 2 running Windows 8. Or maybe that was embedded... no, wait...

Haha, no offense ubuntu but I don't think you have enough people using ubuntu or that care enough about you to warrant a countdown.

"Perfect alternative"? Um, no. Linux cannot replace the functionality of Windows, and I don't want or need to fool around with it in order to do so.

Dot Matrix said,
"Perfect alternative"? Um, no. Linux cannot replace the functionality of Windows, and I don't want or need to fool around with it in order to do so.

You no longer have to do so. Ubuntu is a perfectly viable alternative for consumers now a days. Reminds me of android... Works fine out of the box, but for those willing to tinker... They can do so, but its not required.

If you want to talk about replacing functionality... Microsoft did a pretty good job of removing plenty of functionality with metro. I've seen your posts so I won't bother debating a lost cause, but I wouldn't be surprised if we see something decent with Ubuntu, it can't any worse that what ms did with metro.

Metro isn't the sole UI, though. With Windows 8 you still have your desktop + the Start screen. This isn't rocket science.

All of the Linux enthusiasts keep saying, "This is the year of Linux!" But it never happens. And it never will happen.

I have a dual boot system (Windows/Linux) because I actually enjoy "fooling around" with Linux occasionally. Linux has it's advantages too. In many areas, it's easier to configure than Windows.

Ubuntu, replace GNOME 3 with LXDE please. I get so many complaints about GNOME 3. Ubuntu did not design GNOME 3, but they did decide to make it default - which I think is a big mistake (Linux is supposed to be fast/lightweight/efficient, but GNOME 3 is a slug, and annoyance in many areas (due to poor UI design, or UI design trying to be completely different from the rest)).

Edited by 68k, Jan 2 2013, 4:04am :

LookitsPuck said,
All of the Linux enthusiasts keep saying, "This is the year of Linux!" But it never happens. And it never will happen.

Only the fanatics and the haters. The realists among us know this will likely never happen.

shockz said,

You no longer have to do so. Ubuntu is a perfectly viable alternative for consumers now a days. Reminds me of android... Works fine out of the box, but for those willing to tinker... They can do so, but its not required.


Cool, you can do the same with Windows though. Customization is actually a strong point from Windows. That it doesn't all directly come out of the box is no concern.
Ubuntu is very bloated for a Linux Distro and its minimum requirements to run full blown are way over any Windows you can find.

If you want to talk about replacing functionality... Microsoft did a pretty good job of removing plenty of functionality with metro. I've seen your posts so I won't bother debating a lost cause, but I wouldn't be surprised if we see something decent with Ubuntu, it can't any worse that what ms did with metro.

What functionality is removed? I can do everything anyone else can do with Win7, and in many cases better AND in multiple ways.
You've seen photos of metro, you haven't even used it. Dude really?
WinRT is far superior then any other tablet OS available. I've seen nothing run as smooth and fluent as WinRT. And knowing that the kernel is a full blown OS kernel, with even the Win32API being entirely present on WinRT (altho not available for anyone outside of MS, which is a choice I can fully and entirely understand, you can't but maybe you should look into WHY WinRT is "separate" from Windows 8.)

Shadowzz said,

.............
What functionality is removed? I can do everything anyone else can do with Win7, and in many cases better AND in multiple ways.
.......

I know it isn't exactly all that important, but just since you're asking try to create an ad-hoc wireless network in Windows 8 and you will discover at least 1 thing you could do with Win7 (and linux) that you can't with Win8. (You can still do the hostednetwork thing though, but at that point your skill-level allows you to do massage iptables in linux like a hero anyways

I use Windows, but, I have a Linux RESCUE disk just in case, that allows me to bypass WINDOZE to get at files I might need in the event of a really bad crash.
I've used it numerous times to help people who have screwed up their computers by installing 2-3 antivirus programs, 8 toolbars, or installing one of those "your computer might be infected, click here for a free scan" thingys.

naap51stang said,
I use Windows, but, I have a Linux RESCUE disk just in case, that allows me to bypass WINDOZE to get at files I might need in the event of a really bad crash.
I've used it numerous times to help people who have screwed up their computers by installing 2-3 antivirus programs, 8 toolbars, or installing one of those "your computer might be infected, click here for a free scan" thingys.

Lol. "Windoze"? Oh, boy...

Well it makes sense, a lot of people install Ubuntu on OEM equipment so having touch support is great (since a lot of OEM's are making touch based machines). Not to mention the tablets and even phones that could easily have ports of ubuntu running easily.

It will also mean that a lot of those great linux devs will start thinking more actively for touch innovation. The tech world is damn exciting place atm!!

Auzeras said,
Well it makes sense, a lot of people install Ubuntu on OEM equipment so having touch support is great (since a lot of OEM's are making touch based machines). Not to mention the tablets and even phones that could easily have ports of ubuntu running easily.

It will also mean that a lot of those great linux devs will start thinking more actively for touch innovation. The tech world is damn exciting place atm!!


really, phones don't have the power to run Ubuntu anywhere near smooth.

why not? a raspberry pi runs ubuntu very smooth, so why shouldn't a high end quadcore phone? You can't say that the phone is slower than then raspberry pi because that would be a very big lie LOL

My nexus 7 runs ubuntu 13.04 very smooth natively and has the same hardware as other tegra3 devices(and phones).