ubuntu tablet design

An Ubuntu tablet will ‘battle’ against Android and iOS Canonical’s CEO Jane Silber has said.

And although Ubuntu isn’t running on tablets yet she told Techworld‘s Paul Krill that ‘announcements in that area‘ are to be made later this year.

Ubuntu tablet

Ubuntu Tablet has been a long-held want for many Ubuntu users. As the owner of a variety of tablets I can attest that despite often being called ‘touch-friendly Unity, along with the rest of the Ubuntu desktop, is not as tablet friendly as one would assume.

But is Ubuntu too late to the game?

Windows 8, with its finger-friendly Metro interface and burgeoning basket of app developers, and Android, with Ice Cream Sandwich and massive consumer awareness, are all poised to take significant marketshare. Can Ubuntu really compete with established titans of the tablet arena?

WebOS couldn’t, and Blackberry’s Playbook didn’t exactly find itself flavour of the month, either.

Silber is more upbeat: “We know we’re late, but we think the battle is not over, and we want to compete.’

“…the battle is not over..”

‘[I think we can compete] …because of characteristics of Ubuntu as a platform, industry dynamics, and an increased wariness around the walled gardens of Apple and to some extent Google and even Amazon, as they are increasingly in this game as well. There is a demand for a platform that has characteristics that Ubuntu meets. The characteristics in my mind that are important are openness, and by openness I don’t just mean open source code, I mean the governance structure, the ability to collaborate, the ability for there to be multiple devices from multiple vendors.”

And just to keep us all on our toes Silber says that Canonical are already in discussions with several hardware manufacturers – although she can’t give us name just yet.

So with devices to ship on, and the passion, commitment and community/employee talent to turn Ubuntu in a Tablet OS there is only one other factor crucial to Ubuntu Tablet becoming successful…

App Store Dynamics

Ubuntu’s success in the tablet-sphere – however niche it might end up – will hinge on more than just decent hardware and shops willing to sell it. The platform will need to have application developers so enthused by the platform that they are will to develop for it. And that’s no mean feat of itself.

Further still, to attract quality commercial developers and the big name apps that many consumers look out for Canonical are going to need offer competitive pricing for developers and consumers, and attract more business to the Ubuntu Software Centre than it’s seen of late.

According the developer of Memory Owl, Decembers 10th best selling app, it claimed its place by selling a mere 27 copies.

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