Canonical has announced that later this week it is going to release a version of Ubuntu designed to run on tablets. The company hopes this will be adopted by large companies for their employees.
“We expect Ubuntu to be popular in the enterprise market, enabling customers to provision a single secure device for all PC, thin client and phone functions,” CEO Mark Shuttleworth said. “Ubuntu is already the most widely used Linux enterprise desktop, with customers in a wide range of sectors focused on security, cost and manageability.”
Starting on Thursday, users of the Google Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 will be able to download this operating system. It will be available for the Google Nexus 4 smartphone on the same day.
Tablet and smartphone integration will be one of the hallmarks of this version. Users will be able to run a tablet and an smartphone app side-by-side, and drag-and-drop content between the two.
The Nexus tablets do not have many hardware buttons, and this operating system has been designed to not need them, as the four edges of the screen are used to navigate between apps, settings, and controls.
Ubuntu will offer multiple secure user accounts, plus a guest account, allowing a family to share one device, or for one to be shared by employees at an office.
For the security conscious, Canonical promises that data protection is “world class” with full disk encryption, and additional encryption for personal data.
Users will be able to add a keyboard and mouse to turn their Ubuntu tablet into a laptop.
It is going to be able run HTML5 software as well as native apps. And Canonical says it supports remote-access over standard protocols from Microsoft, Citrix, VMware and Wyse.