Ubuntu goes small

By   |  February 27, 2006

The family of operating systems based on the Ubuntu platform continues to expand – this time to the ever-growing embedded world of small, light devices like PDAs and Internet tablets. A new Ubuntu project, Embedded Ubuntu, hopes to bring Ubuntu down to size.

According to the rationale on the project’s Web page, “There are over one billion mobile phone users worldwide and over two billion connections. Such mobile devices, PDAs and new embedded devices such as Internet tablets could be of more use to a wider population, mostly to those who cannot afford to pay high prices to have multimedia applications in their hands.

“Since the Ubuntu principle is to have Linux for human beings, to embed Ubuntu into such mobile devices is the fundamental basis of having people not only connected but humanly connected.”

The project will initially focus on ARM-based processors and Texas Instruments’ OMAP platform, which already features numerous Linux-based devices.

According to researchers The Diffusion Group, Linux and Windows is expected to displace current embedded market leader Symbian by 2010, with Symbian expected to hold 22.1% market share, Linux 26.6%, and Windows 28.7%. The Diffusion Group noted a “sizeable” increase in Linux-based mobile device shipments in the second half of 2005.

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