Mobile device vendors have a further operating system alternative now that open source software development house Canonical has released the Ubuntu tablet interface.
According to Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical founder, true multitasking is the strongest feature of the Ubuntu tablet OS which will be published on February 21 with installable images and source.
Presently, Ubuntu is compatible with any Linux-oriented Board Support Package, meaning it works on most chipset designs that can run Google's Android.
Ubuntu can be installed on Google's Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets but also the Nexus 4 and Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphones, but Canonical said the software is still only a preview and not consumer ready.
Ubuntu for tablets
Other notable features of the new platform include the ability to run multiple user accounts on one tablet and security with full encryption.
Like the Blackberry Playbook and Windows 8 before it, Ubuntu for tablets uses screen edges for navigation and task switching as well as access to settings and controls.
Screen sizes from six to 20 inches diagonally and up to 450 pixels per inch are supported by Ubuntu for tablets.
Canonical said that Ubuntu will offer a full PC experience on high-end devices when docked with a keyboard, allowing it to access Windows applications remotely using Microsoft, Citrix, VMWare and Wyse protocols.
This makes it suitable as a mobile thin client for enterprise customers, the company believes.
By providing a converged interface with the same operating system and code, Canonical expected Ubuntu to be used not just on tablets and phones, but on PCs and TVs as well for device convergence.
The company has yet to reveal if it has any hardware partners for the Ubuntu for tablets platform.