Ubuntu enhancements released

2013-04-29 08:05
Linux Ubuntu is a viable alternative to users who don't feel comfortable with Microsoft's latest version of Windows. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Linux Ubuntu is a viable alternative to users who don't feel comfortable with Microsoft's latest version of Windows. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - The open source movement is taking aim at acceptance on desktop computers with the release of an enhancement set designed to attract consumers.

Canonical released the Ubuntu 13.04 desktop enhancement that supports internet cloud storage and also serves as a prelude to the company's entry into the mobile phone space.

"Over the last year, we've seen a clear shift in major enterprises, telcos and service providers, toward building their public and private cloud offerings on Ubuntu plus OpenStack," said Jane Silber, CEO at Canonical.

The company which was founded by billionaire Mark Shuttleworth announced earlier this year that it would enter the mobile phone market with a consumer device offering running an Ubuntu operating system, though details are a closely guarded secret.

The Ubuntu enhancement can be seen as a prelude to the mobile phone development as well as suitable for tablets and other portable devices in that the OS is focused on systems with lower memory usage than typical PCs.


"Performance on lightweight systems was a core focus for this cycle, as a prelude to Ubuntu's release on a range of mobile form factors. As a result 13.04 delivers significantly faster response times in casual use, and a reduced memory footprint that benefits all users," Canonical said.

In the 1990s, the Linux platform on which Ubuntu is based, was seen as a direct competitor to the PC OS domination of Microsoft Windows, but the US company moved quickly to expand the ease of use of its software that the left the open source OS behind in some respects.

Open source was given a new lease on life trough the Android mobile operating system developed by Google and partners in the Open Handset Alliance.

The growth of mobile forced Microsoft to move toward a mobile ecosystem as demonstrated by Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

Canonical's release hopes to bring together a set of open source tools to manage devices on the Ubuntu platform.

"Canonical's next generation display server, MIR is available as an option for developer testing and contribution. MIR will enable the seamless convergence of Ubuntu across phone, tablet and PCs in the next set of releases.

"Having just one codebase for all devices simplifies the lives of both developers and end-users, and makes possible a new generation of devices that combine the portability of the mobile phone with the productivity of a laptop," the company said.

Ubuntu is a free download and available from the website.

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