Tablet Wars: Ubuntu Gets In The Game

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User Experience

From a physical UI perspective, Ubuntu for tablets is similar to the Windows 8 tablet experience, with features hiding behind inward swipes from all four screen edges. On Ubuntu, the left edge is home to the current user's favorite apps. With the icon ribbon visible, drag up or down to launch or switch between running apps. And, swipe right to expose, activate or kill running apps. Side Stage swipes in from the right, shuffling in a number of apps. The top edge is for configuring system settings and services, and the bottom presents current app controls. But, this is anything but Windows 8, Shuttleworth said. "The Tile interface is a stark transition that can be jarring for users," he said. "But when you go from Ubuntu on a tablet to Ubuntu on a PC, it just introduces menus, dialogs and windows management, but you're not moving things around in dramatic ways."

Source code for Ubuntu for tablets will be made public on Thursday. Shuttleworth also said development efforts were "on track" for Ubuntu 13.10 to include an entry-level smartphone in October, with the first devices expected in early 2014 along with Ubuntu 14.04.

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