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This week, Canonical announced a reworked version of Ubuntu at the Computex trade show in Taiwan. The new Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) is specifically built for new so-called "netbooks" -- mini laptops with small screens geared towards Web browsing and built on Intel's new, low-power micro-architecture called Atom. The new version will allow users to access email, browse the Internet, and use instant messaging, and provide online access to music, photos, and videos, all in one small, affordable package.
For the Netbook Remix, Canonical uses the standard Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Mobile Edition as a base. It adds a customized Ubuntu Mobile Edition Launcher that allows users to get online quickly and launch their favourite applications. The interface will feature one top panel with a few quick-launch icons, the Ubuntu menu, and the other usual applets. The application switcher is redesigned and only shows the title of the currently maximized app; all others are shown as icons. The operating system will run all regular Linux apps. Screenshots and more information can be found at http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080604-hands-on-with-the-ubuntu-netbook-remix.html.
Canonical is already working with a number of original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to get UNR running on devices. The price of UNR for OEMs is still unclear, but it will not be available to the public, as Canonical has licensed proprietary media codecs and other software, including Adobe Flash. According to Canonical's official page on the topic, the first devices running Ubuntu Netbook Remix will be released later in 2008.
Canonical is also working with Intel to provide consumers with new Internet-centric devices such as netbooks, mobile Internet devices, and embedded devices as part of the Mobile Linux Internet Project (Moblin), which is optimized for Intel Atom-Processors to enable all this.
Nikolai Sivertsen is an avid Linux user who enjoys fiddling around with his OS.