Ubuntu Netbook Remix gets real official
Canonical let slip some further information and screen shots of Ubuntu Netbook Remix, the Ubuntu derived operating system for ultraportables. The quick and dirty information: it looks suspiciously as if the Ubuntu image is made to work solely on Intel Atom processors. How radically different is that from the other Intel processors used previously in ultraportables? Will it be a significant enough difference that it won't run with other Intel chips? Are VIA machines left in the dust? Maybe, maybe not, but we're guessing it'll affect performance on some level.
It seems that Canonical and Intel are working with various manufacturers to get Ubuntu Netbook Remix into our hot little hands, but it probably won't happen much before late 2008. They were so kind, however, as to release some screenshots of the demo version.
Ubuntu Netbook Remix looks... well, a little bit like the "Easy Mode" settings in the Eee PC's customized Xandros. Maybe not quite as simplistic, but we have this funny feeling that many people picturing "Ubuntu on an ultraportable" were thinking more along the lines of the traditional look with a few GUI tweaks. We're not sure if this is really a good or bad thing, as yet. Ultraportables are different animals, and used in a different manner than a desktop. Perhaps a different looking user interface is enough of a disconnect to make it all work (and keep us from trying to install the sorts of things on our ultraportables that they aren't intended to run due to processing limitations).
What will be interesting, and promises to push Linux on ultraportables to the next level, is all that scary stuff on the backend. The most intriguing bit of this conversation seems to focus on the use of Moblin, and the push for developers to get Ubuntu packages to work well -- really well -- with the specific requirements of the processor and ultraportable hardware.