One of the problems with tablets is that they’re limited, whether by technology or design. Even something as open as Android still has workarounds that need to be put into place. You can’t just fire up something like VMWare or Citrix in Android, after all! But you can in Ubuntu, which is why it’s coming to tablets.
Being a longtime Ubuntu user, I’ve expressed my distaste for some aspects of the community and the OS before, and skepticism it can become mainstream.
But, just like Canonical seems to be cleverly using the fear of Google to get into the smartphone market, they’re also making a pretty blunt pitch not to consumers, but to your corporate IT department:
Today’s tablets are as powerful as ultra-light laptops. Ubuntu uniquely supports a new category of convergence device – add a keyboard and mouse and your Ubuntu tablet becomes a full PC and thin client, with access to Windows apps over standard protocols from Microsoft, Citrix, VMware and Wyse. That lets enterprise IT deploy a single, secure, portable corporate device for all kinds of applications.
But there are aspects that are probably going to pop for consumers as well. For one thing, Ubuntu has worked that dark magic that, uh, lets you use two apps on one screen at the same time, and drag information between them, something neither Apple nor Google has bothered to crack. And since it’s essentially just Ubuntu with some spare drivers, it also makes adding multiple secure accounts to one tablet a snap, or at least so they claim.
Apparently more details will be rolled out at the Mobile World Congress next week, but either way, it promises to be interesting for a long time to come.