Ubuntu Mobile Edition: first look on a UMPC

Steve at UMPC Portal jumped on the Ubuntu Mobile image that was released earlier this week and first impressions show that it’s a fine mobile computing environment. The actual image was developed specifically for the Samsung Q1 Ultra UMPC, so you’ll see that all of the device hardware is well supported: WiFi, the touchscreen, screen brightness, etc…Canonical has been working on Ubuntu for Mobile Internet Devices for some time and they’re now splitting their efforts: one team will focus on devices with displays in the 4- to 7-inch range, while another team will work on Ubuntu Mobile for 7- to 10-inch devices. Probably a wise move as the smaller devices will rely heavily on touch and therefore need to be optimized with finger-friendly icons and menus. I’m hoping to take a deeper look at Ubuntu mobile on my Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium UMPC in the near future as I’m curious how the working environment and interface compares with that of Windows XP and Vista. Is it better suited to a slate-style unit than its Windows counterparts? With just a short first look from Steve, it’s difficult to say, so stay tuned as I’m sure he’ll be sharing many more thoughts on the topic.Folks that want to give this a go: you can run the Ubuntu Mobile image right from a USB or flash drive, so there’s no need to wipe your current environment to try this. Just hop over to the project page to grab your image and get help.

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