Mobile chip designer ARM in open source deal

Ubuntu to power netbooks

Consumer Linux platform Ubuntu is to be introduced to the netbook sector thanks to a deal between its open-source developers and chip firm ARM.

The deal will see a smaller version of Ubuntu produced for netbooks powered by an ARM processor.

This marks a debut for both companies: Ubuntu has been primarily ported to the desktop segment, while ARM’s core business has traditionally been in mobile phone chip design.

The move comes after the Carphone Warehouse has recalled its Linux based netbooks to replace the OS with Windows XP, citing customer confusion as a reason for a 20 per cent return rate. However, the Ubuntu variant of Linux has many features in common with Windows XP and is reputed to have a more user-friendly interface

“This is a natural development for Ubuntu, driven by the demand from manufacturers for an ARM technology-based version,” said the COO of Canonical, Ubuntu’s commercial sponsor, Jane Silber.

“Joining the considerable community of free software developers working on the ARM platform ensures that a fully-functional, optimized Ubuntu distribution is available to the ARM ecosystem, providing wider choice for consumers looking for the best operating system for their digital lifestyles.”

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