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Ubuntu Light Goes from Zero to Sixty in Zero Seconds

What’s the new startup time of Canonical’s proposed Ubuntu Light netbook operating system? Zero. It’s instant-on, all part of Canonical’s effort to get you to your content and the web, faster. This and another new product, a shell for Ubuntu called Unity, were announced at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Belgium this week:

One area of the desktop market where Linux is increasingly gaining traction is instant-on computing. Companies like Phoenix and DeviceVM offer embeddable Linux environments that boot almost instantly and are shipped by hardware vendors alongside regular Windows installations. These instant-on environments are generally designed to give users quick access to e-mail, web browsing, and instant messaging. Ubuntu Light is aimed squarely at that market.

Individual builds of Ubuntu Light will be tailored to specific hardware for OEMs, meaning that it will not be installable as a general purpose Linux distribution. Hardware vendors that adopt Ubuntu Light will be able to choose between the Unity environment and or a full GNOME desktop. It is intended to be used in a dual-boot configuration on Windows systems. Shuttleworth views this as an opportunity to boost the visibility of Linux in markets that have traditionally been Windows-centric.

Mark Shuttleworth has this to say about the announcments at his blog:

A few months ago we took on the challenge of building a version of Ubuntu for the dual-boot, instant-on market. We wanted to be surfing the web in under 10 seconds, and give people a fantastic web experience. We also wanted it to be possible to upgrade from that limited usage model to a full desktop. We also learned something interesting from users. It’s not about how fast you appear to boot. It’s about how fast you actually deliver a working web browser and Internet connection. It’s about how fast you have a running system that is responsive to the needs of the user.

This announcement comes as pressure to ship lighter, faster, smaller operating systems mounts. As Google’s Android finds it’s way into more tablets and mobile devices, and companies like HP (with their recently acquired Palm) begin shipping devices with it’s webOS, Ubuntu is fighting for relevance in a market that’s moving shifting away from the desktop.

via ArsTechnica

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