Canonical has unveiled a new desktop environment called 'Unity' at the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) in Belgium. The new development has been designed to work for Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition due for release in October 2010, and is available today to developers building applications for the netbook environment.
Specifically designed for netbooks and related touch-based devices, Unity includes a new panel and application launcher that makes it fast and easy to access preferred applications, such as the browser, while removing screen elements that are rarely used in mobile and netbook computing.
Also included in the announcement is the Ubuntu Light which is an implementation of Ubuntu that is based on Unity and intended for the dual-boot 'instant-web' market. This new version of Ubuntu features chat, IM, browser and media player applications and is aimed at PC manufacturers seeking an 'instant-web' experience that complements Windows on consumer PCs.
What makes so unique is that Ubuntu Light connects the user to the web, with a running browser, in under 10 seconds and includes a media player and tools to integrate with Windows to access music files, photos, etc. This development means that PCs equipped with Ubuntu Light will offer users immediate access to the web and personal content - photos, music and documents. Another important feature of Ubuntu Light is that it can be used on a standalone PC or notebook without Windows, but it is particularly designed for dual-boot environments, where it is installed alongside Windows and presented as an option at boot.
"This is a very exciting development for the Ubuntu ecosystem and it is with great pleasure that we share Unity at UDS today," said Mark Shuttleworth of Canonical. "Unity is a new canvas for the collective Ubuntu imagination to paint on. It has proven a perfect base for Ubuntu Light, and the roadmap ahead promises to make Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition a landmark release."