First Ubuntu Tablet Is ‘Important Step’ For Converged Computing

Canonical says BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition is only tablet capable of delivering true touch and desktop experience

Canonical says the launch of the BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition, the first ever Ubuntu-powered tablet, will help realise its vision of a converged computing experience that combines the best features of a tablet and PC into a single device.

The company claims Ubuntu is the only operating system capable of running both full touch and traditional PC interfaces, in what could be interpreted as a firing shot aimed at Windows 10 and iOS.

Spanish manufacturer BQ has released a number of Ubuntu smartphones and the two parties say the Aquaris M10 will be the first in a “series” of converged devices. It boasts a 10.1 inch display, 1.5GHz MediaTek quad-core processor and measures in at 8.2mm thick and 470 grammes.

Converged computing

azure“We’re bringing you everything you’ve come to expect from your Ubuntu PC, now on the tablet with BQ, soon on smartphones,” said Jane Silber, Canonical CEO. “This isn’t a phone interface stretched to desktop size – it’s the right user experience and interaction model for the given situation. Also, in terms of applications, we have something no other OS can provide: a single, visual framework and set of tools for applications to run on any type of Ubuntu smart device.”

Convergence has been a central component of Ubuntu Mobile, with Canonical claiming the ability to create single applications for multiple form factors will attract developers to the platform. Users can run both desktop and mobile applications, take advantage of ‘scopes’, which are a key feature of Ubuntu smartphones, gain complete access to the underlying platform and benefit from enhanced security.

Amid a slowing tablet market, Canonical believes running an alternative platform like Ubuntu could allow a device to stand out from the crowd. It also thinks the ability to turn a mobile device into a full PC using a wireless keyboard, mouse and external display will convince businesses to take the plunge.

Ubuntu Mobile

Recent figures suggest business focused tablets like the iPad Pro and Surface Pro are having more success than the cheap seven inch units that flooded the market several years ago.

BQ and Chinese manufacturer Meizu were signed up as partners last year after Canonical failed to achieve its crowdfunding target to build the ‘Ubuntu Edge’ – a high specification smartphone that would have served as a showcase.

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has previously said Ubuntu Mobile devices would most likely not appeal to iPhone owners, but the firm is adamant it wants the platform to become “mass market”, but admits it will take time. However, Canonical has admitted in the past that it doesn’t expect a major manufacturer to make Ubuntu smartphones.

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