Ubuntu signs up Arm to crack netbook market

Ubuntu moving into the netbook market
Ubuntu moving into the netbook market

Mobile phone chip designer Arm has announced a deal with open-source software manufacturer Ubuntu to get the OS onto netbooks.

A specially packaged version of the system will run on netbooks, with Arm's presence in the tiny-laptop market marking a change from its usual territory of high-end phones.

Prototypes of the system will be developed in time for next June's Computex show, according to the BBC.

"It's significant in that it is taking Arm onto larger screen formats," Rob Coombes, Director of mobile marketing at Arm, said.

"They'll be for people who want a small internet-centric device."

Mobile versions too

Canonical, Ubuntu's commercial sponsor, has already announced plans to develop both netbook and mobile versions in the near future, and this deal with Arm is clearly part of these plans.

Last month, founder of Ubuntu and CEO of Canonical Mark Shuttleworth confirmed the company was looking increasingly at the mobile and netbook markets, thanks to a deal with Intel to help develop a mobile platform.

"Linux is a perfect platform for consumer electronics, and the rate of adoption there is fantastic, but it's highly fragmented. There are many different projects/environments/frameworks for Linux on smartphones," he said, according to ArsTechnica.

"Intel has really set the pace with hardware enablement in free software. They invest a lot in it, and they invest it well - they work like an open-source project to a much greater extent than any other manufacturer."

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.