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In his keynote at this week's Ubuntu Developer Summit in Brussels, Belgium, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth unveiled Unity and Ubuntu Light. Ubuntu Light is a new platform targeted at the dual-boot, instant-on market, based on the new lightweight Unity desktop environment.
Unity is designed for netbooks and touch screen devices and will be the desktop environment for Ubuntu Netbook Edition version 10.10, codenamed Maverick Meerkat.
One of Unity's goals is to make the most used applications easily accessible via a launcher panel on the left while maximizing the available screen real estate for content, especially the vertical space, which is more precious considering the trend towards wide screen devices.
These 2 videos provide impressions of how Unity looks like. If you want to test drive Unity yourself you can add this Ubuntu Netbook Edition PPA to your Ubuntu 10.04 installation. Needless to say that feedback from people trying it out is highly appreciated.
A few more words on Ubuntu Light. As mentioned above it's targeted at dual boot offerings being a stripped down, fast booting instant-on operating system that comes with basic apps like Web browser, e-mail and chat clients, and media players.
The possible benefits are obvious, Ubuntu's visibility may increase as vendors are more likely to ship netbooks with Windows and an instant-on OS rather than Linux only netbooks. On the other the limited capabilities of an instant-on OS like Ubuntu Light may confirm the misconception of many Windows users that Linux is not a real alternative.
What are your thoughts about that?
Mark Shuttleworth's keynote from the Ubuntu Developer Summit during which he introduced Unity and Ubuntu Light can be seen in the video below, it's well worth watching.