When news broke a few days ago about development of an Ubuntu Linux-based x86 tablet called the UT One, it seemed like Canonical was not part of the endeavor. But that's wrong, according to information from the man behind the project, who contacted The VAR Guy this week with more details on the open source mobile device.
According to emails from Andrew Bernstein, who has emerged as the public face of the UT One tablet project, Canonical "certainly will be involved" in the production of the tablet, which will feature an Intel x86 processor.
For now, Bernstein is holding his cards close with regard to specifying exactly what Canonical's role will be. But he writes that, at a minimum, "we do hope to get official hardware certification and some agreement on support for UT One's software, as in providing support for end users in relation to the hardware."
Bernstein also confirmed that the tablet hardware will be ready to ship by December, although he expressed doubt that the software it needs to run will be available that soon. That's because Canonical likely won't complete work on Ubuntu Touch, the version of Ubuntu that it is building for tablets, phones and other mobile devices, until some time in the new year, postponing the UT One released, Bernstein said.
Nonetheless, pre-orders for the UT One tablet will start at the end of this month or in early December, Bernstein said.
Although many of the details remain hazy, Bernstein's correspondence makes clear that the UT One rumors were not unfounded. By all indications, an Ubuntu-based x86 tablet is really happening, and even if Canonical is not directly responsible for developing the device, it appears very likely that the company will have some kind of official relationship with it.
That means Ubuntu is poised to hit the ground running when Ubuntu Touch is finally ready, making good on Canonical's longstanding promise of "converging" the open source operating system across different types of devices, and no doubt pleasing many Linux fans.