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ARM and Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, on Thursday said that it will bring the full Ubuntu Desktop operating system to the ARMv7 processor architecture to “address demand from device manufacturers”.

The addition of the new operating system will enable new netbooks and hybrid computers, targeting energy-efficient ARM technology-based SoCs, to deliver a rich, always-connected, mobile computing experience, without compromising battery life.

This version of the Ubuntu Desktop operating system will target the ARMv7 architecture including ARM Cortex-A8 and Cortex-A9 processor-based systems.  Canonical’s support of a full ARM distribution will strengthen the ARM Linux ecosystem and widen the opportunity to leverage ARM technology into fast-growing markets.  This partnership further highlights both ARM and Canonical’s support for open source initiatives and leverages contributions from key open source communities including Linux kernel, Debian, GNOME, and Mozilla communities.  The Ubuntu ARM distribution for desktops and netbooks will be officially available from April 2009.

The combination of a commercially supported, optimized Ubuntu distribution for ARM, together with Canonical’s ability to tailor solutions to specific ARM technology-based devices and OEM requirements, ensures that highly-optimized systems can be rapidly deployed into the fast growing mobile computing market. ARM’s wide partnership with leading semiconductor and device manufacturers strengthens the mobile computing software ecosystem and extends the market reach for Ubuntu-based products.

“The release of a full Ubuntu desktop distribution supporting latest ARM technology will enable rapid growth, with internet everywhere, connected ultra portable devices,” said Ian Drew, vice president of Marketing, ARM.  “The always-on experience available with mobile devices is rapidly expanding to new device categories such as netbooks, laptops and other internet connected products. Working with Canonical will pave the way for the development of new features and innovations to all connected platforms.”

“This is a natural development for Ubuntu, driven by the demand from manufacturers for an ARM technology-based version,” said Jane Silber, COO of Canonical. “Joining the considerable community of free software developers working on the ARM platform ensures that a fully-functional, optimized Ubuntu distribution is available to the ARM ecosystem, providing wider choice for consumers looking for the best operating system for their digital lifestyles.”

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