The Ubuntu homepage now features a countdown timer that teases users about an upcoming touch-based version of the popular Linux variant.
A banner on the site reads:
“So close, you can almost touch it.”
The touch screen capabilities of Ubuntu are expected to arrive with the next major release of the relatively popular desktop operating system.
If you’re following the countdown, it ends at 8 am ET on Wednesday, January 2, at which time a big announcement is expected.
Moving towards touch-based devices is largely considered a do or die moment for Linux developers. In fact, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth recently hinted that open-source platforms need to adopt to smartphones and tablets in order to remain relevance.
While some touch versions of Linux may pop up in 2013, a fully touch compliant version of Ubuntu, 14.04 LTS likely will not be available until Q2 2014.
The countdown timer is likely to lead followers to more information, specifically regarding the company’s plans for the future of its mobile OS branding.
One thing is for certain: With more than 20 million users, Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distro on the market. In fact, the program is so popular that Dell recently used its distro for a new notebook that comes with a pre-installed copy of Ubuntu.
With Apple’s iOS and Google Android eating up an ever increasing share of the mobility market, now would be the time for a new competitor to emerge. Perhaps that competitor will be Ubuntu.