Linux distributor Canonical is preparing to take on the Apple iPad, releasing a version of its Ubuntu OS for tablets early next year.
Ubuntu for tablet computers is set to be a lightweight version of Canonical's full-strength Linux OS, designed especially to support multi-touch drivers.
The Ubuntu tablet OS is set to be based upon the Ubuntu 10.10 operating system, codenamed 'Maverick Meerkat'.
The tablet market is currently dominated by Apple's iPad, itself soon to be updated with the newly launched iOS 4.
Canonical is in talks with several tablet computer makers and chip companies, including Texas Instruments and Freescale, to develop a tablet device running Ubuntu.
Chris Kenyon, Canonical's vice president of OEM said: “The devices world is a really exciting space right now and we're really bullish on it and the company has broader and bigger ambitions than just netbooks”.