Let’s face it, the tablet PC comparison wars isn’t all that kind to late entry contenders. At the moment, iOS is the unquestionable king of tablet operating systems, with Android and others trailing behind. If you’re a fan of open-source though, then you may be one of the people who’re still hoping to see Linux for tablets someday. Should everything go according to plan, we should see a Linux tablet in the form of the Vivaldi Tablet.
Back when netbooks were just starting out, Linux was a popular choice. The operating system was perfect fit because of its customizability and low cost. Linux eventually lost a lot of its share of the netbook market, and it hasn’t done so well in the case of the tablet PC market either. Will we see an open-source tablet and how will it fare against the other players?
According to some tablet PC news sites, there is light at the end of the tunnel for Linux for tablets. The Vivaldi Tablet was available for pre-order for USD 265 (200 Euros) though sales goals have purportedly been reached and the pre-order period came to a close. Vivaldi was previously known as Spark Tablet, but was renamed to avoid trademark issues.
The Vivaldi will run on Mer Core Linux kernel and will use KDE’s Plasma Active as its user interface. The outlook for Linux for tablets is generally optimistic, with other open-source projects working on their own versions of a mobile OS. One of these projects is the Kubuntu Active; it hasn’t been around for as long as Vivaldi, but it does look promising. Two other prominent open-source UIs are may be worth exploring for tablet PCs too: GNOME Shell and Unity.
What can we expect from Vivaldi?
The idea of Linux for tablets isn’t at all new, since way back in 2008, a project called the CrunchPad (later renamed JooJoo) was started. Initially, it was planned to run on Ubuntu Linux and a custom Webkit-based browser. Unfortunately, the project failed to materialize after a couple of years in development. The dream is still alive in the Vivaldi Tablet, and many tablet PC reviews hope to see it eventually.
We’ll keep you posted about Linux for tablets, so stay tuned.