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Ubuntu on the Nexus 7 project well underway

Canonical community manager Jono Bacon has announced that testers and developers are needed to help bring Ubuntu 13.04 to the Nexus 7 tablet, as part of an effort to move the Linux-based operating system onto multiple platforms.

MORE NEXUS: Hurricane Sandy shuts down Google's Android event

MORE UBUNTU: Ubuntu 12.10 review: Quantal Quetzal is quite adequate

The differences between running an OS on a tablet and running it on a PC are substantial, Bacon said in a blog post, which is why extensive re-tooling and thorough testing are needed.

"Topics such as battery life, memory footprint, and support for sensors are all areas in which needs and expectations vary widely between a PC and a mobile devices," he wrote, adding that this is a prime focus in the Ubuntu 13.04 development cycle.

Getting the underlying software working, at the moment, is a bigger priority than ensuring that Ubuntu is customized for day-to-day use, said Bacon.

"This will mean that some user-facing parts of the experience won't make a lot of sense on the tablet, but we want to get the foundations optimized before we focus on these higher level challenges," he added.

Bacon also clarified in the comments that this would be a native build of Ubuntu for the Nexus 7, not something running on top of Android.

In an earlier blog post, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said that the Nexus 7 would serve as a reference device for mobile Ubuntu development, as the operating system becomes less resource-intensive and better-suited to dealing with the limitations of mobile hardware.

Hardware updates to the Nexus 7 were thought to be forthcoming at a Google event today in New York, but Google canceled these plans due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy. However, according to a report from Droid Life, Office Depot stores have already begun selling the new 32GB models of the device for $249, while dropping the price for a 16GB model to $199 -- a move that had been widely rumored in the lead-up to Google's announcement.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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