In the Ubuntu Developer Summit, Mark Shuttleworth a very exciting new variant of Ubuntu – Ubuntu Light.
Ubuntu Light is meant to be an instant-on OS to be supplied by OEM, as a dual boot installation with other OS (like Windows). Ubuntu Light will be easy to use for new users, safe for web browsing in unprotected environments like airports and hotels, focused on doing that job very well, but upgradeable with a huge list of applications, on demand. It will not have a traditional file manager and come with a small set of default applications for mail, web, media etc.
This is what Shuttleworth wrote:
Instant-on, dual boot installations are a new frontier for us. Over the past two years we have made great leaps forward as a first class option for PC OEM’s, who today ship millions of PC’s around the world with Ubuntu pre-installed. But traditionally, it’s been an either/orproposition either Windows in markets that prefer it, or Ubuntu in markets that don’t. The dual-boot opportunity gives us the chance to put a free software foot forward even in markets where people use Windows as a matter of course.
Unlike the other variants, Ubuntu Light will not be available for download from ubuntu.com. It will be especially optimized for each OEM so that it boots faster with the hardware in use. Right now the focus is on Ubuntu Netbook Light which is based on Unity. However, Canonical hopes to introduce a Light version for the desktop as well later.