While anyone can install the packages that turn Ubuntu into a rudimentary version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth says the ultimate goal is to ship cheap laptops with the open source operating system preloaded. And the company is working with several PC manufacturers to make that happen.
Ubuntu Netbook Remix won’t be officially launched for another few months, but Shuttleworth says it will probably be updated in October when Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex is released. But Shuttleworth says the update won’t be the responsibility of the core Ubuntu development team, since the remix will be handled by the OEM team.
It’s also important to note that these custom OEM images may included proprietary software, which means you won’t necessarily be able to download and install the software from the web, but will instead have to get restore/installation discs from the computer manufacturer.
Shuttleworth also hints that at least two PC makers could release computers with a version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix that looks dramatically different from the screenshot above. Canonical is working with these companies to design alternative user interfaces.