I spoke with Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, this morning, and he tells me that Canonical will be bringing true multi-touch to Ubuntu Linux in Ubuntu 10.10 (code name Maverick Meerkat).
“Multi-touch is just as useful on a desktop as it is on a phone or tablet, so I’m delighted that the first cut of Canonical’s UTouch framework has landed in Maverick and will be there for its release on 10.10.10. This is being driven in part because many partners want touch across their equipment range,” Shuttleworth said.
This doesn’t mean that Ubuntu is heading towards making a Linux for tablets ala Android or MeeGo. “We don’t have a tablet edition, but you could certainly use Ubuntu for tablet with this. Our focus is on the desktop and netbook,” he added.
In particular, Ubuntu’s programmers are developing for 4-finger touch devices. “While you can use one or a two-finger touch device, after our developer sprint last week, the absolute consensus was that 4-finger is the way to go. With 4-finger capable pads, such as Apple’s Magic Trackpad, you can use the full vocabulary of touch gestures,” Shuttleworth said.