Canonical has announced that the next release of Ubuntu, version 11.04, will no longer have separate netbook or desktop editions. With the introduction of the new shell for Ubuntu, the company insists that one user interface will work equally well with all PC form factors and that the underlying technology will work on a range of architectures, including those in netbooks, notebooks, or desktops.
This change is part of a broader push from the company to remove the word "Edition" from its releases. As of version 11.04, Ubuntu Desktop Edition and Ubuntu Notebook Edition will simply be known as Ubuntu. At the same time, Ubuntu 10.04 Server Edition will simply be succeeded by Ubuntu Server 11.04.
Ubuntu Desktop Edition arose in 2005 as a response to the launch of Ubuntu Server Edition and Canonical's desire to distinguish between the two. Now that laptops are more popular than desktops, and netbooks are surging, the company is changing its strategy.
"User feedback also told us that people thought the edition was not for them as they had a laptop and spent time looking for a 'Laptop Edition'," a Canonical spokesperson said in a statement. "So we are going back to our roots. We think this will make things simpler. When we mean Ubuntu for notebooks we will say just that rather than the more confusing, 'Ubuntu Desktop Edition for notebooks'."