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Ubuntu nixes Netbook Remix for good, starting Natty Narwhal

Canonical has nixed Ubuntu Netbook Remix from it's plans, and it will not appear starting version 11.04, which is also Natty Narwhal. So we say goodbye to an experiment that lasted a few distros at the time netbooks were the "in-thing."

The core around Ubuntu Netbook Remix will now be integrated an edition called Ubuntu Desktop edition for laptops, Ubuntu said in a blog entry on March 9.

"The introduction of the new shell for Ubuntu means that we have a user interface that works equally well whatever the form factor of the PC," said Gerry Carr in a blog entry.

The new shell led to the withdrawal of the netbook edition, Carr wrote. At the same time he acknowledges that the downloads of Netbook Remix were booming.

"It’s us recognising that the market has moved on and celebrating that separate images are no longer a requirement as the much anticipated convergence of devices moves closer," Carr wrote.

In hindsight, Netbook Remix was a bust. The distro had a modified user interface that was designed to be friendlier for netbook's small screens, from where users got quick access to basic netbook-type apps like e-mail and Web surfing. It was not a light version of Linux, like other netbook distros such as gOS or Linpus.

Netbook Remix was relatively heavy in resources for the slow Intel Atom processors used in netbooks. It killed battery life quicker compared to other distros, which beat the whole purpose of having a netbook. Netbooks are now faster with dual-core processors and even run Windows 7, so it made sense to nix Netbook Remix.

Tablets have recently hurt netbooks, but Carr denies that the Netbook Remix was cancelled because of that.

"To be clear, this is the opposite of us withdrawing from the netbook market." Carr wrote.

Multiple images are no longer for netbooks and laptops, he said. But Carr tags in this mystery line:

"Separate images are no longer a requirement as the much anticipated convergence of devices moves closer."

What convergence of devices? Ubuntu will now offer PC and server editions, and has not talked about a tablet or smartphone edition. Convergence of devices doesn't make sense unless a stripped down edition of Ubuntu is put on mobile devices to take advantage of cloud services like Ubuntu One.

There's is certainly more up Ubuntu's sleeve that will come out in the next few days. Keep your eyes peeled on this space.