The next version of Ubuntu will use its own netbook interface instead of open-source desktop system GNOME, according to Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth.
Speaking at an Ubuntu conference today, Shuttleworth said Ubuntu 11.04 - nicknamed Natty Narwhal - will feature Unity as the default interface, although users will still be able to switch to the GNOME shell.
"We are committing to the biggest change on the desktop," Shuttleworth told the conference, according to a report in ComputerWorld. "Unity will become the default, when we're sure that it will work."
"I will pre-empt one important question: Unity is a shell for GNOME even if it isn't GNOME shell," he said. "We're committed to the principles and values of GNOME."
One possible reason for the change is GNOME 3 isn't set to arrive until March, while Natty Narwhal is expected to launch in April 2011. This wouldn't give Canonical enough time to test the new interface, even if it arrives on schedule.
Shuttleworth also said that Unity better supported touch and had more solid support from manufacturers.
Unity was designed as the UI for Ubuntu Netbook Edition and Ubuntu Light, which was created for instant-on devices.
This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk