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How to run both Chrome OS and Ubuntu on a Chromebook

You've probably heard a lot about Chromebooks. These affordable computers are manufactured by companies like HP, Acer, Toshiba, and Samsung, among others, and run Google's cloud-based operating system known as Chrome OS, which relies on an Internet connection to run most apps.

The big appeal for these computers are their price tags, with most models retailing for under $400 and some even dipping as low as $179. Many people aren't aware, however, that Chromebooks are capable of doing more than just running Web apps. In fact, you can run both Chrome OS and Ubuntu, a popular Linux … Read more

Microsoft takes on the 'free' OS

Microsoft is taking baby steps toward offering its operating system for free or on the cheap -- a necessary tactic in a world dominated by Google's Android and other up-and-coming free operating systems, an analyst tells CNET.

As reported by the Times of India this week, Microsoft had been in negotiations with Indian phone companies to "produce affordable Windows Phone devices" since last year.

The agreement was "clinched" when Microsoft agreed to offer the Windows Phone OS sans the usual licensing fee, according to the Times. Microsoft said to CNET in a statement that it &… Read more

First Ubuntu phones go on sale in fall, Mark Shuttleworth reveals

BARCELONA, Spain -- The first Ubuntu phones will launch in the autumn, and will be "astonishingly great in some areas" and "weak in others" -- but the software "outperforms" Microsoft, according to Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth.

Ubuntu-powered versions of the Meixu MX3 and BQ Aquaris smartphones will debut in the third quarter of this year. I sat down with Shuttleworth, the face of British company Canonical, the people behind Ubuntu, at phone and tablet extravaganza Mobile World Congress, where he revealed why Ubuntu is launching with partners Meizu and BQ.

"Our first generation … Read more

What mattered at Mobile World Congress, day 2: BlackBerry, Samsung's Galactic dominance, and plucky Kazam

BARCELONA, Spain -- Hard to believe it's only day 2 of Mobile World Congress, which already feels like it's been going on for months. The CNET team is now fluent in Catalan, cannot remember any food that isn't tapas, and has renounced all other religions for that of Lionel Messi.

With most of the main announcements out of the way, it's time for some of the smaller companies to share the limelight. Speaking of which...

CNET's full coverage of Mobile World Congress

BlackBerry unveils Z3 and Q20 Poor BlackBerry. Where once it would have merited … Read more

This is the dawning of the age of Aquaris -- and Ubuntu, too

BARCELONA, Spain -- Let the sun shine, let the sun shine in...on the first Ubuntu phones. The BQ Aquaris will, alongside the Meizu MX3, be the first phone to show off the Android-rivaling new operating system some time this year.

I dropped in on Canonical, the British company behind Ubuntu, at Mobile World Congress 2014, where I got my hands on prototypes of both the Aquaris and the Meizu MX3. Sadly, neither are actually working models yet, but at least we can get a glimpse at what's in store when Ubuntu arrives.

Both phones are existing Android smart … Read more

The Meizu MX3 guns for Android as one of the first Ubuntu phones

BARCELONA, Spain -- Look out, Android: Ubuntu is coming to phones and tablets, starting with the plucky pairing that is the Meizu MX3 and BQ Aquaris. Read on to find out what's different about Ubuntu, and what's the score with the Chinese-made MX3.

I caught up with Canonical, the British company behind Ubuntu, at Mobile World Congress 2014, where I got my hands on prototypes of the Meizu MX3 and BQ Aquaris. Neither are working models just yet, but they give an idea of what we can expect when Ubuntu phones do arrive.

Both phones … Read more

Apple 'snapped up' sapphire displays, says Canonical founder

Does Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth know something about Apple's rumored sapphire displays that we don't?

During a Town Hall Hangout Wednesday, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth made comments about displays that his company was planning for its own Ubuntu Edge smartphone -- a concept announced by Canonical in July of 2013.

"Apple just snapped up three year's worth of the supply of sapphire screens from the company that we had engaged to make the screens for the Edge," he said (at roughly the 30:45 mark linked to above). The report about the sapphire display comments … Read more

Ubuntu Touch gets grip on its first phone makers

Android rival Ubuntu Touch takes a step closer to reality today as the first manufacturers commit to making Ubuntu-powered phones.

The first mobile device manufacturers to greenlight Ubuntu phones are BQ in Spain and Meizu in China, who not only rhyme but also have plans for phones billed as "mid- to high-end" devices. They'll be on sale this year.

With no carriers yet to commit to Ubuntu phones, the plan is for the devices to be available to buy online from BQ, Meizu, and Ubuntu.

Canonical, the British company behind the Ubuntu operating system for PCs, announced … Read more

Ubuntu Touch OS wins its first smartphone partner

PARIS -- Ubuntu Touch has its first customer, CNET has learned.

Canonical has just signed its first deal to supply a smartphone with its mobile operating system, Canonical founder and product strategy leader Mark Shuttleworth revealed in an interview here at the LeWeb conference. He wouldn't say which company has agreed to use the Linux-based OS, but said it will be offered on high-end phones in 2014.

"We have concluded our first set of agreements to ship Ubuntu on mobile phones," Shuttleworth said. "We've shifted gears from 'making a concept' to 'it's going to … Read more

Dell refresh of XPS 13 arrives with Apple in its sights

Dell has begun selling the refresh of a strong rival to Apple's MacBook Air, the XPS 13. It has also launched the super-svelte XPS 11 -- another Air-esque design -- and the Ubuntu version of the XPS 13.

The updated model sports a "Haswell" fourth-generation Core processor -- the power-efficient U series variety -- and comes for the first time with a touch screen option.

Specs for the $1,300 XPS 13 include 8GB of RAM, a 1,920x1,080 resolution 13.3-inch touch display, Intel HD 4400 graphics, Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 + Bluetooth 4.0, … Read more