"The Canonical OEM team has been approached by a number of OEM's
who want to sell netbooks (small, low-cost laptops with an emphasis
on the web) based on Ubuntu. Almost universally, they've asked for
standard Ubuntu packages and updates, with an app launcher that's
more suited to new users and has the feeling of a 'device' more
than a PC.
"There are some very cool launchers out there--AWN is a current
favourite of mine--but people seem to prefer the more 2-dimensional
tabbed approach, so the OEM team implemented a lightweight but
still very classy launcher for this use case..."