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Mark Shuttleworth: Serious people are saying Ubuntu is better than Windows 8 on tablets

Clearly not one to turn down a challenge, Shuttleworth was one of the first space tourists, 2013 has gotten off to a flying start for the ambitious South African entrepreneur and has already seen the unveiling of the platform on smartphones and tablets.

Q: There’s been a lot of buzz around Ubuntu and its device strategy ahead of Mobile World Congress, are there more announcements on the horizon?

A: This is a big one for us. We have a silicon partner that we’ll announce after the show, but they are a very significant force in the mobile ecosystem and they are optimising prototypes.

It feels like it has been quite a long road, with hints of what was to come with launch of Ubuntu for Android.

Around four years ago we mapped out the vision — phone, tablet, PC, TV — and we built a design team and took that on as the challenge. The result you see is really elegant. This [the tablet version] is the missing link, the bridge, between what we showed you six weeks ago and the PC stuff. In a sense we’ve been hiding in plain sight. You can go back to 2009 and look at things that landed in the distro and see now why those pieces came together.