Ubuntu Tablet OS Directly Rips-off Most Of The Windows 8 Platform Features

Ubuntu today revealed its new OS optimized for tablet. The new tablet OS doesn’t offer any unique new features that are not found on any other OS, instead it directly rips-off most of the platform features in Windows 8.

  • Multitasking – Windows 8 Snapview is named side stage in Ubuntu. It allows users to snap an app to its sides and still interact with them in the new layout.
  • Edge Gestures: Use all four edges of the screen to navigate between apps, settings and controls. Similar to Windows 8, you can swipe up, swipe from right to get app controls, settings, etc,.
  • Switching between apps – Swiping from left lets you switch between apps in Ubuntu similar to the one found in Windows 8.
  • OS wide sharing – You can share within any apps with common sharing controls similar to Windows 8.
  • Federated Search and more.

Watch the video above to know how Ubuntu for touch is strikingly similar to Windows 8.

Source: Ubuntu

About the author  ⁄ pradeep

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • redtidal

    I wouldn’t go that far. It seems like a mixed of Win8 and WebOS.

    Let’s not so quickly to accuse them “rip off.” Consider this, MS actually made a OS and UI that deemed by other OS makers to be both modem and functional, and worthy of copying from.

    That “cool” factor is not something you can buy, or advertise.

    • GG002

      I do think it’s awesome if/when people start drawing parallels between Ubuntu Tablet OS and Windows 8. That means Microsoft has successfully taught consumers about how things should be done, thus placing Microsoft in first place.

      • Bugbog

        Just have a look at the “new Sense!” HTC has basically taken a whole boatload of Microsoft ‘Metro’ guidelines and revamped their UI to look Modern, Digital, and Fluid!

        • GG002

          Yeah, noticed.. It’s both flattering and insulting. Oh sweet agony.

    • frankwick

      No one is claiming the OS is ripped off but there are clearly original features “borrowed” from others.

    • frankwick

      No one is claiming the OS is ripped off but there are clearly original features “borrowed” from others.

    • frankwick

      No one is claiming the OS is ripped off but there are clearly original features “borrowed” from others.

  • GetEdumated

    I like how this guy has to constantly tell you that it’s “beautiful” or “functional” or “the best___”, etc. If it really is all those things, do you really have to say it so many times?

    • Bugbog

      Irrespective of the actual veracity of his statements, his delivery just annoys the heck out of me! (Makes me want to scream ‘liar’ in his face!)

  • http://twitter.com/dime09 Dime09

    The competition will all soon be copying Windows 8 User Interface, rendering iOS irrelevant. Believe. It will happen.

    • XB_Mod

      It won’t happen. iOS has been dated for a while. Its the simplicity, the hardware, the ecosystem and the brand that bring people back to Apple.

    • XB_Mod

      It won’t happen. iOS has been dated for a while. Its the simplicity, the hardware, the ecosystem and the brand that bring people back to Apple.

      • arrow2010

        Eventually it’s time to move on.

      • PhilVoid

        People tire of things. That is what produces a desire for change. Simplicity is easily the most tiresome. I, for instance, no longer desire simple women.

      • frankwick

        I don’t think the UI is simple anymore. I find it more cluttered than anything these days. I know Apple has a huge initiative to simplify again. Rumor has it they are moving away form the cheesy wood, steel, and other “natural” surface look to more modern motif.

    • Prithviraj Nag

      Well then..this doesnt look promising: http://goo.gl/uTsLM

  • http://twitter.com/mikeydangerous Michael Heller

    I understand that you guys write from a Windows slant, but this article is just offensive. Get a little perspective on what you’re trying to say. Multitasking has existed for a long time, as have gestures. The share menu also is nothing new, having been in Android and other platforms before now.

    How about giving a little credit where it’s due? In the one thing that Windows would love to do with its “shared core” – truly converge mobile and desktops – Ubuntu is making it a reality.

    • Monkey D Black

      multi-tasking, gestures sharing is really nothing new, but it’s the way that its done which makes the difference.

    • GG002

      All right, I’ll give credit where credit is due: Canonical even ripped off Apple’s way of presenting things, aka dead-boring white background and one man show.

      • Prithviraj Nag

        You’re right..the presentation style is inspired from Apple….but its damm exciting and not dead boring :

    • PhilVoid

      Ridiculous. Your statement would give credit for multitasking, gestures, and a share menu to ANDROID, then? How about revisiting the term ‘due’? I swear, I’m too old, remember too much, and am now witnessing an influx of greenhorn pod-people sprinkling fairy dust on the past to fit their own bias’, regardless of truth. The hell is going on in this world? Brainwashing would be a preferred answer, at this point. At least there’d be a hope of deprogramming.

      • http://twitter.com/mikeydangerous Michael Heller

        Canonical first teased Ubuntu for Android (the part of it that lets you dock your phone to get the desktop) in April of 2012.

        Besides, no company thinks it can avoid mobile. It’s not a matter of copying. It’s common sense. Mobile is the future, but traditional will always have a place, so the logical conclusion is to make an all-in-one system.

        Apple saw it and started pulling iOS features into MacOS before Win8. Canonical saw it and started work as well. Microsoft has a “shared core”, but that’s it. Where’s the real marriage between Win8 and WP8?

        • VHMP01

          Same Kernel? Same UI? Don´t you obviously see a ‘Real’ marriage between W8+WP8? Pulling Smartphone features to desktops (as iOS) is not a marriage, it’s just crapping things up, forcing it, not thinking about it and build on that.

  • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

    This will over-promise and under-deliever.

    • GG002

      Since Linux is Finnish, just like me, I’ve lived half my life wishing Linux would become something great among consumers. @twitter-14934398:disqus’s comment is what makes me ashamed of being a Finn in the tech community (at least when it comes to computers). I would like Linux-derivatives like Android, if it weren’t for the fact that they’re controlled by corporate a-holes who barely give a Sh*t about the Linux foundation or the heritage.

      • Frostie

        Actually Linux is Swedish.

        • GG002

          Not sure if trolling, but Linux is NOT Swedish. Linus Torvalds is a Finland-swede, and these are NOT from Sweden. We have native Swedish speaking Finns in bilingual Finland. Btw, Swedish speaking Finns (I am one) get severely insulted when they’re mixed up with Swedes, just so you know.

          • Bugbog

            LOL! It just doesn’t matter where you’re from. One always takes umbrage when ones ethnicity is conflated with that of another, no matter how reputed it is! :)

          • GG002

            But severity depends! You know, Finland used to be part of Sweden, and Finland still has little-brother complex while trying to be better. And the Swedes in Finland can’t be considered Swedes (our Swedish isn’t even completely similar). It’s like saying Brazilians are Portuguese, which they are clearly not. But I know I’m not the only who gets insulted by mixups :)

          • Bugbog

            That’s exactly what I mean! :) There are always those little side-stories that elaborate (and elucidate) as to why any slight similarities, which cause conflation with others, are actually Humongous differences that show the miles-wide disparity in the ethnicity! :D

          • PhilVoid

            Preach it!!! (I’m Polish American) Spare me the self-pity, already. Heard any good Finnish jokes lately? Didn’t think so. Told any Polish jokes? Thought so. :) (sips a Chopin vodka martini…)


    I don’t agree with everything you write.

    For example, you say sidestage is a direct rip-off. However, the difference is that with Ubuntu it allows any phone app to be ran there, in addition to supported desktop apps. Microsoft’s application is more limited.

    Also, judging from the video the Ubuntu ecosystem is more integrated than the current Windows one.

    • Monkey D Black

      um….there is no Ubuntu ecosystem.

      • Prithviraj Nag

        You’re misinformed dear! If you are talking about an apps ecosystem, Apps packaged as a “.deb” fall in the Ubuntu/Debian ecosystem (just like .exe and .msi fall in the Windows ecosystem)…and you can get all those .deb apps installed with a single click on the Ubuntu Software Center…..umm..did Windows even have an app store like that before Win8 ?

    • http://twitter.com/Makavelli_Jrw ♐Mr.InTernaTionaL♐

      What applications will they have unless they steal from their Android brethren like how Blackberry did or at least try to get some decent Enterprise application??

    • 8088y12

      Windows 8 will be able to run phone apps in snapped mode soon by all accounts. It’s a shame it’s not there now, but Microsoft obviously have a lot more to worry about in terms of backwards compatibility and support for different devices and price points.

      re: Ubuntu ecosystem (which doesn’t actually exist) being more integrated than the Windows one (which includes Office, Xbox, Music, movies, TV, phone, tablets, PCs of all shapes and sizes, Skydrive, Skype, hotmail/Outlook, and much more)…seriously?


      • Mark Bryant

        Thing is Win8 only has two snap settings and the thin one is too narrow for a phone app. If they add a new snap mode it might mess up the existing apps. Maybe they didn’t think this through.

        • 8088y12

          Perhaps. More likely Windows Blue will allow phone apps to snap (either by scaling them down to the 320px size W8 allows or by changing the way Windows 8 snaps).

          Also Surface RT has exactly the same screen resolution as the high-end Windows Phones (e.g. Lumia 920). Perhaps on RT devices phone apps will run full screen in portrait whereas Windows 8 (with typically higher res and bigger screens) will snap them (by scaling or tweaking the current method.

          Also, I fully expect the ‘blue’ SDK to enable more flexibility in scaling/reorganising the UI to suit the different devices.

  • http://profiles.google.com/tarusdg Tarus Godbolt

    “sidestage” is a great feature that i see other OSs utilizing in the future. Android tablets could really benefit from that feature

  • http://twitter.com/Makavelli_Jrw ♐Mr.InTernaTionaL♐

    All I see is everything that is already in use. To me this looks like Android Windows 8 with a lot of ripped off features. It looks good but I think that it would do one of two things. It will either destroy Android marketshare, destroy all of Linux marketshare because now it would just be too diluted or it might just fall in the background.

    Even though it is an emulator on the screen it seems like it will be faster than Android but from what I have seen with the Ubuntu phone I don’t know.

  • J A

    Well, it seems everyone envies the Windows UI/UX. Let’s see how Ubuntu plans to pay for patents that even the big companies are having huge issues with at the moment. That byt itself will hinder adoption by OEMs.

  • garysvb

    Ubuntu – a “unique” and “beautiful” 1%.

    • PhilVoid

      Or, %1% OS is simpy the most %2%, and %3% ever developed by %4%. Kudos to %4% for such %2% and %3%… LOL

  • hysonmb

    This is similar to what I thought MS was moving to with the SoC announcement for Win8. Instead of using a phone as the core device though, I was thinking more like a card that has the SoC on it. Once you stick that into a device it would scale to take advantage of whatever form factor you stick it in.
    Ubuntu has done it, but based the whole thing off of the phone. This could ultimately end up doomed like the PadPhone or become the first step in how we’re doing business in the future.
    I’m not jumping ship to check this out but they’ve done a good job of generating interest.

  • Tips_y

    As they say, the best form of flattery is to steal from. LOL!

    • Prithviraj Nag

      In that case, what a shame … http://goo.gl/uTsLM

      • Tips_y

        Of course you’d expect an Ubuntu site to claim W8.1 copied from them – they’d say anything to get out from a user base hovering in the 1% for years already.

        • Prithviraj Nag

          An user base of 1% … well thats nearly the same figure of the user base of Windows on Servers, Clouds, ubiquitous computers, etc.! …cause i bet you didn’t know Linux (including in some cases Ubuntu), is used EVERYWHERE..from servers to your ATM from here you draw cash to your car infotainment system, to the International Space Station to you smart electronic gadgets like TV, Fridges, Microwaves, to all of the World’s SuperComputer..,….its everywhere and you dont even know it!

          Amazed? If you have 15 minutes to spare, check this video, its not propaganda, its just a TEDx Talk video…(hope you’ve heard of that at least!) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XTHdcmjenI

          • Tips_y

            The problem with your comment is that the server market overall is not a big market. But even there, Windows has way more than 1%. In desktop on the other hand, which is a huge market, Windows has captured 94% of the market.

            Bought an Ubuntu installer from a friend several months ago but after several hours of searching for drivers to make the wifi work, decided to install W8 instead – it worked immediately. So while Ubuntu might work for you and the rest of the 1 percent, sorry I’m not a fan. By the way, had the same problem with Red Hat few years back.

  • maethorechannen

    Edge gestures, federated search and left hand app switching have been in Ubuntu for years. They’re part of what has made Ubuntu’s UI (called Unity) a pain to use on the Desktop (and the reason why of a lot users to switched from Ubuntu to Mint). Ubuntu invented the “Tablet UI as cruddy Desktop UI” concept years before MS released Windows 8.

    OS wide sharing has been an Android feature since it’s first release, so if they’re ripping anyone off on that feature, it’s Android and not Windows 8 (and “rip off” probably isn’t the right term to use between bits of Open Source software).

    As for the snapping applications to a side, Tiling Window managers have been doing that since the 1980s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiling_window_manager

  • Zeehunter

    Weren’t this the same fellows who ran a campaign of Switch from Windows 8 .. Lolzzz
    Shameless people are now themselves ripping things off .
    Btw it’s not a total Windows 8 rip off . They have copied features from every other OS to make a hybrid OS just like BB10 .. BB went a step further and allowed even Android apps to work :P

  • frankwick

    That does look like Windows 8 with OSX’s Expose. Even the multi-user lockscreen with notifications looks like WP8/Win8.


    Morons all off you… if you have used UBUNTU for the past 3 years, BEFORE M$ WIN8, you would know that this tablet is not different then their desktop/laptop os from 3 years ago/ but then who am i to argue with idiots!!! Thats like someone telling me that WIN8 took the Idea from AOL(1996) look… check it out http://imgur.com/gallery/3mF7a

  • http://twitter.com/BrazenRain BrazenRain

    Yea. Too bad these features are next to useless in Windows 8.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lundberg.christoffer Christoffer DrPepper Lundberg

    Nice try Ubuntu.

  • brandongarcia

    Just to get this out there. I currently run Ubuntu 12.10 as my primary desktop OS. I’ve read these comments and a lot of them are just plain ignorant. While I will say that software support for Ubuntu is severely lacking, this has been changing quite a bit these past couple of years. Windows has been around for 27 years, has overwhelming market dominance, and offers a pretty nice OS at a reasonable cost. Ubuntu has only been around for 8 years, has an extremely small market share in the western developed world, is open-source, and operates off of a non-profit distribution model. If you look through the various Ubuntu releases, the OS has advanced surprisingly fast in the short time it’s been around. Now granted, Ubuntu’s first release came about in a time where software development is much easier than it was when windows first came out. But even then the rapid growth of Ubuntu and the outstanding merits of the Linux kernel, both distributed free of charge, is still outstanding. Valve is moving full force in support of the Linux platform which has led to increased momentum within the gaming industry already with improved Nvidia and Intel support and statements of a few other major gaming companies that are at least somewhat interested in Linux as a gaming platform. China recently announced Ubuntu as their ‘official’/standard operating system and has been working with Canonical to get an Ubuntu ‘flavor’ developed for their country. Ubuntu has been extremely successful in the east and particularly in smaller/poorer countries.

    Now for my criticism of the author of this article and the other commenters:
    - Ubuntu has not borrowed much at all from windows in the last few years. Rather, Ubuntu has been borrowing heavily from MacOS UI styles. The interface you see in the video is more or less the logical extension of the interface that has been on the desktop since early 2011. The whole ‘swiping from left’ to get an application dock, is not in any way borrowing from windows, it’s merely the logical extension of the sidebar with auto-hide enabled that has been in Ubuntu since early 2011. Ubuntu did incorporate Windows7 ‘Aero-snap’, but apart from that the criticisms made by the author are mostly unfounded.
    - Ubuntu has been discussing, internally, expanding their platform coverage for several years now from what I understand, probably following suit after the success of iOS and its eventual integration into MacOS.
    - Ubuntu is growing, not dying
    - I really don’t see a future where the Linux Kernel is outlived by Windows due to it’s dominant use in servers and especially IT and security infrastructure due to it’s superior efficiency, stability, and far superior security. Just about every supercomputer runs on the Linux Kernel (93.8% according to wikipedia), and aside from the 0.6% running a windows server environment, the rest run on a Unix-based kernel. Not to mention the fact that AndroidOS, and ChromeOS are both running on top of the Linux Kernel.

    - Ubuntu’s, and most especially the Linux Kernel’s, greatest advantage over windows is that their Open-Source nature allow for more rapid development. The Linux Kernel typically gets major security flaws patched years before windows or MacOS. One of the most d–ming displays of the security flaws of Windows is their push for secure-boot, which is clearly unnecessary as can be seen in the security of Linux, and even MacOS (also Unix-based)

  • Getsuga

    Ubuntu may have copied Windows 8 but I think the features in Ubuntu are better

  • Prithviraj Nag

    What a shame… the giant called Microsoft has just stooped so low as to rip-off an important feature from the so-called minnows Ubuntu : http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2013/06/good-ideas-catch-on-windows-8-1-to-add-unity-style-search-feature

    And in this article the main advantage and goal of Ubuntu has been conveniently skipped aside…..Ubuntu promises to offer complete convergence from Servers to PCs to Tablets and smartphones…and may be even smartwatches in the future who knows!
    This includes having a single unified codebase for all form factors…and when a smaller device is docked and connected to monitor, it will behave as a larger device, like if a smartphone is docked and connected to a monitor/keyboard/mouse, you can have a full PC Ubuntu OS running …….unlike Windows where this theoritically impossible because the kernel are all different…Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8 all are essentially different OSes with just a similar looking UI….even this small similarity goes away on the PC when you run a traditional app…a violent and quite irritable jolt takes you back to the “traditional” win7 desktop mode the moment you run a desktop app …
    I know the site promotes Microsoft and Windows, but learn to acknowledge your own deficiencies …

  • Don

    You mean that things people need and want in practicality and productivity can be had without giving money to Microsoft? Good ideas are available to everyone? Sweet.