Lenovo's attempt to herald a category of mobile devices has been put off—again—as they announced today that they're ditching their custom Skylight Linux UI in favor of Android. It's a significant blow to the already dying smartbook category.
Building their own UI from the ground up was always a questionable move for Lenovo, especially with Android here now and Chrome OS on the horizon. And while the finished product will be stronger for having a proven OS with a built-in app ecosystem, by the time either the Skylight or U1 tablet/notebook reaches shelves it may already be too late.
"After careful consideration of market conditions and user feedback, Lenovo has decided to focus its resources on building a family of next-generation mobile internet devices based upon open technologies such as (but not limited to) the Android kernel, similar to the Lenovo smartphone, which is available for sale in China now.
As a result of Lenovo's strategic shift towards open standards such as an Android kernel based environment, the Company has shelved its plans to release the initial version of the Skylight smartbook that featured a proprietary Linux based OS.
Lenovo remains committed to working with our strategic partners to deliver innovative products in the growing mobile internet space, including the aforementioned smartphones and smartbooks, as well as exploring innovative new concepts that continue to "push-the-envelope" like the U1 hybrid PC."