Canonical's desktop Linux OS fitted with new look and feel

Ubuntu 10.04 also features faster boot speed and social network accommodations

Providing an alternative to the Microsoft-dominated desktop, Canonical later this month will offer a version of its desktop Linux OS featuring a new look and feel, faster boot speed and accommodations for social networks.

Canonical 's Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long-term Support) Desktop Edition will be available as a free download on April 29, the company said. It will also be pre-installed on a variety of machines this summer. Version 10.04 offers an interface called "Light," providing an integrated, consistent interface, breaking the mold of what has been available for Linux desktops previously, according to the company.

[ See InfoWorld's report on the netbook OS Cannonical also offered a last fall. | Fine-tune your network in two weeks -- for free! InfoWorld's Networking Boot Camp will help you double-check the fundamentals and show you how to optimize your infrastructure. The email classes start Monday, April 12, 2010. Sign up now! ]

"The common perception of a Linux user interface is that it's somewhat ugly and somewhat non-integrated," said Gerry Carr, head of platform marketing at Canonical. Users of version 10.04 gain a consistent interface across all applications, he said.

With its latest desktop OS, Canonical offers more polish, an analyst said.

"Linux in general and Ubuntu specifically have been a credible desktop option for users with basic desktop needs for a few years now," said analyst Stephen O'Grady, of RedMonk. " But it has consistently lacked the polish and aesthetics to appeal to a wider consumer audience. [Version] 10.04 represents an advance towards that goal with an updated, professionally designed theme, social networking features and such that make its addressable market larger."

Boot speed on release 10.04 will be noticeably quicker and "super-fast" on SSD-based machines like netbooks, thus offering faster Web access, according to Ubuntu. With the release, Canonical also is offering Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook Edition, which in addition to faster boot speeds offers faster suspend/resume capabilities to prolong battery life.

For social networks, a "Me Menu" in Ubuntu 10.04 consolidates access to and updating of social networks including Facebook, Digg, Twitter, and Identica. Me Menu also integrates with chat channels, enabling users to talk with others on Google Talk, MSN and other networks.

Canonical provides support services priced from $55 per desktop and notebook user per year.

Unlike the ubiquitous Windows desktop platform, Ubuntu "is free to download," Carr said. The OpenOffice application suite that works with the platform also is free, he said.

"We don't think we need to beat Windows to be successful," said Carr. The company is carving out a base of users, he explained.

Enhanced integration with the Ubuntu One online service and Ubuntu's desktop Linux enables easier sharing and saving of files and folders via the cloud service. Bookmark and contact-sharing has been added. Ubuntu One offers  2 GB of free storage and 50 GB for $US10 per month.

There are thousands of applications running on Ubuntu's desktop Linux variant, Carr said.

Users can find new software via Ubuntu Software Centre 2.0. The new Ubuntu One music store, which integrates with version 10.04, features music from the largest labels and bands available direct to Ubuntu users via the default music player.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags open sourceLinuxubuntucanonicalUbuntu One

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?