It’s been a couple of months since the release of the latest and greatest of Ubuntu, Karmic Koala and while we’ve been busy building servers based on the this release we can say with out a doubt it just keeps getting better. The refinements in the Gnome interface really are paying off in spades, as this release is more than ready for prime time.
Finally the new file system is enabled by default. By this we mean ext4. While not many people care about this, it adds more speed to the already great linux distro. Overall systems feel snappier and I really chalk it up to this new file system. That and all of the work being done on the boot up and launcher times are really starting to add up.
The system continues its refinement but not always in the best ways. Pidgin has been removed for Empathy. I’m not really sure why. It seems like a much less mature application. I’ll trust in the Canonical guys with this one. Afterall they’ve brought us this far and it’s been an amazing run.
The Software Center is another step backwards. Gone are the ratings for applications as are the ability to filter the list. But there are new features like a clean UI and fast install. Now all that is missing is a good rating system with reviews to make it easier to make an educated selection when getting new software.
Firefox got a version bump to 3.5 as did Open Office to 3.1. Both add more speed to their respective apps and each should be the default on all computers IMO. Forget Microsoft Office or even iWork. Open Office does everything they do and more. Want Outlook? Try evolution or Mozilla Thunderbird. And of course Firefox is just an amazing Browser.
F-Spot continues its rapid development. Not with more and more features to compete with Live Gallery or Picasa. It allows for Flickr and Facebook type uploading. It’s a great and easy photo solution. Gimp should take notice how an application with a clean interface is better than one that does everything and the kitchen sink.
We use Ubuntu in many different ways over the course of our day. We run it in Virtual boxes, on home networks, and even on our development servers. It is ROCK SOLID and an excellent replacement for any other distro – and even the aging Windows XP. You’d be hard pressed to find excuses with this latest versions as to why not us it.
Microsoft should be freaking out… if I ran a call center I’d run Ubuntu desktop on every single work station and save a butt load of $$ in the process.