Thursday, January 28, 2010

5 reasons why Ubuntu Lucid Lynx may be a game changing release.

It is not the most profitable of those in its class, neither is it the oldest nor the classiest. However, it is the most popular and that popularity is set to increase come this April with the release of the LTS edition of Ubuntu Linux.

All things being equal, the release of Ubuntu Lucid Lynx is likely to be a game changer in its own right and help increase the awareness among more people about the existence of alternatives to Windows. The following five factors will definitely play a crucial role in this regard.

Music Store
There is an active development of a music store similar to Apple's iTunes that is set to debut with the release in April. If there is one notable thing lacking in Ubuntu, it is the apparent existence of a music store that will complement the music library of its users. I don't know what form that will take, but I know it is going to answer on of the most asked for features of the distro.

User manual
There is currently a survey running seeking to see what aspects of Ubuntu users would like to have covered in a user manual that will be debuting in April with the release. What I foresee is a situation where people can actually download an Ubuntu ISO, burn it to a CD and get the OS running all with the help of an official manual. Imagine how glad people will be to actually have an official manual in hand when they try Ubuntu for the first time.

Boot time
I personally have not tried any of the alpha releases yet, but from the various reviews that I have seen, it is clear Ubuntu Lucid is on its way to achieving its 10 second boot time goal. Google Chrome received lots of buzz because Google says it will boot and be ready for use in seconds; that is only a browser based OS. Now imagine having a full fledged one booting in 10 seconds. I can only see the smiles on the faces of users, both old and new.

User input
Linux distros are mostly community driven by their user communities, but I am very firm in my belief that the input of users to the upcoming release is quite rare. From the unofficial poll asking which proprietary apps to include to the above mentioned survey on the content of the manual, one thing stands out- Lucid Lynx is going to be the release of the masses.

OEMs
ZaReason, System76 and Dell are among the the OEMs that have Ubuntu preloaded boxes. Also given the fact that the next release is an LTS, I can foresee an increase in the marketing activity of these manufacturers to try to penetrate new markets. That will only go a long way to help increase the ever increasing popularity of the distro.

For the above reasons and more, the next release of Ubuntu come April 29 is likely set to be a game changer in its own right. Sure Windows 7 is not doing bad, but Lucid Lynx is going to give it a run for all the billions pumped into it. What do you think? Is Lucid the game changer it's going to be business as usual? Would you even try it out?


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