This is straight from Mark's blog and is so upbeat I thought you'd like to read it.
I have tried out 12.05 Alpha and it was so well behaved - highly unusual for anything other than a "release candidate" which comes after beta!
If you use Mac or Windows, why not download the .iso file in April and burn it on a CD? You can run it from the CD without having to load it on to your computer. It will be slow from the CD but if you decide to use it, it will be lightning fast. Another benefit is, you can examine your hard drive with it, so once you played with it, keep the CD for when you have a problem with your hard drive.
Now read on...
For the first time with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, real desktop user experience innovation is available on a full production-ready enterprise-certified free software platform, free of charge, well before it shows up in Windows or MacOS. It’s not ‘job done’ by any means, but it’s a milestone. Achieving that milestone has tested the courage and commitment of the Ubuntu community – we had to move from being followers and integrators, to being designers and shapers of the platform, together with upstreams who are excited to be part of that shift and passionate about bringing goodness to a wide audience. It’s right for us to design experiences and help upstreams get those experiences to be amazing, because we are closest to the user; we are the last mile, the last to touch the code, and the first to get the bug report or feedback from most users.
Thank you, to those who stood by Ubuntu, Canonical and me as we set out on this adventure. This was a big change, and in the face of change, many wilt, many panic, and some simply find that their interests lie elsewhere. That’s OK, but it brings home to me the wonderful fellowship that we have amongst those who share our values and interests – their affiliation, advocacy and support is based on something much deeper than a fad or an individualistic need, it’s based on a desire to see all of this intellectual wikipedia-for-code value unleashed to support humanity at large, from developers to data centre devops to web designers to golden-years-ganderers, serving equally the poorest and the bankers who refuse to serve them, because that’s what free software and open content and open access and level playing fields are all about.
To those of you who rolled up your sleeves and filed bugs and wrote the documentation and made the posters or the cupcakes, thank you.
You’ll be as happy to read this comment on unity-design:
I’m very serious about loving the recent changes. I think I’m a fair representative of the elderly community ………. someone who doesn’t particularly care to learn new things, but just wants things to make sense. I think we’re there! LanceYou’ll be as delighted with the coverage of Ubuntu for Android at MWC in Barcelona last week:
“sleeker, faster, potentially more disruptive” - IT Pro Portal
“you can also use all the features of Android” - The Inquirer
“I can easily see the time when I will be carrying only my smartphone” - UnwiredView
“everything it’s been claimed to be” - Engadget
“Efficiency, for the win!” - TechCrunch
“phones that become traditional desktops have the potential to benefit from the extra processing power” - GigaOM
“This, ladies and gentlemen, is the future of computing” - IntoMobile
Engineers are human beings too!We set out to refine the experience for people who use the desktop professionally, and at the same time, make it easier for the first-time user. That’s a very hard challenge. We’re not making Bob, we’re making a beautiful, easy to use LCARS . We measured the state of the art in 2008 and it stank on both fronts. When we measure Ubuntu today, based on how long it takes heavy users to do things, and a first-timer to get (a different set of) things done, 12.04 LTS blows 10.04 LTS right out of the water and compares favourably with both MacOS and Windows 7. Unity today is better for both hard-core developers and first-time users than 10.04 LTS was. Hugely better.
For software developers:
- A richer set of keyboard bindings for rapid launching, switching and window management
- Pervasive search results in faster launching for occasional apps
- Far less chrome in the shell than any other desktop; it gets out of your way
- Much more subtle heuristics to tell whether you want the launcher to reveal, and to hint it’s about to
- Integrated search presents a faster path to find any given piece of content
- Magic window borders and the resizing scrollbar make for easier window sizing despite razor-thin visual border
- Full screen apps can include just the window title and indicators – full screen terminal with all the shell benefits
For the adventurous, who really want to be on the cutting edge, the (totally optional) HUD is our first step to a totally new kind of UI for complex apps. We’re deconstructing the traditional UI, expressing goodness from the inside out. It’s going to be a rich vein of innovation and exploration, and the main beneficiaries will be those who use computers to create amazing things, whether it’s the kernel, or movies. Yes, we are moving beyond the desktop, but we are also innovating to make the desktop itself, better.
We care about efficiency, performance, quality, reliability. So do developers and engineers. We care about beauty and ease of use – turns out most engineers and developers care about that too. I’ve had lots of hard-core engineers tell me that they “love the challenges the design team sets”, because it’s hard to make easy software, and harder to make it pixel-perfect. And lots that have switched back to Ubuntu from the MacOS because devops on Ubuntu… rock.
The hard core Linux engineers can use… anything, really. Linus is probably equally comfortable with Linux-from-scratch as with Ubuntu. But his daughter Daniela needs something that works for human beings of all shapes, sizes, colours and interests. She’s in our audience. I hope she’d love Ubuntu if she tries it. She could certainly install it for herself while Dad isn’t watching Linus and other kernel hackers are our audience too, of course, but they can help himself if things get stuck. We have to shoulder the responsibility for the other 99%. That’s a really, really hard challenge – for engineers and artists alike. But we’ve made huge progress. And doing so brings much deeper meaning to the contributions of all the brilliant people that make free software, everywhere.
Again, thanks to the Ubuntu community, 500 amazing people at Canonical, the contributors to all of the free software that makes it possible, and our users.