Ubuntu 8.10, also known as Intrepid Ibex, comes - as usual - with the latest versions of all popular open source software packages, such as Linux kernel version 2.6.27 (which has the new Atheros driver, improved webcam support, and support for the UBFIS file system, among other things), GNOME 2.24 (with its associated improvements), and X.org 7.4.
X.org 7.4 delivers improved hotplugging for input devices, welcomed by many desktop users. Ubuntu 8.10 also packs Network Manager 0.7, which brings support for 3G and PPPoE connections. Another notable improvement is Dynamic Kernel Module Support, a framework originating from Dell that magically recompiles kernel modules when the kernel has been updated.
Some things didn't make the cut, such as OpenOffice 3.0, Mono 2.0, and Python 2.6. Empathy, which normally comes with GNOME 2.24, also isn't included; the Ubuntu team decided to stick with Pidgin for now, with Empathy making its debut in the next Ubuntu release.