Last week, the Ubuntu guys released Ubuntu 8.04, named “Hardy Heron”. Instead of posting 24408 news items pointing to different reviews of this new Ubuntu release from all over the world, we decided to collect a few of them over the weekend and present them all in one gulp. I have a feeling some of you might like not seeing three Ubuntu items every day.eWeek was one of the first websites to get their review published. They conclude:
Canonical has marshaled the best of what the open-source world has to offer in Ubuntu 8.04, a Linux-based operating system that’s capable of mounting a serious challenge to Microsoft Windows on mainstream desktops and notebooks. During my tests of Ubuntu 8.04, both in its final form and in a series of test releases that led up to the official launch April 24, I’ve been impressed enough with the distribution to award it the eWEEK Labs Analyst’s Choice designation.
LifeHacker has a similar conclusion.
If you’ve flirted with the idea of switching your desktop operating system to Linux but never took the leap, the time is now. This week’s release of Hardy Heron, an Ubuntu release that will be supported until 2011, offers a freer, more productive space for work and play than ever before.
Content Consumer takes a very different approach to their ‘review’. The author asked his girlfriend to do a number of tasks, and he just sat there and watched her struggle over and over to complete some of them. Yes, some people have weird preferences.
In any case, the author concludes:
The main issue with the desktop experience is that the geeky programmers and designers assume too much from the average user. They assume the user knows about the way in which programs are installed, or how the file system is set out. The average user will not go out of their way to google for help or even read the associated documentation that comes with Ubuntu and its default software. The little information pop-ups and guided wizards are critical to explaining how the user can accomplish the basic tasks they most probably are trying to do.
Linux won’t truly be ready for the desktop until someone computer illiterate can sit down at a the computer and with little effort do what they want to do. Erin’s intelligent, quick to learn and is reasonably well-acquainted with modern technology. If she had as much trouble as she did, what chance to the elderly or at least the middle-aged stand?
I’ve only used the latest release of Ubuntu for a couple of days now, but I’ve been impressed by its stability and many of the included programs.
There were two things that really stood out for me right away…
1) PostgreSQL 8.3 – This release is a major leap forward for PostgreSQL, and I’m really glad it was included in this latest offering from Ubuntu.
2) The Gimp 2.4 – In the past, for me anyway, The Gimp has always been a tool that allowed me to do a subset of the things I use Photoshop for. The Gimp 2.4 is the first time I’ve ever used The Gimp and thought to myself, “I wish Photoshop could do that”. Perhaps I will finally be able to dump the aging and bloated Photoshop for good. It’s still too early for me to tell.
In a nutshell, I think Ubuntu provides a great desktop platform to work on. It is stable and easy to use, yet provides me with all the power of Linux when I want to use it.
I would also like to thank all the other open source teams, like PostgreSQL and The Gimp, whose contributions have helped to make Ubuntu 8.04 the best release yet.