Canonical Ltd. announced the upcoming availability of Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop Edition for free download on October 30th. In related news, Canonical also announced the simultaneous release of Ubuntu 8.10 Server Edition.
Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop Edition is designed for the pervasively connected digital lifestyle. With new 3G network support, users can move smoothly from wired and Wi-Fi networks onto 3G cell phone networks while travelling. Ubuntu 8.10 is also built to be shared - you can start a quick "guest session" on the fly and let someone use your computer to surf the web or check email, while maintaining the security and integrity of your own data. And if that person really enjoys their brief session as an Ubuntu guest, they can put Ubuntu on any USB key and take it home to install on their own computer rather than having to burn a CD.
As a bonus, all Ubuntu 8.10 users will be able to enjoy programming from the BBC, with high quality streamed content available through the default media players in Ubuntu 8.10. Canonical has worked with the BBC to make sure that much of the material is available to users in all locations.
“Ubuntu 8.10 sees us lay the groundwork for a radically different, more mobile, desktop computing environment over the next two years” says Jane Silber, COO of Canonical and head of Online Services for Canonical "Our rapid release cycle means we can deliver the elements to support this future faster, more fully realised, and more attractively packaged than the traditional OS vendors. Ubuntu 8.10 has many features that sign-post how Linux will provide the drive and innovation in desktop computing.”
"Offering Ubuntu is in keeping with Dell's commitment of customization and choice to customers", said P. Krishnakumar, Marketing Director, Dell India. "Dell is already shipping it with Dell Vostro laptops in the Indian market and we continue to look at opportunities to add this operating system as an offering to our businesses and consumers in India."
"Working with open source technologies like GNOME, Ubuntu 8.10 provides exciting new features for users like creating an always-on system that seamlessly connects wireless and cellular networks", said Stormy Peters, Executive Director at the GNOME foundation. "Users no longer need to worry about finding a network - their computer is always connected. This is a great step for both mobile and desktop computing."
For constant connectivity public WiFi has limitations. Improvements to the network manager in Ubuntu 8.10 makes it simple to detect and connect to 3G networks and manage your connectivity. This connectivity is delivered through an inbuilt 3G modem, through 'dongle' support, through a mobile phone or through Bluetooth. It is a complex environment that Ubuntu 8.10 simplifies through a single interface and the auto-detection of many of the most popular devices.
Write Ubuntu to and install from a USB drive
Ubuntu has been made available to users as an image for CDs and DVDs to date. But CDs and DVDs are slower, less portable and less convenient than USB sticks. Now, a simple application in Ubuntu will allow you to write Ubuntu to a USB drive, even a modified version of Ubuntu with your data on it, so you can carry it everywhere and plug it and use on any machine.
In a world of 'always on' pervasive computing it is more likely that we lend our computers to colleagues of friends at conferences, cafes or at parties so they can check email etc. Guest sessions allow you to lock down a session easily so a guest can use the full system without interference with your programs or data.
Starting the media players within Ubuntu (Totem Movie Player and Rhythmbox) launches a menu of selected content from the broadcaster that is free to air. This will be a mixture of video, radio and podcasts and will be available in high quality and much of it playable using non-proprietary codecs. Content will be constantly updated via the corporation's stream and will vary dependent on location but some content will be available for every user.
Latest Gnome 2.24 desktop environment The GNOME desktop environment project releases its latest version which is incorporated into Ubuntu 8.10. New features include a new instant messaging client, a built-in time tracker, the latest Ekiga 3.0 video and audio conferencing tool, improved file management and toolbars plus better support for multiple monitor use with the ability to set screen resolution by monitor.