Thursday, October 04, 2012

Ubuntu 12.10: A Preview

With the Beta 2 release, we have a pretty good view into what we can expect from the Ubuntu 12.10 release coming later this month. The bad press Unity's been getting recently doesn't paint a pretty picture for the end users though.

Let's take a peek at some of the stuff that's in store, shall we?

Amazon


One of the most obvious additions will be the Amazon icon now on the Unity launcher. It brings you straight to the Amazon website. That's not all.

Apparently search results in the dash will feature stuff from Amazon too. And Ubuntu will, of course, earn some revenue from stuff you buy through those results. Read more.

Ubiquity


Ubuntu's installer got some tweaks. Installation options are much clearer than they were before. The slideshow hasn't been updated though.

Unity



The Ubuntu desktop experience isn't getting any better on the performance front. I'm speaking subjectively, of course, but the benchmarks would seem to support my thoughts on this.

Indicators


The indicators in Ubuntu 12.10 are getting a redesign. Apparently, stuff you don't use no longer show up. Once you do, they'll appear magically. Doesn't seem to be working all that well so far though. Oh well, can't have everything I want I suppose.

Additional drivers support


Say goodbye to Jockey. It's features have been integrated into Software Sources. Need proprietary drivers? That's where you'll want to look.

Software Updater


Update Manager got renamed to Software Updater. It also got a refreshed design. I'm not sure if it's better yet but we'll see soon enough.

The usual suspects

As with every Ubuntu release, just about every single package in the default installation got an update. Ubuntu 12.04 could only run Unity 2D with the open source drivers for my Sapphire Radeon HD 7750, but Ubuntu 12.10 runs Unity just fine.

So far, it would appear Unity is still going to be Ubuntu's primary pain point. I'd happily stick with it, but if the performance continues to degrade it'll be a tough sell even for me.