Six month’s after Ubuntu’s previous release, Oneric Ocelot (Ubuntu11.10) Ubuntu’s next release, is the Ubuntu 12.04 called Precise Pangolin. Unlike recent releases this will be a Long Time Support (LTS) version, which means that it will continue to be supported beyond the usual 3 years for regular desktop LTS releases and will be supported for 5 years until 2017, for both desktop as well as server versions.
In November 2011,the Ubuntu Developer Summit, laid the roadmap for Ubuntu 12.04 and several feature announcements were also made. The download default will be 64-bit, while the 32-bit will be optional.
With just a week left, development is on the homestretch with Beta 2 already looking ‘polished and robust.’ Hello Unity is now under development in native languages with translations through Launchpad and will be built-into Hello Unity.
Some changes to Unity and a faster start-up time for Ubuntu Software Center, changes to the media player (Banshee being replaced by Rhythmbox); and dropping-off Tomboy note-taking application along with Mono Support framework. A key feature announced by Mark Shuttleworth in January this year was the HUD (head-up display) which allows keyboard based hotkey search options on application menus without the need for the mouse.
This is a feature that will be carried forward in all Unity applications in later versions and will soon see menus becoming redundant. However,menus will be available on Ubuntu 12.04.
With first beta release, Ubuntu 12.04 progress reflected ‘polish, predictability and performance.’ Stable new Desktop features, faster unity as well as new changes on lenses, settings as well as options with slicker login features.
Video Lens allows a new multimedia capability to search online, whether for movies, TV or any other services. It will also search for metadata files stored in video folders.
There is another great feature in the ‘privacy option.’ This is an option in the System settings menu and it will alow you monitor and establish which of the files can be logged by Ubuntu while interfacing with Dash as well as other apps. One could also opt for a ‘off’ button, which will essentially disable all log-ins.
Application updates- Firefox 11, LibreOffice 3.5 as well as Nautilus 3.3.5 with Bfb, Trash launcher, workspace switcher as well as Dash coloring. Ubuntu One client now has a Qt makeover, allowing it to be in sych with Windows and other client interfaces.
A major change will be that only Unity desktop will be available for installing. ‘Gnome Classic,’ called as ‘Gnome Fallback’ will be the closest to Ubuntu desktop.
As Ubuntu 12.04 gets it’s final touches, one can continue to work on beta version or provide support on translations.