As Ubuntu passes another milestone, it has a brief but spectacular rise, in seven years, to becoming one of the most popular and well-supported open source software globally. With more than 15 releases since 2004, Ubuntu has grown rapidly to go beyond desktops to now Cloud-based features support.
As Ubuntu software morphs into the New-Online-Age of touch-screen, and cloud-based search, with Unity Desktop, Lenses for quickly locating those native folders, faster and better emailing capacity with Thunderbird, an app-store-like Ubuntu Software Centre and typically features that will place Ubuntu well above closed operating systems like Windows or iOS.
With an unprecedented increase in the number of businesses adopting Ubuntu platform, now a necessity has arrived to extend LTS support as well. Canonical, Ubuntu’s promoters, hope to offer full-five years of desktop support with its next release Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin by April next year.
Besides, Precise Pangolin is a Long Term Support (LTS) release. This means that instead of the original 18-month support cycle regular releases receive, it would have to offer three years of support. Nearly seventy percent of Canonical’s business users deployed LTS versions as they found it more adoptable to their workflow.
However, Canonical in trying to meet its business community users requirements, especially a part of its Ubuntu Advantage channel, proposes to extend the support period by an additional 2 years. This means that Precise Pangolin will have a total of five-year support on par with server edition.
Extended Support schedule
Precise Pangolin will be the fourth Ubuntu LTS release. Of the five years of support, Ubuntu 12.04 will initially receive two years of new hardware support and next three years of maintenance updates.
In 2012 and 2013, business will find hardware updates through steady point releases. This will keep them synchronized with latest hardware upgrades.
In the next three years all maintenance support will be provided allowing businesses to have an always-deployed version of Ubuntu, even without any hardware updates.
Optimizing PC/Desktop user-base
Ubuntu 12.04 will be dream come true for several types of Ubuntu users. Beginners and novice have always had to grapple with the bi-annual releases, since by the time they just learnt a few tricks, the next release has to be learnt all over –again. However, this particular attention to next upgraded version, has what has driven Ubuntu’s popularity in the open source platform.
While commercially Cannonical’s innovative LTS won over business-side users; the new extended-LTS, will definitely offer less power-users or the casual-users of Ubuntu to explore deeper and gain immensely from Ubuntu’s powerful features.
The extended support system also offers PC makers to offer standard LTS release for five years on their business class PCs.
Canonical’s logical steps to put in place channels that will lead to larger adoption of Ubuntu on the commercial, business or individual platform has always lead to innovative products and services.
Perhaps Ubuntu 12.04s extended long term support will further increase the user-experience of users globally and will increase the open source community strength.