Ubuntu 12.04: What's new?

The release of Ubuntu 12.04 includes new features and enhancements intended to make Canonical's heavily branded Linux distribution an attractive proposition for consumers and enterprises. Take a look at what’s new and get the Ubuntu tour at http://www.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/whats-new.

The Head-Up Display (HUD)
"The new HUD gives you a fast alternative to the traditional, menu-based way of telling your computer what to do. Instead of clicking on menu items to give it instructions, you just press one key to bring up the HUD and start typing what you want to do. You’ll then get a list of functions, without ever needing to know in which menu they live."

Or so says Canonical. As an add-on to the Unity interface, the HUD extends the Unity-style search and launch capability pioneered with Unity's lenses. To us, it seems like another bolt-on search capability to make up for the fact that no one has a clue how to find anything in Ubuntu any more.

The Video Lens

"The new Video Lens makes it easier than ever to find the videos you want to watch. Just click on the icon on the Dash and enter your text to search. Whether it’s stored on your computer, on YouTube or anywhere else, you’ll soon see a list of matching content."

The ability of lenses to reach out and search across any local, networked or web-enabled location does get our seal of approval. This should be the way to go for one-time, round-trip search. Expect Google to copy it before the end of the year!

Ubuntu Software Centre
"The Ubuntu Software Centre gives you instant access to thousands of apps. You can see the top-rated apps, compare apps by rating and user reviews, keep track of what you've installed, and sync your apps between all your Ubuntu computers."

USC marches on where Windows and Mac only dare to dream and Android Market - sorry, Google Play, slithers uncertainly toward.

To experience Ubuntu Linux - yes, Canonical, no matter how you over-brand it, Ubuntu is still dependent on the up-stream Linux development - you have all manner of methods. Try it online, try it on a CD or USB stick, run it alongside Windows, or just download and install. RC