Canonical has released the next version of its Ubuntu Linux operating system, which takes aim at netbooks and social networking integration.
Ubuntu 10.04, dubbed “Lucid Lynx”, is a long-term support (LTS) release and will have three years of support through free security and package maintenance updates.
Canonical chief executive officer, Jane Silber, said the 10.04 release challenges the perceptions of the Linux desktop, “bringing a whole new category of users to the world of Ubuntu”.
This Ubuntu release adopts a “social from the start” direction with desktop integration for popular online social networking services.
A new 'Me Menu' application lets people access Facebook, Twitter and other accounts directly from the desktop.
“Read and update your social networks. Connect to your chat channels and make updates through a single window. Being sociable has never been so easy,” according to the Ubuntu developers.
The KDE desktop-centric Kbuntu project has also released version 10.04, in line with the main Gnome-based Ubuntu.
Canonical is also pushing is own online services in the 10.04 release, with better integration of Ubuntu One on the desktop. Ubuntu One allows backup and sharing of files and folders to the cloud. Bookmark and contacts sharing has been added for the release.
Ubuntu One is also making available the new music store with the Lucid release.
The Ubuntu One Music Store makes songs available to Ubuntu users through the default music player. The DRM-free Songs can be purchased then stored in the Ubuntu One cloud and then shared across multiple computers and players.
More integration work has been done with Empathy, the default instant messaging client, which supports accounts from Yahoo, Gmail, MSN, Jabber, AOL and others.
Ubuntu 10.04 is also staking its claim for the burgeoning netbook market, with a new Ubuntu Netbook Edition (UNE) which has a UI form-factored for smaller devices, faster boot time and support for USB flash drive installations.
Improvements to the startup time will make the desktop load faster, particularly on netbook with SSD-based devices, according to Canonical.
Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx is available for free download from the Web site: . Users of the previous version can upgrade online.