01 November 2011

About Ubuntu 11.10

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I have more than dabbled with Linux Distros for the past 10 years. Checking them out on a yearly basis to see in what state they are compared to Windows, both in a out-of-the-box experience and a Power User experience. Prior to 5 years ago, checking the distros out was a pain and it required quite a huge lot of patience. From 5 years to now it has become a lot easier. And now i even check out the advancements of 5 different ones:

Suse, Ubuntu, JoliOS, ChromeOS and MoonOS.

Just to leave it very clear that i am quite familiar with Linux Distros and its progression in the desktop. I always check out each distro on and off for a month after it comes out on my main machine.

Ubuntu 11.10, codenamed Oneiric Ocelot is the latest from Canonical. And while it don't brings that much progress from 11.04, it still shows a clear progression of thinking that should be fully delivered with 12.04 that will be a Long Term Support edition.

Ubuntu 11.10 left me feeling a bit confused about Canonical. Because i see they are becoming more and more arrogant with each release. And in turn more and more obtuse in their thinking. In a way that can only be equaled to Mozilla this whole year.

That is not to say there are not a lot of well thought things in 11.10, is just that it is now transforming in this strange OS X and Windows 7 mashup. With OS X being the most copied OS on how Ubuntu is looking and behaving. Because now the user got less direct control of the OS. All thanks to how imposed the Unity bar in Ubuntu is now. While you can still escape from it, doing so is no longer straightforward. And forget about thinking it is because it works extremely well. It is still very error prone and what is worse, Ubuntu with Unity Bar with 3D graphics and full effects now consumes as much resources as a Windows 7 Ultimate with Aero and full effects. And if you are in a Laptop and if you install it, expect Ubuntu 11.10 to also have less battery life than Windows 7.

But the truly worse parts of Ubuntu are the redesigns to things that were functionally better before, like the Software Center. That was a lot cleaner looking and easier to engage with in the previous version than as it is now.

There are other full reviews that take a really deep look to Ubuntu 11.10, and one i recommend is the always dependable one from Ars Technica. That while phrased differently, do expose several of my own points.

http://arstechnica.com/open-source/reviews/2011/10​/desktop-dreams-ubuntu-1110-reviewed.ars

And so does +Jason Perlow in a recent post where he actually goes to say that Ubuntu 11.10 new quirks makes him very angry.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/why-ubuntu-1110-f​ills-me-with-rage/19103


So, that means is just not me, a Windows power user first who is a bit confused by Canonical ways. But that also those that are Linux Distro power users first seem to be confused with it. 

Long Story Short is that i don't recommend you to bother trying to engage with Ubuntu 11.10 with Unity yet. Classic Gnome version is still the way to go. And just to make your life easier, If you want to try out Ubuntu, do it installing it within Windows via Wubi. As that also makes it less error prone than a clean install and way easier to get rid of it if you don't like it. And don't worry, if you think you are missing out by not using the Unity bar, just install Gnome Do and Docky in the Ubuntu Classic Gnome version. As after all, that is what the Unity Bar is clearly based on. 

On Canonical Future Strategy

Pretty much saying that they want to take on Windows 8 by also going multi-device. And that their pitch is being a good alternative to Android. With an expected start for this strategy as soon as in one year:

Good luck with that. I don't see a way for them to make any noticeable inroads there in 2012.

Linkage

Homepage Ubuntu

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