Latest Ubuntu OS delves into consumer PCs in PH
Despite being free to download, Linux-based operating systems have had difficulty attracting consumers in the past. That could change with the latest Ubuntu 10.10 OS, codenamed “Maverick Meerkat”, which is designed specifically for ordinary and non-technical users.
Launched in a simple ceremony recently at the headquarters of Filipino software development firm Orange&Bronze Software Labs (O&B), the new version improves on the features of the previous Ubuntu version, codenamed “Lucid Lynx.”
Rather than just a simple update from Ubuntu 10, the Ubuntu 10.10 is set as an “evolutionary” step in visuals and system performance benefits, which are seamlessly integrated to ensure maximum productivity for the user.
Its installation process has also been given a major change allowing users to install Ubuntu 10.10 using only a USB drive. As usual, it can still be downloaded for free from the main Ubuntu website.
In particular, the graphical user interface has been improved, the most notable of which is the Ubuntu 3D multiple desktop. As the name implies, several desktops can be used to bundle similar activities together, resulting in clutter-free work space. One desktop can have all business applications running, while another can open websites, and another will play multimedia files.
The Software Center has also been greatly enhanced. Users can install new software for all their needs. Because of the huge community of software developers on the open source segment, there will be a variety of software that can be downloaded for free. The range of applications vary from business productivity, multimedia creation, image editing, to voice-over-IP, chat services, social networking.
Just the same, many of the key desktop applications are available upon the installation of Ubuntu 10.10. It already includes the Mozilla Firefox web browser, OpenOffice, Facebook and Twitter clients.
Allan Caeg, user experience designer and presenter at the Ubuntu 10.10 release in the Philippines, said the latest Ubuntu version is geared towards the heavy Internet user and heavy multi-tasker. The minimalist desktop interface ensures that the user can work at optimum while balancing multiple loads of applications.
“Improvements have been made and continuously being made. There are hundreds of free applications that can further improve the performance of the user,” Caeg said.
Likewise, O&B chief executive officer Calen Martin Legaspi said that despite the dominance of Microsoft in the operating system market, the new Ubuntu version is ready for use among ordinary uses and can deliver just as much functionalities as proprietary software.
Legaspi also noted that with many business applications running on cloud computing platforms, entrepreneurs who want to maximize their potential without having to spend heavily on information technology equipment can rely on Ubuntu.
“Ubuntu was built even with low end machines in mind so even users can keep their old computers. Businesses, in particular, won’t have to worry about putting additional expenses for computers that would only become outdated in a few years. Even in a cloud computing environment, a business can operate for a smaller amount,” Legaspi said.