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Ubuntu 14.04 LTS desktop arrives this week as Windows XP alternative

Open sourcery to replace defunct Microsoft operating system
Wed Apr 16 2014, 17:03

FOLLOWING Canonical's unveiling of Ubuntu 14.04 Long Term Support (LTS) edition of Linux for servers, the company has announced its release of the desktop edition.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is being touted as a natural replacement for Windows XP, which reached end of life this month, and also as a natty bit of kit in its own right.

The Ubuntu 14.04 LTS download, which will be available from Thursday 17 April, offers a range of performance improvements. Canonical said, "Users will notice a slicker experience, with improvements to the Unity [user interface]. The release also includes all the tools required for business use including remote delivery of applications, compatibility with Windows file formats, browser-based cloud solutions and the Microsoft Office compatible Libreoffice suite."

This latest version of Ubuntu sees even closer ties between different device types as the operating system moves towards full convergence across desktop PC, tablet and phone devices. In this edition, customers have the option to use Unity 8, the user interface that's used on mobile versions of the operating system.

The Ubuntu app store has begun stocking converged apps too, allowing developers to write once and make it usable across a range of screen sizes and form factors, with Ubuntu handling the screen resizing. Microsoft recently announced "Windows Universal Apps", a similar initiative to create write once software for its own operating systems.

Among the Ubuntu evangelists is the French police force, which has set about converting 70,000 computers from Windows XP.

Gendarmerie chief information and security officer Stéphane Dumond said, "Our project to replace Windows XP with Ubuntu on over 70,000 desktops is returning significant benefits; already we've lowered the total cost of ownership by a ratio of 40 per cent, eliminated licence costs and radically reduced technical problems.

"Ubuntu's LTS releases, like 14.04, offer levels of stability, security, cost savings and ease of management that would appeal to any CIO looking at desktop deployments." µ


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