CANONICAL HAS released the latest version of its Linux-based operating system Ubuntu.
Ubuntu 17.10 is the first to return to the GNOME runtime following the decision to abandon Unity 8 and therefore end the company's official involvement with mobile phone development.
The move remains controversial, but as Will Cooke, desktop manager of Ubuntu told the INQUIRER, now that people are used to the idea of returning to GNOME, it's generally been accepted:
"Most people agree that we've done it for the right reasons and that GNOME was the right choice for us. We do have a good dialogue going with the team at GNOME and it's important to remember that if people don't like the ‘lacquer' we've put on it, they can turn it off".
This was after CEO Mark Shuttleworth branded the haters of the decision to abandon Unity, "Muppets".
New arrivals in this edition include a return to the left-hand navigation bar, GNOME's redshift mode to reduce the amount of blue light when working after dark and driverless printing, making it a lot easier to get your printer talking to your computer without mucking about looking for the right packages for your particular model.
We spoke to Will about the recent spike we've seen in Linux take up generally, according to recent figures. Will has seen it too. He says: "I think part of the reason is that people who know Ubuntu are coming of an age where they are decision makers and high up enough in the company to make a difference.
More and more services are web browser based, so there's a lot of business logic to a solution that's available free of charge without limitations of licences. It's just becoming more and more appealing."
Although Ubuntu works ‘pretty well' on 2-in-1 devices, Will explains that there is work to do, and that the team is well aware of that. "2-in-1 is where the growth is, and touch support is something we'll be improving over the next few years."
Of course, being open source, there's still forks being run by the community which will keep both Unity 7 and 8 going, and indeed there is an active plan to continue unofficial, developer-led mobile phone support.
Meanwhile, for Canonical, the work never stops. "Tomorrow, we start of 18.04" proclaims Will. This will be the next long-term support version of Ubuntu, with a five-year support cycle.
As ever there's plenty more to explore in Ubuntu 17.10, but the best way to find out is to get stuck in. Off you go. And don't forget, you can now run it within Windows too, as part of the Fall Creators Update. µ
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