What’s New With Ubuntu 14.04 — A New York Linux Users Group Talk

The New York Linux Users Group had a talk, “What’s new with Ubuntu LTS 14.04 (Trusty Tahr)?” last week, given by Mark Russell of Canonical. I checked it out (the video of the talk should eventually be here) and walked away with a few interesting tidbits. I’m not sure how earth-shattering any of this is, as I don’t follow Ubuntu development super closely, but these are the things that caught my ear:

  • The Unity bar doesn’t move so the interface is consistent between desktop and mobile.

  • On a related note, Canonical doesn’t use the term desktops anymore. Everything is a client.

  • Bloomberg pledged $80,000 for the Ubuntu Edge — both hardware and support. It made me think the death of Blackberry left a huge opportunity for enterprise mobile devices. $80,000 is nothing to a company like Bloomberg, but the fact that they entertained the idea of the devices at all is interesting.

The path of Unity has also been interesting. Mark said Canonical really wanted Unity 8, which uses Mir instead of the X window system, for 14.04, but it wasn’t ready — especially for a long-term support release. Canonical pushed out Unity very early and while I think the feedback they got helped to improve Unity quickly, I suspect it also soured a lot of people who never returned to it. When people talk about Unity, one of the first things they say is ‘it’s much better than it used to be!’ It’s true, but it’s not an ideal message from a marketing perspective. No one wants to eat in the restaurant that ‘won’t make you sick anymore.’

Speaking of 14.04, I’m using Xubuntu 14.04 on a new (to me) netbook and it’s great, as it always is. There will be more on that in another post.