Ubuntu 10.04 is Awesome!

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Whenever Apple releases a new gadget, there are scores of people lined up in front of their stores, sometimes for days, just to be the first ones to get their hands onto the next cool gadget. On April 29, thousands of Linux aficionados were glued to their computer screens patiently waiting for Ubuntu to release their latest Linux. And the new 10.04 aptly named Lucid Lynx, was released with much fanfare on schedule with blogosphere covering its launch like traditional media covered the iPad release. We too were among the millions downloading it the moment it was available and giving it a try on our PCs. After tinkering with it for an hour, we were convinced, it is now the most superb OS available in the market.
Over the past two years, since the release of Ubuntu 8.04, the Operating system has matured at a very high pace. Today, it is no longer a hobbiest tool nor just a tool for geeks to tinker with in their basements, it is now a mainstream player which can hold its own in front of Apple’s MacOS X and Microsoft’s Windows.Times have changed as well. Today, Dell, Toshiba, Intel, HP and other major hardware vendors are supporting Linux for their devices. If you buy a computer be it a laptop, netbook or a desktop, it will run Linux perfectly well out of the box. To give you an example, I hooked up an HP P1005 laser printer to my 10.04. It not only recognised it immediately, without me needing to install any additional drivers, but also got me the official HP software to manage the printer.

There are many advantages of moving to Ubuntu over other operating Systems. Here are some of my favourite reasons:

  1. It is totally free: No cost for life including upgrades. Every six months, Ubuntu comes out with a major upgrade and all of them are totally free.
  2. Runs on any hardware: Unlike Microsoft and Apple machines, it does not require any specific highend hardware requirements. Even a computer with 256MB of RAM and 5GB of free disk space can easily run Linux. Try doing that with any other OS and you will see your hardware stall.
  3. Free Software Catalog: There is a built in catalog of over 25,000 free softwares to install. No CD/DVD needed. Just choose what you want and get it installed over the Internet. For example, a music player, a mail reader, or chatting software. It not only lets you choose the software, but also automatically installs if for you. And if any software requires certain other software then it will get it automatically for you. Hence, it does not crash like other OS when it does not find what it wants.
  4. Automatic Updates: On a regular basis, Ubuntu will prompt you to update the Operating System with new updates. All one has to do is click a few buttons and it will happen automatically. In fact, Ubuntu will also support all future upgrades totally free through this interface. So no need to reinstall the OS as it will happen automatically.
  5. Office suite: Openoffice is really popular openoffice application developed by Sun Microsystems now Oracle. But it is not the only one. There are similar office applications from IBM (Lotus Symphony) among others to choose from. And all of them are backward compatible with Microsoft Office. No one will ever feel the difference between the documents created using OpenOffice or Microsoft. I personally have been using it as defacto software for over five years. Not once has someone ever complained that they could not read any document that I have created or shared with them. Sun/Oracle and IBM are companies that are as big as Microsoft. The office suite that they produce are well supported and work wonderfully well. Therefore, qualms that it is not as good as Microsoft Office are but a Myth.
  6. Web Browsers: You get Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox working fine on Ubuntu. These are currently two of the most popular browsers available and are easily available here. So surfing the web and doing chores online will always be a breeze.
  7. Messengers: I installed Skype without any issues and Pidgin messenger software. Using Pidgin I can use all major messengers including MSN, YahooIM, GoogleTalk among others. In fact, now I am easily able to manage all my chats through one software.
  8. Mail Client: You can use Mozilla Thunderbird or Novell’s Evolution. Both do a perfect job. However, if you are like me and use webmail, then Mozilla Prism is perfect. It turns my webmail into deskmail. Try it and you will not regret it.
  9. File sharing: You can seamlessly share files between Windows and Linux machines using Samba and other available tools. This makes Linux machine part of the network that you have at home or in offices.
  10. Side by Side Installation: Yes, you can run it with ease with your Windows Operating Systems. Simply follow the instructions and it will make your machine dual boot. Linux and Windows. This will give you the best of both worlds.
In the coming years, Linux will no longer be a novelty used by the few. It will gain immence momentum and the mainstream will embrace it. Many hardware vendors will pre-install it with their systems for users to use right out of the box. Linux is already prevalent on the mobile platform and is making good inroads onto netbooks. Android and WebOS are just two popular examples of Linux customized to run on your Google and Palm phones. Even Google’s much anticipated ChromeOS is based on Linux for the netbooks.

My advice is to give it a try and install it on your system. Once you go Linux, you will not go back to Windows.

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One Response to Ubuntu 10.04 is Awesome!

  1. saurabh113 says:

    The new version is really looking great. I have listed some of the great features of the new version on my blog – Techchai.com.

    Check it out.

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