Feeds

Ubuntu 'Maverick Meerkat' erects own App Store

Beta mongoose flaunts new face

The essential guide to IT transformation

Review Ubuntu fans, fire up your virtual machines. The beta release of Ubuntu 10.10 is here. Maverick Meerkat, as this release is known, is actually several weeks ahead of the original schedule, and that means Ubuntu 10.10 is on track for its final release October 10.

We wouldn't suggest using the beta in a production environment, but if you'd like to install it for testing purposes, you can grab the beta from the Ubuntu download page.

The first thing you'll notice on booting 10.10 is that the Ubuntu UI has changed again. The look of Maverick is not radically different from the previous release, but it has a number of subtle improvements that make the default theme a bit nicer. Application windows sport smoother gradients. Window buttons have been enlarged and refined (though they are still on the left by default). And there are some slick new progress animations. The default Humanity icon set has also been spiffed up for 10.10 and now includes some icons for external devices such as the Motorola Droid and iPod touch.

Overall, Maverick's default theme makes for the sexiest Ubuntu yet (well, aside from that overly-purple desktop image).

Other parts of the Ubuntu interface have seen makeovers as well, like the revamped sound menu and the redesigned Ubuntu Software Center. The Software Center is quite a bit more user-friendly with a new "History" option in the side menu, showing all package installations, removals, and upgrades by date or by searching.

But possibly the biggest change in the Software Center isn't the interface: it's the inclusion of the "For Purchase" software section. As of the beta there's still no actual software to buy, but the interface is beginning to take shape. Unfortunately, in my testing, I was unable to login to Launchpad to even see the purchase screen. Eventually, the plan is for commercial Linux software to be purchased and installed right alongside the familiar free options, but for the beta, things are still a bit rough around the edges.

Ubuntu 'For Purchase' Software Center

Ubuntu's (fledgling) 'For Purchase' Software Center

Still, it'll be interesting to see how the Ubuntu community reacts to the idea. Will Ubuntu end up with an App Store of its own? There's certainly enough free (as in beer) software out there to cover most people's needs, but offering an easy way for users to purchase software might attract more big-name commercial software to the platform.

The Software Center is also part of Ubuntu's continuing foray into built-in social networking, with the ability to post your installs to Twitter (via Gwibber). In the previous alpha release, Rhythmbox also got the social touch with a new button to share your favorite tracks with your friends via Twitter, but the button has been removed in the beta, and it seems that, at least for now, the feature has been put on the back burner.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Next page: Gwibber greased

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?