Feeds

No pain, some gain: Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot examined

Love it or leave it, Unity is here

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Muddled menu

Far more useful is the new ALT-TAB switcher, which now displays window previews, even for minimized windows. It's a small upgrade that both looks better and makes it easier to find what you're looking for when you switch windows.

Among the other, smaller visual changes is a new icon for the "shutdown" menu. Designers at Ubuntu's chief steward Canonical have added a small gear icon to the traditional shutdown icon in an attempt, it seems, to give you a hint that in fact the shutdown menu isn't just a shutdown menu. It manages to get the idea across, but doesn't really help the muddled menu beneath it that still can't decide exactly what it wants to be - just a shutdown menu, or something more.

Ubuntu 11.10 Thunderbird

Thunderbird replaces Evolution as Ubuntu's mail application

The Software Center continues to improve with this beta, too. This time around it's also much faster thanks to the new GTK 3 backend. Of course it still lacks some of the features found in Synaptic, like the ability to install a specific version of a package. It's also worth noting that, with 11.10, Synaptic has officially been shown the door and is no longer installed by default.

Other apps on the outs include Evolution, which has been replaced with Mozilla's Thunderbird mail app: Thunderbird 7.0 beta one will be the official email client for Ubuntu 11.10. While Thunderbird is in many way much nicer than Evolution there's no denying that it's missing a calendar, which might be a huge stumbling block for some users. There is Lightning, a calendar plugin for Thunderbird, but it isn't installed by default.

Ubuntu 11.10 software center

Software center is faster but lacks Synaptic's finish

The first beta also has something of a bombshell for Ubuntu users who don't like Unity. The option to revert to the GNOME 2.x desktop is now gone. Since 11.10 completes the under the hood upgrade to GNOME 3.0, there is no GNOME 2.x to revert to anymore.

The message of 11.10 seems pretty clear: Unity is here and you're either going to love it or leave it. While Unity is clearly improving - and getting faster - it remains a departure from the old GNOME interface that isn't going to please everyone. If all else fails you can always jump ship to the XFCE desktop, which now counts Linus himself as user. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
HTML5 vs native: Harry Coder and the mudblood mobile app princes
Developers just want their ideas to generate money
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.