Feeds

No pain, some gain: Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot examined

Love it or leave it, Unity is here

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
'In... 15 feet... you will be HIT BY A TRAIN' Google patents the SPLAT-NAV
Alert system tips oblivious phone junkies to oncoming traffic
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.