First Alpha of Ubuntu 12.04 Arrives: Precise Pangolin
If you've been waiting for the next version of Ubuntu, which is a major upgrade, you can now try it in an alpha version. We covered Ubuntu 12.04, dubbed "Precise Pangolin," in this post. In addition to catering to individual users, version 12.04 has cloud computing features, Long Term Support and other offerings that will cater to the businesses that the Ubuntu team is increasingly focusing on. You can download the alpha version of Precise Pangolin here, and here is more on what to expect from it.
Mark Shuttleworth has written an extensive post on what to expect from Ubuntu version 12.04. Of the overhauled desktop interface, he notes:
"The nail-biting transitions to Unity and Gnome 3 are behind us, so this cycle is an opportunity to put perfection front and center. We have a gorgeous typeface that was designed for readability, which is now available in Light and Medium as well as Regular and Bold, and has a Mono variant as well. That’s an opportunity to work through the whole desktop interface and make sure we’re using exactly the right weight in each place, bringing the work we’ve been doing for several cycles fully into focus."
But it's especially clear from his comments that Canonical wants businesses and enterprises to take interest in this next version of Ubuntu:
"We also need to do justice to the fact that 12.04 LTS will be the preferred desktop for many of the world’s biggest Linux desktop deployments, in some cases exceeding half a million desktops in a single institution. So 12.04 is also an opportunity to ensure that our desktop is manageable at scale, that it can be locked down in the ways institutions need, and that it can be upgraded from 10.04 LTS smoothly as promised. Support for multiple monitors will improve, since that’s a common workplace requirement."
On that last topic, many Ubuntu users have wished for the kind of easy, flexible handling of multiple monitors that the Mac platform offers. (I use multiple monitors, and will never go back to just one.)
So which applications will you get with the new version? It comes with Firefox 9, LibreOffice 3.4.4 and Thunderbird 9.0. It also comes with Linux kernel 3.2, which should improve performance and more.
It's worth noting that what's available now is only the first alpha version of Precise Pangolin. But, it is available for kicking the tires.