Looking for a change of scenery on your desktop? Want to see what all the fuss is over Linux
? New and seasoned vets alike are invited to download and install Ubuntu 13.10 for desktop (and smartphone), Canonical's
latest version of its open source operating system. According to Canonical, Ubuntu 13.10, or Saucy Salamander, is Ubuntu's
first true mobile release with a streamlined core OS and mobile user interface designed for device convergence. In other words, it's the Windows 8/8.1 of Linux.
"This is a milestone in computing history," said Rick Spencer, who leads Ubuntu’s consumer-facing engineering. "The exact same Ubuntu OS runs on ARM phones and modern HP Moonshot ARM servers, and provides exactly the same capability as x86 platforms. Ubuntu 13.10 is a full server-grade OS that offers a mobile experience and is lean enough to support mobile devices, kicking off a new era in mobile security and computing convergence."
Canonical claims it's working with partners to introduce Ubuntu smartphone
devices to market sometime next year. In the meantime, the desktop version is there for the taking. It introduces a new Linux kernal (version 3.11) to improve performance and lower power consumption, along with an enhanced Unity shell that now supports augmented search capabilities.
Firefox 24 remains the default browser in Ubuntu 13.10, though eventually Canonical is planning to swap it out for Chromium. Other apps that come pre-installed include Thunderbird (email), LibreOffice (productivity suite), Brasero (optical burning utility), Shotwell (photo management), and Rhythmbox (music player).
For those of you already looking ahead, the first beta for Ubuntu 14.04 is expected to launch on March 27, 2014, followed by a final release on April 17, 2014.