Linux, and Ubuntu
in particular, missed a golden opportunity to truly break into the mainstream market during the early days of Vista. The buggy operating system (prior to SP1) left consumers angry and willing to consider alternatives, but at the time, even Ubuntu was still a little rough around the edges to draw widespread interest among lifelong Windows users. With Canonical's release of Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) coming hot off the heels of Microsoft discontinuing support
for Windows XP, could a mass migration take place?
Hey, anything is possible
. And unlike the early Vista era, Canonical is actively chasing Windows users with its latest release.
"The 14.04 LTS release offers a solid, intuitive experience which is easy to manage," Jane Silber, CEO at Canonical comments. "It is a viable and affordable alternative for those organizations considering a switch from Microsoft, and specifically those replacing XP or Windows 7 as they come to the end of life."
Based on those comments, Canonical is also going after Windows users who don't like the direction Microsoft took the platform with Windows 8. It's a bold and aggressive strategy, and you have to give Canonical credit for going about it in a tactful manner -- the company isn't bashing Microsoft or Windows, it's just pointing out that Ubuntu 14.04 is a cost-effective alternative.
Ubuntu 14.04 is optimized for desktops and laptops with multi-touch trackpads and touchscreens. It also supports high pixel density display screens. At the same time, Ubuntu's application store is growing. Canonical's taking a similar strategy as Microsoft in fleshing out an ecosystem and platform that's consistent among different types of gadgets.
The latest version of Libreoffice, a free productivity suite, comes bundled with Ubuntu 14.04. There have also been several changes to the desktop, such as Nautilus now defaulting to type-ahead find instead of initiating a search when you are looking for files within a directory.
If you want to give the new OS a spin, you can download Ubuntu 14.04 direct from Canonical