One of the main focuses of Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal is the integration of the desktop and the cloud. For example, the Dash search feature will pull up results not only from the local machine, but also from online sources such as Google Drive, Flickr, and Facebook and even music and video content on Amazon and Ubuntu One. This is made possible by the Online Accounts feature that authenticates online sites so they’re indexed in the search. Dash also includes Previews, so you can see more information about a given item in the search results.
“Ubuntu 12.10 is the operating system for the multi-device era,” said Jane Silber, Canonical’s CEO. “It makes life significantly easier for users by adapting Ubuntu to the way people really access their content today: online and on the hard drive, at work and at home, on the phone and, of course, on the PC.”
Although it sounds like a fairly lightweight feature, Ubuntu offers Web Apps, which are essentially just desktop icon links to your favorite We destinations, such as Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, so you can get to those sites without launching a browser. Canonical says that this will make Web applications act more like a desktop program and “gives the user a faster experience and reduces the proliferation of browser tabs and windows that can quickly make browsing unmanageable”.
And of course, there’s Ubuntu One, the Dropbox clone that offers 5GB of free cloud storage and rewards you with additional space for every friend you can persuade to join the service. Ubuntu One is also available as an app on Windows, Mac OS X (beta), iOS, and Android.
Canonical certainly didn’t overlook enterprise needs; in addition to building in a remote login option so users can log into Citrix, VMWare, or Windows running a desktop virtualization server, the Ubuntu Server 12.10 is now available, too, with its own set of cloud-friendly features.