Review Ubuntu 9.10 -- aka Karmic Koala -- is taking the fight to Microsoft and its new Windows 7 operating system.
The Koala -- due for its official release today -- brings faster boot times, a revamped software installer, better disk encryption, online services, and quite a bit more to the popular Linux desktop.
We took the release candidate for a spin and are happy to report that while work remains, Ubuntu 9.10 has plenty of improvements and that it's well worth upgrading your current system.
For long-time Ubuntu fans, the most immediately noticeable change in Karmic Koala will likely be the new Software Center, the graphical utility for package management which replaces the traditional GNOME Add/Remove tool.
As it stands with the 9.10 release Software Center doesn't really do anything Add/Remove didn't, but the interface is considerably cleaner and will likely be easier for Linux newbies to navigate.
More interesting is where Canonical plans to go with Software Center in future releases. The goal is to eventually replace Synaptic, gdebi, some parts of the Computer Janitor, and possibly the Update Manager as well, with the all-in-one Software Center. Ubuntu also plans to offer commercial software through Software Center, though that won't likely happen until version 3.0 -- currently Software Center is a 1.0 release.
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