Canonical touts latest version of Ubuntu

Canonical has officially released the latest iteration of its popular Ubuntu Linux.

The long-awaited desktop edition of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS features “extensive” design work, faster boot speeds, social network integration, online services and quick access to the Ubuntu One Music Store.

Canonical CEO Jane Silber explained that the redesigned OS “challenged” the current perceptions of the Linux desktop by bringing a “whole new” category of users to the world of Ubuntu.

“Changes like the new look and feel and the addition of a music store, layered on top of our relentless focus on delivering an intuitive and attractive user experience for new and existing Ubuntu users – these are the bridging elements to the mainstream market that our community, our partners and our users really want,” said Silber.

According to Silber, netbook users will also benefit from the netbook version of OS 10.4 (UNE), which boasts optimized boot speeds on SSD-based devices, faster suspend/resumes to extend battery life and an intuitive interface for smaller screens.

Additional features include:

  • ‘Me Menu’ – Consolidates the process of accessing and updating social networks, including Facebook, Digg, Twitter and The Me Menu also integrates chat channels so users can talk with friends or colleagues on multiple networks, such as Google Talk, MSN and IRC.

  • Ubuntu One – Enhanced desktop integration for online services allows files, folders, bookmarks and contacts to be easily shared or saved.

Music Store – Music is available direct to Ubuntu users via the default music player. Tracks or albums can be purchased, stored and shared (DRM-free) from one location across multiple computers and devices.

  • Software Centre 2.0 – Seamlessly installs, finds and tracks new software.