Canonical has released the latest 10.10 ‘Maverick Meerkat’ version of the Ubuntu operating system which offers a major overhaul of the Netbook interface.
Different versions are available depending on 32-bit or 64-bit hardware and full desktop or notebook versions. ISOs clock in at around 700mb as usual and the Ubuntu web site offers instructions on installation via USB for netbook computers without optical drives.
Chief among the new features is the new Unity desktop interface in the Ubuntu Netbook Edition. This new interface which Anandtech called ‘impressive’ aims to reduce clutter and maximize efficiency of narrow widescreen displays used in Netbooks with Expert Reviews saying that it "certainly makes the most of a netbook screen."
Maverick Meerkat also adds a raft of features in cloud computing such as automatic synchronisation of important files, bookmarks and settings and there’s also Android and iPhone applications to sync contacts and bookmarks between Ubuntu and smartphones.
The new OS has also become more consumer friendly, hiding technical packages and improving the software center with a history of downloaded packages and updates in an effort to increase the suitability for a mainstream audience. Expert Reviews called the new version of Ubutu a "viable alternative to Windows."
The Digitimes also claimed that Dell is set to become the first hardware manufacturer to offer netbooks with the new Ubuntu Light operating system, citing sources within notebook manufacturers. Ubuntu Light aims to reduce boot up times to seven seconds and has features to ease data transfer between Windows and Linux.
Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat can be downloaded from here.