The HP Chromebook 14 has been my companion for the last few weeks and has surprised me in its functionality and ease of use. At the beginning of the week, I went to Walmart and picked this Chromebook up, having made my decision to purchase it a couple of days before. I expected it to be tablet like and slow, yet it has surprised me in its power. There are limitations to Chrome OS, the operating system that runs on all Chromebooks. However, I have learned to accept them and hope that over the next year or two my Chromebook will be as capable as my Windows PC.
My 19-year-old daughter bought herself a new computer without any of my input. She opted to go with an ASUS running Windows 8. The second she booted up her new machine, her first reaction was "This is not good." The Windows 8 tile interface felt like a toy (even using a touch screen). From that point on, her opinion was jaded, and she wound up returning the laptop.
Her previous laptop ran Ubuntu 13.10.
My point is that it only took her a few seconds to form an opinion about Windows 8. That opinion was based completely on how Windows 8 looked, and she couldn't get beyond it.
One glance at Ubuntu 14.04 (Figure A), and her first reaction was "Wow, that looks great!"
Yes, you can install this release on your computers and servers safely in the knowledge that you’ll be getting critical security updates and patches as and when they’re issued. Plus, every so often, a new Hardware Enablement Stack (read: Linux kernel supporting new hardware) will be issued to let you get the most our of your hardware and accessories.
Ubuntu 14.04 seems to be all about refining the Ubuntu desktop. While there are not a lot of amazing new features in this release, there are quite a few very useful and needed tweaks that add up to a much better desktop experience. Canonical’s designers seem to be listening to Ubuntu users again, and they seem willing to make the changes necessary to give the users what they want. That may be the single most important thing about Ubuntu 14.04. It could be an indication of a sea change in Canonical’s attitude toward Ubuntu users.
Long Term Support (LTS) releases, such as Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 'Trusty Tahr', are not expected to present radical changes, as these should be made in the interim releases. Instead, an LTS release should add stability and polish to interim changes. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS was suggested almost three years ago by Mark Shuttleworth as the release that would see convergence across all hardware formats. In retrospect, this goal could only have been reached if the elements required for convergence — Mir and Unity 8 — had been successfully introduced in earlier releases. Although Canonical made some effort to do this, development was eventually refocused on Ubuntu for phones and tablets and convergence is now unlikely to happen until 2015. As it stands, Ubuntu 14.04 is left running X window server and the Unity 7 shell.
Ubuntu 14.04 was released today, so let's take a look at the most important new features and changes in this LTS release.
Ken Miller, Makulu forum moderator, wrote this weekend to announce the release of MakuluLinx 6 MATE. This release, based on Debian Testing, features MATE 1.8, Linux 3.13.7 PAE, and systemd support. MakuluLinux 6 also introduced a new installer that Jamie Watson calls much improved.