That said, there are still some problems with Unity. For example, when I had an application running in one work space, then switched to another, and then tried to come back to the first program, I couldn't do it from time to time. If I used the search function, I was always able to make my way back to it, but when I just switched work spaces the old application would just sit and I couldn't communicate with it. Annoying.
The applications themselves worked just fine. Instead of OpenOffice, we now have LibreOffice, for office work, but it works even better than OpenOffice so that's fine by me. In addition, it does a great job with Microsoft Office 2007 and up formats.
For media play, the new default is Banshee. Again, that's all good news as far as I'm concerned. I've long considered Banshee to be Linux's best music application.
Ubuntu now uses Firefox 4 for its default Web browser. Personally, I prefer Google's Chrome browser for Linux Web browsing, but that's not a worry on Ubuntu. Thanks to the Ubuntu's Software Center, the easy to use application installer and manager, its simple to install new programs. The Software Center is also nicer than ever with its application ratings and reviews. No longer do you have to wonder whether an application is really any good except by trying it for yourself.
The other pre-installed applications are all first rate as well. In particular, I was very pleased to see Evolution as the e-mail client. For my money, Evolution is the best e-mail client around and far better than the promising, but never quite right, Thunderbird.
I have to say that I came to Ubuntu 11.04 not at all convinced that I'd like it. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Unix and Linux user. While I'm not so hide-bound that I consider the Bash shell to be the be-all and end-all of desktops, I do like getting to the engine of my operating system so I can tune it just the way I want it -- and that's not what Unity is all about.
Somewhat to my surprise, I found that I liked it a lot. And, better still for what Canonical has planned for Ubuntu, I found that people who'd never used Linux before actually liked Ubuntu. Mind you, they couldn't tell it was Linux under the hood, but I think that's the point. This is Linux for non-Linux users, and as that, I think it's a great success.