April 17, 2014, 1:20 PM — It's always an event when a new version of Ubuntu arrives. This time around it's Ubuntu 14.04, a long term support release that focuses on improving the Ubuntu desktop experience. And it may mark a new era in Canonical's relationship with Ubuntu users since it offers some tweaks that many have been asking for since Ubuntu switched to the Unity desktop.
ZDNet notes the importance of long term support releases being stable and tweaking the user experience to add polish.
According to ZDNet:
Although there are no amazing 'must-have' new features in Ubuntu 14.04, it is worth upgrading just to get the latest LTS release with a more recent kernel and default applications.
Although we still have Ubuntu 14.10 to come later this year and almost certainly point changes to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS over the next five years, the next big step will probably be in Ubuntu 15 — not so much because it should be the first converged version, but because, as a consequence of convergence, it should feature Unity 8 and Mir.
Image credit: ZDNet
I did a review of Ubuntu 14.04 for Desktop Linux Reviews and my experience was quite positive. I really appreciated the ability to use local menus, and also the control I had over the size of the icons in the launcher.
According to Desktop Linux Reviews:
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.
Image credit: Desktop Linux Reviews
Softpedia had a very upbeat take on Ubuntu 14.04, and feels that it may be Canonical's best version of Ubuntu yet.
According to Softpedia:
Canonical took its time and implemented a huge number of changes. Most of them won't be noticed by regular users because they don't really impact that way the system looks and works, but there are some pretty important features that will be seen right away.
As far as I am concerned, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is the best version I've used so far from Canonical. It's stable, fast, and comes with a few features that can't be found in any other OS. Even if you don't like Ubuntu and Unity, you should give it a try because this is the best work Ubuntu developers have done until now and you might change your mind.
Image credit: Softpedia
So far the critics really seem to like Ubuntu 14.04, it seems to be getting much more praise than Ubuntu 13.10 did when it was released. If you're using an older release of Ubuntu, you might want to consider upgrading to Ubuntu 14.04. There's enough in it that it might improve your desktop experience considerably.
What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.
The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.