The next Ubuntu version, called Gutsy Gibbon, is going to be released in October 2007. It is now time to take a look at the actual status of the development of the release. Further, the most exciting new features of Gutsy and why we are all gonna love this release. I think this will be the most exciting release ever. And I don't even consider Desktop Effects enabled by default as an exciting feature.
New Exciting Features of Gutsy Gibbon (aka Ubuntu 7.10)
In contrast to KDE, which is going to release KDE 4 and so tries to change their actual approach, GNOME stays simple and clean with version 2.20. GNOME developers do not plan any release of GNOME 3 yet, they think their actual concept isn't that bad. I think they are right, and GNOME does not need any major or dramatic changes. I think the development is going the right way by trying to improve the performance and improve where it's necessary.
Some changes include GEdit now allows editing via SFTP, FTP. Slowly I think Gedit I becoming a very interesting tool, not only for text files, but for programming and latex editing, too. Nautilus now has an better integrated search and the GNOME Image Viewer allows to visualize pictures inside a folder. Gnome now has an integrated Screensaver(and does not need the X Screensaver anymore). This allows gnome applications to communicate with the screensaver and to be aware that the screensaver is running.
The complete features list can be found here.
The X.Org 7.3 release will be included in Gutsy Gibbon. This release includes xserver 1.4 which includes better support for multiple screens. I am really looking forward to use Compiz Fusion on dual head. More informations here .
Ubuntu 7.10 will have one single Applet where you can configure everything concerning the look of Ubuntu. I like the idea of grouping things together which belongs together. It might be slightly opposed to the Linux idea, for each task a tool, but as I said I like it and if Ubuntu wants to gain more market share, it has to go exactly this way.
Gutsy Gibbon will now use Tracker, instead of Beagle, as a Desktop Search tool. I was always happy with Beagle, even though it needed quite some resources. It seems that Tracker doesn't need that much memory or CPU as Beagle did. However Tracker seems still behind to recognize different file formats. But I hope some improvements are made here in the next release.
Graphical configuration tool for X
This is going to be the one of the best tools ever. This is the tool I have been waiting for since the first day I use Ubuntu. This application allows the user to configure Dual-Head setup(or multiple head) without having to manually edit the Xorg.conf file. I noticed that almost 30% of the users visiting my blog, came here when they googled on how-to-configure-dual-head. So I guess some of you are going to love this app too.
Power Saving with Linux(Ubuntu) on Intel Platform
And this is the reason why we are going to love Gutsy. I don't remember which Kernel Gutsy will finally have, but I know it is > 2.6.21. What makes this kernel so special? For the first time the Linux kernel, includes the tools and possibilities to do some REAL power savings. Intel has developed a tool, called PowerTOP , to help Linux users make some great power savings. It seems that a Thinkpad x60 user(with 4-cell Battery) will be able to get around 4 hours of Battery Life.(Where 2h 30mn with the actual kernel)
Gutsy Gibbon, in my eyes, will be the first release of Ubuntu targeted on the laptop users (dual-head configuration tool and improved battery life). Linux Laptop users can now get the same comfort as Windows/Mac users already have for dual-head configuration and we will finally get the same battery life as they have. But what Ubuntu users will have more than Windows is a great Operating system and what Ubuntu users will have more then Mac users is they are totally free to choose their hardware(and a great Operating System :-))
I believe the developers at Canonical's are doing are great job. Their plan for releasing a new version every six month is excellent. Further, they make Ubuntu interesting for enterprise use by doing a LTS every two years. The new stuff they put inside Gutsy seems great and very, very promising. I believe this will be the most impressive release ever and Microsoft gets a real concurrent on the free market. I think the demand on Computers with pre-installed Ubuntu will increase in the next 12 months, and some constructors will have to follow the Dell-Ubuntu partnership.