With Microsoft’s Windows 7 beta on my netbook at various times since October of last year, it’s easy to overlook alternatives. After all, the general consensus in netbook-land is that Windows XP works great on computers where Vista is less than optimal. So when Windows 7 started running at XP-like speeds with Vista’s interface, I figured that the new operating system will be the de-facto netbook standard. Shame on me for making that assumption and focusing on other areas of the mobile space. I generally missed what Microsoft may have also overlooked: Ubuntu is coming on strong.
Although I haven’t installed it yet, the newest version of Ubuntu hit the web this week. It’s version 9.04 and goes by Jaunty Jackalope. Now I tend to draw my own conclusions in terms of devices and software, but I also read reviews just like you do. And this CNET review of Ubuntu 9.04 indicates that Ubuntu is well worth the download and install. The review sucked me in with this opening salvo:
“Here’s what the official press release won’t tell you about Ubunutu 9.04, which formally hit the streets overnight: its designers have polished the hell out of its user interface since the last release in October. So much so, in fact, that I am starting to prefer using my Ubuntu “Jaunty Jackalope” desktop over the similarly slick Windows 7 beta (which I am currently running full-time on one desktop) and Mac OS X opertating systems, which I also use regularly.”
Obviously, the choice of operating system is as personal as the choice of device you’re going to run it on. And to be honest, I’ve been very happy with Windows 7 on my MSI Wind netbook. Plus, I tend to live in the browser and let’s face it: Firefox is Firefox whether your running it on Windows, OS X or Ubuntu. But I can’t pass up the opportunity to look at what the Ubuntu team has done in the past six-months. I’m undecided on whether to use the standard desktop edition or the newest Ubuntu Netbook Remix, so maybe I’ll try both. We’re expecting the release candidate of Windows 7 in the near future, so I’d be wiping the Wind clean anyway. After reading about all of the polish and shine there is the newest version of Ubuntu, I might as well wipe the Wind sooner rather than later.
Without the hands-on experience, I can’t say for sure if Ubuntu is now more on par with Windows 7, but I intend to find out. From the sounds of it though, it appears that the Ubuntu team at Canonical have quietly lurked in the shadows like mice while trying to catch up to Microsoft and their lion’s share of the market.
Has anyone jumped on this version of Ubuntu already with their netbooks? Any general thoughts or comparisons that might make me hit the download button even faster?