Ubuntu 10.04 becomes final today, and this weekend, many an installfest is going to be started around it. If you're in the Seatlle, WA area, the Washington Loco Team will be having a gathering this evening. Regrettably, in my own area, there are no events that I'm aware of, though I've been running with the Lynx for months now. It's a good release, despite all the drama about themes, and other decisions. Of course, themes can be replaced, buttons can be moved, and if you dislike some of the new defaults (which I do take issue with some), then you can always change them back (though, admittedly, moving the window buttons is harder than it should be). For me, the buttons being moved is a problem, if for no other reason than the fact that I have to sit in front of a Windows box eight hours a day.
What I appreciate most, is that Canonical, and the rest of the Ubuntu Community are still trying to focus hard on supporting newer, or non-technical users. As part of this, the Ubuntu Manual team has put together a new manual, Getting Started with Ubuntu 10.04. If the manual has any weakness, it's being too thorough. I have no idea how many users that would try to install Ubuntu couldn't download and create an install disc, or wouldn't be trying Ubuntu without the encouragement of a friend who does know. But that's neither here nor there, I suppose. It's a good book, with a ton of useful information for someone who is new to Linux, or computing in general.
Now, there are a few things that they haven't addressed, that are covered fairly well in this video about Linux things that still suck, some of which Ubuntu may well address by 10.10. I'm hoping Audio gets worked out. I bought Shadowgrounds: Survivor a short while ago, but for some reason, the audio plays around 30 seconds later than the action happens on screen. Which is...not ideal. I've got a support request into LGP, and I hope that they're making some progress, because I'm stumped. Anyway, that's a general complaint, as audio issues are unfortunately common throughout the Linux world today.
One of my favorite features in the new release is the Ubuntu One Music Store, which integrates directly into Rhythmbox (and a Banshee plugin is underway), and it'll sync directly to your Ubuntu One account, allowing your music to follow you, and not be lost in the case of catastrophic computer failure. It's almost perfect, almost because I can't use the payment method I'd prefer, but that's a fairly small thing. This is likely to replace my use of Amazon's MP3 store, if for no other reason than even if I didn't use U1 to store my files, I can download from the provider 3 times, instead of Amazon's 1.
With the official release complete, I might be able to convince my wife to let me upgrade her laptop now...