Only one week removed from the release of Windows 7 we have yet another new operating system. Canonical today released the newest version of its popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala.” The new version doesn’t pack in as many changes as an X.04 update does, but it does have more stability and more refined features than the previous version, Jaunty Jackalope.
Perhaps the biggest improvement with Ubuntu 9.10 is the inclusion of Ubuntu One. Ubuntu One is essentially Ubuntu’s version of Dropbox with some MobileMe-esque syncing included for good measure. It allows for 2GB of online storage, public sharing of files, syncing of Tomboy Notes and contact syncing, all for free. The service can be upgraded to 50GB for $10 a month, just like Dropbox. Other features include faster, prettier boot-ups, improved sound control across applications, and improved battery usage for Ubuntu Netbook Remix.
Karmic Koala, while not exactly featuring a lot of new things, promises to be a great upgrade or a good starting point for new users. Contrary to popular belief, Ubuntu Linux is actually quite simple to use, some might even say it’s easier to understand that Mac OS X for those who only ever used Windows. While Windows 7 is certainly a good OS, it might be worth the 25 minutes to install Ubuntu, or just use VirtualBox to try it out. If nothing else, the Ubuntu Netbook Remix is worth a shot for anyone tired of trying to run XP on a netbook and doesn’t want to try and instal 7 onto it. The interface is incredibly simple, and uses Firefox, so it shouldn’t be too foreign. If nothing else, its a decent way to change up your netbook experience while waiting for Chrome OS.