It’s been a while since there was talk about a major desktop OS launch. This one isn’t as big as a Windows or OS X launch, but still important in some way. Today marks the launch of the version of Ubuntu, 11.04.
Ubuntu 11.04 (codenamed Natty Narwhal) is Canonical’s latest annual April release, and it brings quite a few changes to the OS. The most obvious is the new UI. Gone is the Gnome desktop, it has been replaced by Unity which was previously only for netbooks. The UI adds an OS X-esque dock to the left side of the screen and brings new dash and Workspaces management to the system. The new version also makes Firefox 4 the default system browser, and replaces Rhythmbox with Banshee for music management.
If you haven’t checked out Ubuntu in a while, this version seems like a big enough upgrade to try again. I haven’t used the system since 10.04, when I was still using a netbook. The changes made are intriguing enough to make me install 11.04 on my PC via Wubi so I can run it alongside Windows. If you’re feeling adventurous enough, feel free to do the same, the OS is free and you don’t have to install it to try it out if you don’t want to.