New Default Theme
Ubuntu is finally dumbing its trademark brown color scheme and a new theme inspired by "Light", is on its way. The brown color scheme adopted by Ubuntu team dates back to the first ever release of Ubuntu in 2004. And I have to say, the brown theme looked outdated for many even in those initial days.
"We're drawn to Light because it denotes both warmth and clarity, and intrigued by the idea that 'light' is a good value in software. Good software is 'light' in the sense that it uses your resources efficiently, runs quickly, and can easily be reshaped as needed," the design documentation says. "Visually, light is beautiful, light is ethereal, light brings clarity and comfort."
Even Faster Boot Time
Ubuntu is aiming at a 10 second boot time with the next major release Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. Linux is fast becoming a phenomenon in netbook devices and that is the single biggest motivation in further reducing boot time. As you all remember, Ubuntu took a monstrous 65 seconds to boot just 2 releases back.
But with the release of Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope, boot time was drastically reduced to somewhere around 25 seconds. And now, Ubuntu aims at an even better performance with Lucid Lynx which incidentally is a LTS edition as well.
Community Contributed Themes
It doesn't need any introduction as you all know, this trend had already started with the previous major release, Ubuntu 9.10 codenamed Karmic Koala. Only this time though, Community contributed themes has gained some serious momentum and plenty of new themes started pouring in. And hopefully some of them will eventually find its way into Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx when it is finally released. We had a full fledged post on different Community contributed themes for Ubuntu Lucid 10.04.
Ubuntu Artwork Community in Flickr
Again, community contributed wallpapers are nothing new. But this time, the sheer number of wallpapers submitted by users simply overwhelm every other attempt. More than a 1000 wallpaper submissions were made to the Ubuntu Artwork Community at Flickr and a lot of them were truly exceptional. We had a good look at the wallpapers submitted and here is our selection of Ubuntu Lucid 10.04 Wallpapers at Flickr. Between, Ubuntu Artwork community has shortlisted a few of them and here is a list of top 5 shortlisted wallpapers for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx.
Gwibber Microbloggeing Client
Gwibber is the most popular microblogging client available in Linux and it pretty much live up to everyone's expectations. Gwibber supports all popular social networking services like Twitter, Facebook, Identi.ca, Digg, FriendFeed and so on. Gwibber is going to be default app for Ubuntu starting from Ubuntu Lucid 10.04. More on the apps warming up for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx.
Brand Ubuntu on a Complete Makeover
This is the single most important change happening with the Ubuntu 10.04 release. Brand Ubuntu is warming up for a complete image makeover. New themes, color schemes and even completely refurbished logos! This kind of drastic change is happening for the first time since the inception of Ubuntu some 6 years ago. The good old Human Theme is slowly fading into the background and a bold new Ubuntu is rising. The new style of Ubuntu is driven by "Light" according to sources. More on changes in Ubuntu branding with screenshots.
Ubuntu One Music Store
This is another important step in making Ubuntu more mainstream. Ubuntu One Music Store is going to come as a default plugin in Rhythmbox Music Player. Ubuntu One Music Store will be powered by 7 digital and that is a welcome development since they had the largest selection of songs available without digital rights management (DRM) for the most regions around the world. Other major music players like Banshee and Amarok is also going to get the Ubuntu One Music Store plugin support. More on Ubuntu One Music Store.
PiTiVi Video Editor
PiTiVi Video Editor is another app finding its way into Ubuntu Lucid 10.04. PiTiVi supports simple media editing capabilities such as trimming, snapping, splitting and cutting of clips and it also inherits capabilities for importing and exporting (rendering) media from the GStreamer framework. More on PiTiVi and its featuers here.
Me Menu is a small text box in the right side of the top panel in your Desktop. And you can update your status in all your instant messaging services and social networking sites using Me Menu. Me Menu is designed to work with the default Empathy instant messaging client and the social networking functionality of Me Menu is powered by Gwibber.
Simply Scan using 'Simple Scan'
The default scanning application in Ubuntu currently is Xsane. Xsane is a nice app but it is not beginner friendly and that is exactly what Ubuntu is trying to achieve by introducing Simple Scan. I have to add, Simple Scan is based on SCAN which is again the back end of Xsane as well. So in other words, Simple Scan is Xsane itself with a modified GUI and so no functionality aspect of Xsane is lost in the process. Simple Scan's GTK+ interface further blends nicely with the Gnome desktop.
Update: As some of our readers have pointed out in the comments below, Canonical has went back on the decision to include Yahoo! search as the default search engine for Firefox in Lucid. More here.
In another rather controversial move, Ubuntu is going to ditch GIMP. In Canonical's observation, most of the users don't ever use the advanced functionalities of GIMP and all their basic image manipulation needs are met with other applications. Again, you can always install GIMP with a few clicks using Ubuntu Software Centre, and so IMO, this is not going to be a big deal for most of us.
Some screenshots via @Arstechnica @Lifehacker @Popey
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