Ubuntu Software Center is something we all overlooked for long. Even while writing tutorials about installing different applications in this blog, I prefer to provide command line instructions only. But a lot of Ubuntu users are new comers and Software Center means a lot to them. Ubuntu is gradually waking up to this fact and have finally started focusing on bringing a lot of polish and usability to Software Center.
In my opinion Software Center is one among the most *important* applications in Ubuntu and its time that it's given its due attention. Lets explore a bit more on the changes that are happening with Ubuntu 10.10 Software Center.
'Where is it' Feature Was a Much Needed One
As far as advanced users are concerned, this is rather a small change. After installing any application, an advanced user will probably launch the application directly from Terminal or via Application Launcher.
But thats not the case with people who are starting off with Ubuntu. After installing the application, they will start searching for it in the main menu, which is not ideal anyway. But the introduction of 'where is it' feature in Software Center can go a long way in helping newbie Ubuntu users finding their favorite apps easily.
New Background for Software Center
The new Ubuntu Software Center has an ambient blue background. Now, the Software Center feels more like a finished work(though its not) and I think it looks way better than the greyish color it had previously.
Software Center Now With Add-ons Support
Another feature that is quite ingenious. A lot of apps like Firefox and Banshee have add-ons. Most among you must have heard about addons for Firefox, but also, many of you probably haven't heard about add-ons for applications like Banshee, Rhythmbox etc. Hence, showing the available add-ons below the application itself in Ubuntu Software Center is a welcome development.
The number of add-ons for Firefox is quite large. So it not very clear if the Software Center is going to list them all or just the add-ons that are in the Ubuntu repository, like Ubufox. We will see more on it soon.
Birth Pangs of a New Menu Exclusively for Paid Softwares
A dedicated menu for 'Paid Software' is not yet fully up and running, but it's definitely coming. As you can see from the above screenshot, there is and option to 'Reinstall Previous Purchases' by using this new feature called 'Ubuntu One Sync'.
A section for 'Paid Softwares' is something that everyone is looking at with great curiosity. It has huge implications and can act as a catalyst in kick starting application development for Linux and more specifically Ubuntu in a big way. Between you may also want to check out one among the largest collection of commercial Linux applications available at LinApp.
The Eventual Ubuntu Software Center
Ubuntu Software Center is still a work in progress and holds a lot of promises. The changes till now are in the right direction and I hope it will keep getting better. If everything goes right, I believe Ubuntu Software Center will eventually become the 'killer app' for Ubuntu.
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