6 Key Changes in Next Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

Canonical is in a hurry. After the successful release of Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, it's time to plan for next, more important, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS release. Ubuntu 12.04 is codenamed "Precise Pangolin" and following are the important changes in the upcoming Ubuntu 12.04 release, as decided upon during recently concluded Ubuntu Developer Summit.

Rhythmbox Will Replace Banshee.. Again!
Though Rhythmbox slightly lags behind Banshee in terms of looks and features, it has always been my favorite of the two, since it felt more lighter and stable. But that doesn't made me not to use Banshee or to re-install Rhythmbox in Ubuntu 11.10. In fact, I was just starting to love Banshee and use it on a regular basis. Now, Ubuntu is planning to replace Banshee again with Rhythmbox, revoking a decision Canonical itself made just 2 releases back.

In my opinion, Canonical and Ubuntu team should stop dilly-dallying with core applications. Decide upon them and stay with it. Installing and uninstalling applications in Ubuntu is a cake walk even for a complete newbie. They need to seriously start making Unity more fast and stable and even more fun to use. That should be their priority.
Ubuntu Won't Fit into a CD Anymore
Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin's ISO size will increase to 750MB and hence it won't fit into CD anymore. It is a rather reasonable move in my opinion. For instance, I haven't used a CD or DVD to install a Linux OS for a long time now(an USB and UNetBootin does it for me). Restricting the size of ISO just to make it fit into a CD was kind of unfair towards developers.

64-bit Ubuntu ISO Will be the Default Choice
With the arrival of multiarch support, 32-bit Ubuntu ISO image finally takes a back seat. From Ubuntu 12.04 "Precise Pangolin" release onwards, Canonical will promote 64-bit Ubuntu ISO images instead of 32-bit which means, when you click on 'download Ubuntu' option, the 64-bit ISO image will be selected by default. You can still manually select 32-bit images ofcourse.

A Mono-Free Ubuntu Finally?
Banshee is built on Mono, an open source implementation of Microsoft's .NET framework. With the removing of Banshee from default Ubuntu, the only other applications that still use Mono will shrink to just Tomboy Notes and Gbrainy. There have been already talks of removing both these applications from default Ubuntu in order to create a completely Mono-free Ubuntu. More information on this as and when it happens.

Faster, Lighter Ubuntu Software Center
Ubuntu Software Center received a complete makeover during the last release cycle which we covered in detail some time ago. But a flashy UI is just not enough. Here are some of the proposed changes.
  • Current startup time of Ubuntu Software Center is around 11.2 seconds. Developers are planning to bring it under 2 seconds. If they manage to achieve even half of that, it is going to be awesome.
  • Ubuntu Software Center in its current form has many useful features of Synaptic missing from it. They will be rectified.
  •  To be included are new categories such as ebook, Indicator, lens etc.
  •  Improvements to application sync between computers.
  • New interface for help/refund of applications.
  • More on things that need to be improved in Software Center in another post soon.
LightDM Login Window Improvements
LightDM login window manager is going to receive perhaps the most visible improvements of the lot. Proposed changes include:
  • LightDM will use the wallpaper the user sets.
  • It might get connected with messaging indicator so that useful information, messages, etc. could be displayed in the greeter itself.
  • LightDM login screen will be used as the default lock screen.
And of course, there will be enormous amount of improvements to the Unity UI. We will be following each and every pre-release versions of Ubuntu 12.04 "Precise Pangolin" and will keep you updated. Follow us on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. Stay tuned.
[thanks to webupd8, image courtesy: Ubuntu on Google+]