The last few releases of Ubuntu have really shown the operating system to be an innovator and leader. I’ve been using Linux since the mid 90’s, and for years Linux-based operating systems were technically more impressive than Mac OS and Windows, but was always playing catchup on the desktop. That’s changed in more ways than one.
Ever since Mac OS X brought Unix technology to a well-established desktop, things like stability haven’t been so impressive anymore. And Windows 7 is really nothing to sneeze at. Linux operating systems really need to bring it.
And Ubuntu has definitely been pushing the envelope. Canonical doesn’t get the public credit it deserves for integrating an app-store style “Add Application” system seamlessly into the desktop before the iPhone’s App Store even existed. But recent Ubuntu editions have been getting ballsier, with Facebook and Twitter integration built directly into the desktop. For once, Linux is getting things that are truly useful to the end-user, before they make it to Windows or the Mac. Next up, Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth is planning some aggressive (and controversial) changes to the Ubuntu desktop user interface.
Things are just getting interesting.