I have installed every new release of Ubuntu for the last 8 versions (my first was 7.04 Feisty Fawn). I would use each release for a few weeks, get frustrated with the amount of effort it took, then return to Windows. Every time I could see the potential, but Windows 7 was always just a better operating system on average. I think that has finally changed.
After getting frustrated with Windows 7 taking a ton of time to do anything I installed Ubuntu’s Maverick Meerkat and I haven’t looked back. I think the 6-month release cycle has really paid off in a huge way for Ubuntu. All the little improvements over the versions have come together into something that now competes.
So why is it so good?
(Note many of these things have been in previous releases, but this is the first time they are packaged together so well).
Ungodly start up and shut down speeds: After a week, I still get startled when the computer shuts down 5 seconds after I hit the button.
Music Player, IM and Social Network integration: These just all work together so well. My all time favorite feature is to raise or lower the volume by just hovering over the sound icon and scrolling with the mouse wheel.
Software center: The original “app store”, it’s always been good on Ubuntu, but it’s so much cleaner now and the fact that you can open that and other software update features at the same time is wonderful.
Wine is easy to use: I can run most of the Windows/Mac only applications I need with Wine. Evernote etc, all install and run, with 0 technical knowledge needed
Compiz: It’s far more than eye candy… it provides the best tools to handle multiple windows available! It lets you make your own user interface.
Stuff just works: The main reason is that finally, things just work. Fingers crossed nothing has messed up and the computer is configured exactly as I want it.
I urge everybody to give Ubuntu 10.10 a try, it is a lovely operating system. I’m not even installing Windows again (at least until my willpower breaks down and I buy Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood).