At Ubuntu’s Developer Summit held last week, there was much discussion about the next version of the OS, to be released in April. Codenamed “Precise Pangolin“, 12.04 is bringing some interesting things to the table – though I admit the most interesting changes to me are simple things being done under the hood, or outside of the OS itself.
First, OMG! Ubuntu! is reporting that 12.04 is going to be the first release to break through the 700MB disc limit, with an increased cap of 750MB. This change might seem simple enough, but it’s in fact a rather major one. For as long as Ubuntu has existed, its developers have painstakingly made sure that the OS could be burned to a CD, but with an increase to 750MB, most CD-Rs won’t do.
Instead, a much beefier DVD will be required. For most, this change might not matter. At local stores in east coast Canada, blank CDs are hard to find, while DVDs are prevalent (I am not sure if this is the case all over). Why not just shoot up to a 1GB size, then? The reason completely boils down to bandwidth limitations. In North America, bandwidth limits might be frustrating at times, but in third-world countries or even places like Europe and Australia, a 250MB boost can be rather significant.
With the same release, Canonical finally tackles a major gripe that I’ve had for a while. As you might be aware, when attempting to download Ubuntu at the official site you’ll be “recommended” to download the 32-bit edition. But as of 12.04, my gripe will be no more, as Canonical will instead shift the recommendation to the 64-bit edition. It doesn’t need to be said, but, it’s about time.
If both of these “features” are too boring, I’ll try to save your interest by directing you to a look at 12.04′s prospective login screen, based on LightDM (pictured above). It looks good; super-modern and feature-rich. I look forward to giving it a hands-on test once it becomes available.