What Should You Expect from Ubuntu 7.04

A quick look over the Beta version of Ubuntu 7.04

By on 24 Mar 2007, 17:32 GMT
The Beta version of Ubuntu 7.04 just hit the streets last night, and it is my pleasure to introduce you guys to the upcoming features of the final version (due for release on April 19). In this preview, we will look over the new features you'll find in the upcoming version of Ubuntu (which is based on the GNOME desktop environment) and also the features from Kubuntu (same as Ubuntu, but based on the popular KDE desktop environment).

I have to admit that I prefer Kubuntu over Ubuntu because it's based on KDE (K Desktop Environment) and I am a sucker for KDE. But I like to install Ubuntu first and then the Kubuntu desktop; having them both is much better.

If you're wondering "Did he test this beta on a real machine?", then the answer is Yes! I decided to become a tester starting with the Alpha 5 of Feisty Fawn and I am pretty impressed how Ubuntu is evolving. I should warn you though not to install this Beta version of Ubuntu because it's still buggy and it's not suitable for production machines.

In the new version of Ubuntu/Kubuntu Linux you will find amazing new stuff, a lot of system improvements and surprises. Let's take a quick tour over the new features.

New installer with Windows migration and new partitioning tools. I think most of the Windows users who are thinking to give Ubuntu a try this April, have their eyes pointed on "Windows migration" words right now and I should let them know that Ubuntu can now migrate Firefox bookmarks, wallpapers, Internet Explorer favorites, Yahoo Messenger and AOL Messenger contacts from the Windows partitions.
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It's extremely easy to activate your Nvidia or ATI video driver with the brand new Restricted Drivers Manager, a tool that pops up in the system tray when on your first login, letting you know that the computer can function properly if you activate "unsupported" drivers. Basically, with a single click, you will install the proper driver for your video card.
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Network Improvements by implementing a new network manager tool that sits in tray and it will help you find and connect to wired and wireless networks. It also includes WPA support.

I really love this one: when you open a video or audio file in Ubuntu, it will immediately try to find all the necessary codecs automatically. How about that? Easy multimedia codecs installation at its best!

Plug and play network sharing with the help of Avahi, a Zeroconf implementation that allows applications to publish and discover hosts and services running on the local network. In other words, it will make sharing files and printers over a network very easy.

Both Kubuntu and Ubuntu are face lifted with new artwork, starting from the boot splash and continuing with the splash screen and the desktop wallpaper.
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You probably saw those astonishing new 3D effects that Linux has and you wanted to try them or even have them on your desktop. Ubuntu has made them extremely accessible; just a single click and you're in a new futuristic 3D world.
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And if we're still trying here to convince the new users to use Ubuntu, here is another new feature: Redesigned Help Center that makes it easier than ever to find information about Ubuntu and how to use included applications.

You can now easily search for files, conversations, bookmarks, images, basically any file on your computer, with Beagle desktop search application which appears on your system tray every time you enter the session.
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In conclusion, expect a LOT of new features and changes from this new version of Ubuntu, expect improved boot speed and applications starting faster. Please enjoy some more screenshots from both Kubuntu (with the Oxygen icon theme) and Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn Beta release.
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