The Ubuntu development community spent much of the last year losing a lot of momentum, as Microsoft gave birth to its Windows 7 operating system and its latest releases of the Linux OS failed to overly impress. It was bound to happen. After several solid years against the Windows platform, while the marketplace ate up and spit out Windows Vista in a fit of disgust, Microsoft finally began drawing a good amount of praise with Windows 7.
Meanwhile, some users began criticizing last year's Ubuntu release, version 9.10 "Karmic Koala," and took issue with items ranging from compatibility with flash-based Web sites like Facebook and Hulu, to boot time.
But among the many differences between Microsoft and the Ubuntu community is speed. While it took more than three (painful) years between the launch of Windows Vista and the launch of Windows 7, the Ubuntu folks are already in full stride toward the next desktop release of the Linux-based desktop OS, version 10.04 -- code-named "Lucid Lynx." (A Lynx is a breed of quick, flexible wildcat.) Lynx, due for launch in April, is known as an "LTS" release (for long-term stable.) We examined its Alpha version 1, which is still pretty much a rough cut, to try to get some sense of what's to come.
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