Effective immediately, the new release of Ubuntu, 17.10, aka 'Artful Aardvark' has been released!
This release will be supported for 9 months (until 2018) for Long Term Support, stick with release 16.04, instead.
Official flavors (e.g. Kubuntu) are also released.
See the above release notes for a full list of changes and where you can get a copy.
[Full disclosure: the majority of SoylentNews' servers run Ubuntu 16.04 LTS though we have taken steps towards moving to Gentoo.]
The customized version of GNOME that Ubuntu 17.10 uses is very much in the mould of the (now defunct) Unity desktop, so it won't be to everyone's tastes.
At this point I'm seriously convinced that Canonical has long been infiltrated by Microsoft loyalists and others who don't want it to succeed.Ubuntu had plenty of chances to be THE Windows killer. It had the chance to usher in Linux as being "ready for the desktop." Then their business decisions were one head-scratchingly dodo-brained misstep after another.
"Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence."There's every indication that Mark is simply incompetent; he got lucky at something back in the dot-com days, and after that has been flailing around with this pet project of his. It did pretty well at first, mainly because there was a serious void in the early/mid-00s of Linux distros that were easy to install and "just worked". But after he succeeded there, it's been screwup after screwup, largely because of 1) no clear strategy for profitability on the desktop, and 2) poorly-conceived and executed side projects like Ubuntu Phone which distracted from the distro, plus 3) wasting resources on stuff like Mir out of either NIH syndrome or trying to get a competitive advantage in phones (again, poorly-conceived, they started way too late to attempt any kind of vendor lock-in tricks). Now he's given up on a bunch of that stuff and gone back to Gnome3, which was a totally stupid idea because Gnome3 is a crap DE built on a crap toolkit that the Gnome devs are constantly mucking with so you can't build anything on it as it's so unstable and APIs are always being deprecated. If he were smart, he would have switched to KDE (which is happy for people to customize it, unlike Gnome), then had his team fork Plasma and make a different version which lets them explore their particular UI ideas, while taking advantage of KDE's stable foundations. Instead, it's more-or-less another me-too Gnome3 distro like all the others.
I agree with what you wrote, but I'll say one thing to defend Shuttleworth - I think he tried to pivot away from what Ubuntu 10.04 was because his grand vision of Ubuntu conquering the desktop wasn't getting anywhere. Users loved it, but the growth of the user base was too slow to mean anything.
I'd argue that the reason Linux is making headway on the desktop today has less to do with improvements in Linux desktop distributions and more to do with Linux adoption through the rest of the technology industry. "Chrome OS is built on Linux. I wonder what Linux is?" "Android is built on Linux. I wonder what Linux is?" "These software setup instructions for my Mac have instructions right next to them for setting up the same thing on Linux. Interesting." "It seems like 30% of the companies in the US are using Linux on AWS." "Microsoft now offers Linux on Windows Azure? Wow, Linux really must be more than just a niche toy for supernerds." "Steam supports Linux now."
But at the time it looked like nothing was working, so he decided to go for radical innovation. He wanted to be the next Steve Jobs. But you can't be Steve Jobs with free software, you need to be a different kind of leader.