When you turn on your television, it’s hard to avoid those Mac vs. PC commercials. They’re clever, funny, and also misleading. Judging by those commercials, the average non-techie consumer would assume that those are the only two computing platforms available, which would be quite erroneous. Linux, the operating system that powers the Asus Eee PC and Everex CloudBook, comes in a variety of flavors, but the current face of the alternative OS is Ubuntu. The latest iteration is Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron Beta (the final release is slated for April), which adds more functionality to the rather impressive Ubuntu 7.10, including smoother Compiz compatibility, Firefox 3 Beta, Tracker desktop search integration, the Brasero disk burner, Transmission BitTorrent client, Vinagre VNC software (which allows users to view multiple machines simultaneously), the PulseAudio sound server (for more flexible sound output), Xorg 7.3 (a screen-resolution utility that improves connections to projectors and second monitors), ufw firewall, and Rt2x00 wireless drivers. We upgraded our Ubuntu 7.10 distro that was installed on a Lenovo ThinkPad Z60m in just over two hours. Let’s break down some of the sexier additions.
Of course, 8.04 Beta includes the Rhythmbox Music Player, OpenOffice Productivity Suite, Pidgin instant messenger, GIMP image editor, and other popular open-source software. We can’t wait to dive deeper into the OS. Have you downloaded Hardy Heron, and if so, what’re your early opinions of the OS?