Mark Shuttleworth have announced that the codename for Ubuntu 9.04, which is expected to arrive in April 2009, will be Jaunty Jackalope. Ubuntu releases are issued every six months and include the latest versions of popular open source software applications.
"The Warrior Rabbit is our talisman as we move into a year where we can reasonably expect Ubuntu to ship on several million devices, to consumers who can reasonably expect the software experience to be comparable to those of the traditional big OSV's—Microsoft and Apple," he wrote in a mailing list post. "The bar is set very high, and we have been given the opportunity to leap over it. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to shine, and we want to make sure that the very best thinking across the whole open source ecosystem is reflected in Ubuntu, because many people will judge free software as a whole by what we do."
A big focus of the 9.04 release will be improving boot time and general performance. Shuttleworth also says that the developers also aim to bring tighter web integration to the desktop. Ubuntu 9.04 will be like a Jackalope, he claims, because it will be lightning fast and will converge desktop and web technologies to create a hybrid software experience.
"There are some specific goals that we need to meet in Jaunty. One of them is boot time. We want Ubuntu to boot as fast as possible—both in the standard case, and especially when it is being tailored to a specific device," he wrote. "Another goal is the blurring of web services and desktop applications."
Ubuntu has achieved unprecedented popularity in the desktop Linux ecosystem and is rapidly moving into the general consumer market. Canonical has high hopes for Ubuntu adoption on netbooks, budget computers that feature a small form factor and tie into the cloud. Dell is already shipping Ubuntu on its new mini 9 netbook and we expect to see more Ubuntu-based subnotebook products coming soon.
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