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Ubuntu 10.10 so far (in 339 words)

With the second Alpha of Ubuntu 10.10 due shortly (July 1st, fact fans) so here’s a quick look back at some of the notable changes that the first Alpha has served up.

Alpha 1 is all about the detail

Visually not much has changed since 10.04 in the first milestone. This is, of course, totally expected for it’s the first alpha after all.

On the boring side Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 1 upgraded various packages including bumping Gnome up to version 2.31, Evolution to version 2.30 & a more recent kernel version.

Kyle Baker tells me that the VX-1000 Microsoft LifeCam webcam’s Microphone is finally working in Ubuntu 10.10 – so if you have one you may be pleased to hear that! Fingers crossed that it keeps working from now until then…

As we reported on several weeks back – and got grilled by upstream for reporting on – the default Rhythmbox menu icon is all jazzy and doesn’t entirely match the rest of GNOME, let alone Ubuntu. Thankfully the icon, as nice as it is, doesn’t broach as far as the Indicator Applet or elsewhere.

Empathy appears to have been streamlined a little, gaining Messaging Menu-style mono status icons.

They may be easy to miss given it’s off-white on white but they do look much nicer than the square coloured versions in use on Lucid.

The volume applet has begun it’s metamorphosis into the buttery fly that is the new-style Volume Menu.

The update-manager sports a more integrated look and, perhaps most notable of all in the current Alpha, the Ubuntu Software Centre  added a animated ‘featured apps’ bar highlighting great apps with some visual flair. It also gained a ‘History’ tab making rollbacks of installs a bit easier.

Stuff you can’t see

Much more has been updated, tweaked and added to Ubuntu 10.10 so far than is possible – or even logical to cover here – but BTFS support has been added to the installer, making installation of it easy if you’re foolhardy/brave/curious/all of the above.

With thanks to Kyle Baker