It’s been almost 4 whole days since Ubuntu 12.04 was released – but what sort of reaction has it received from the mainstream technology press?
Let’s take a tour through a maze of quotes and reaction from some of the internet’s leading voices..
Engadget were traditionally brief in their nod to the release, but mention that ‘Pangolin does include some rather notable tweaks.’
But reviewer Terrence O’Brien seemed most excited about the ‘…vastly improved performance and power management.’
‘Ubuntu, for all of its finer points has never been particularly battery friendly. But Canonical is promising that is going to change. We’ll have to wait to find out once we get this bad boy installed on some machines of our own.’
Whitson Gordon over at Lifehacker was passionate about the HUD, citing it as being ‘…enough to get us upgrading as soon as possible’.
Patrick Quinn of LXer was eloquent in giving his take, saying that “…with each release the focus on the user becomes more and more evident, culminating with this, Ubuntu’s Unity finally stating to leave that dark tunnel and enter into the warm light of general acceptance.”
Ars Technica‘s Ryan Paul, in one of the tech press’s more in-depth run-downs of the release, was succinct in his summation, calling the release ‘…an incremental update that is fairly reliable, but doesn’t introduce many ambitious changes. Advanced users will benefit from the introduction of the HUD, but most users won’t notice major differences.”
Mike Williams of PC Advisor notes that there are a ‘stack of worthwhile improvements everywhere you look’, and cites ‘significant performance improvements mean the fancy visual effects work smoothly even on systems with basic integrated graphics.’
The ever on-the-level Computer Active were far more enthusiastic¹ in selling the benefits of the OS to their readership, giving the release a full 5/5 stars and billing it as ‘an excellent alternative to Windows.’
Tim Smith, in writing the review, addresses the ‘Unity’ issue from the get go, advising that ‘[Unity is] worth persevering with even if you don’t like it at first.’
‘Ubuntu is a great operating system that …can be used to give a new lease of life to older computers. [It is] is much more convenient when wanting to quickly check some information on the internet.’
Where’s the negative?
So where’s the negative stuff; the list of annoying quirks in Pangolin?
It’s worth remembering that the majority of the mainstream tech press only dip in to Ubuntu twice a year, and then only spending a short time with it to write their posts.
So far the ‘negatives’ have been fairly coy or subtle – Terry Relph-Knight from ZDnet, for example, cites the lack of ‘creative software that’s comparable to the proprietary apps available for Windows and Mac OS X’ as a negative. Something that is hardly Ubuntu-specific.
Fellow ZDnet writer – and it’s fair to say general critic of Ubuntu – J.A. Watson, reports a less than pleasant experience with installing the release on a Samsung netbook.
But overall the general feeling i’ve got from the reviews I’ve read is that Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is a notable success.
Updated April 2014: Cleared out dead links.