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Press Reaction to Ubuntu 13.04 Is a Muted, “Meh” Affair

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Ubuntu 13.04 was released last week – but, unusually, to muted and minimal press coverage compared to previous releases.

The Linux Action Show asked whether Ubuntu 13,04 is the most boring release in the history of Ubuntu. A quick glance at the column inches dedicated to this update would indicate yes. Even outlets who normally offer in-depth run-downs of Ubuntu have struggled to get a hold on this release, with many instead opting for more perfunctory “It’s out & this is what the press release says” overviews than bothering with the formality of a review.

But a few stalwarts have risen to the occasion…

‘Ubuntu 13.04 is a bit of an anti-climax.’ 

ZDNet‘s Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols speaks positively about the performance improvements including in Raring, saying that, on a test machine of his own, ‘Unity [is] much faster than before on the same box’. 

Fellow ZDNet writer Terry Relph-Knight is a bit more strained, and gives the release 6/10. He argues that while 13.04 is a ‘good, solid release‘ it’s also ‘a bit of an anti-climax’ in terms of new features and changes.

This ambivalence is also in play over on PCPro, whose description of Ubuntu 13.04 as a ‘modest update’ that brings ‘no major enhancements’ to the desktop is unlikely to result in an influx of new users to Ubuntu.

Several reviewers, including Jon Brodkin of ArsTechnicapick up what isn’t included in 13.04. Brodkin notes that the removal of the workspace switcher in Unity’s Launcher is likely to be ‘disconcerting’ to some users.

‘A victim of confusion and mixed motives.’ 

Datamation‘s Bryce Byfield is far more cutting in his analysis of the release, calling it a ‘victim of confusion’ and ‘mixed motives’ as Canonical attempt to reconcile ‘the principles of simplicity and efficiency [with] its new priority of profitability.’

But it’s Fabian A. Scherschel of the H-Online who hits the nail on the head of this release by concluding that ‘due to the limited number of features [in 13.04] it will be hard for some ..to decide whether they actually want to upgrade.’