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Canonical Proposes Major Changes to Ubuntu Desktop Edition

The latest Ubuntu Developer Summit has only just begun, but Canonical has already announced objectives for the next Ubuntu release that could drastically alter the look and focus of millions of Linux desktops around the world. Here are the details, along with some thoughts on how this news affects the rest of the open-source ecosystem.

During his keynote speech yesterday at the Ubuntu Developer Summit–which Canonical organizes biannually, towards the beginning of each Ubuntu development cycle–Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth proposed replacing the Gnome 2.x desktop environment, which has been a staple of Ubuntu and many other Linux distributions for years, with Unity, a new interface developed by Canonical and originally targeted at netbooks. The change would debut in Ubuntu 11.04, codenamed “Natty Narwhal,” which will be released in April 2011.

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