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  • October 7, 2010
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

Though the basic Ubuntu One service has been available for nearly a year, the majority of Ubuntu users are still not using the technology. Ubuntu One currently has about half a million users, George said.

"In the context of a 12 million user base for Ubuntu, 500,000 users for Ubuntu One is good growth and shows the interest level," he said. "I think the important thing for us with Ubuntu One is to really make something Ubuntu users really enjoy and want to be part of. That's why the addition of applications on top of the basic file and folder synchronization are so important to us."

George declined to provide a breakdown of how many Ubuntu One users are using the free service and how many are paying for it.

In addition to the Ubuntu One improvements, the 10.10 release will debut an improved Ubuntu Software Center. The software center also made its debut in the Karmic release last year.

With the software center, Ubuntu is providing users with a different way to find software they might want to install. With the 10.10 release, Canonical is expanding the model to include both free software and software that Ubuntu users can purchase.

"With this release the majority of the focus for software center was on improving usability and making it accessible," George said. "We have enabled the ability to purchase commercial applications directly in the software center."

George noted that the actual payment platform back-end is powered by Canonical, and the company will be taking a commission from the software sales.


For netbook users, the Ubuntu 10.10 release will debut the new Unity interface, which is intended to be more usable on smaller screens than traditional Linux desktops. The Unity interface includes new gesture support to help further the user experience.

"We've been looking at how our user base uses Ubuntu netbook edition and we've done a lot of usability testing," George said.

The Ubuntu 10.10 release follows the 10.04 Lucid Lynx release, which debuted six months ago.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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