Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Desktop Lands As Windows XP Alternative

Canonical announces the latest Ubuntu release, 14.04 LTS will be available for download from the 17th April 2014. Developed for desktop and laptop users, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is the latest release of Canonicals’ Linux distribution, which will be supported by the firm for five years.

Ubuntu LTS releases come out every two years and this time it is promoting as a secure and a reliable platform for enterprises, government and education, and also as a cost-effective replacement for the non-operational Windows XP or Windows 7.

"It is a viable and affordable alternative for those organizations considering a switch from Microsoft, and specifically those replacing XP or Windows 7 as they come to the end of life," Canonical chief executive Jane Silber said.

As an LTS release, the developers didn’t introduce big changes, but focused on stabilizing and fine tuning the features from the last few versions of Ubuntu. Codenamed "Trusty Tahr", Ubuntu 14.04 adds support for desktops and laptops with multi-touch trackpads and touchscreens, as well as for high pixel density screens.

This release, is also focused on cloud services as it continues to push Ubuntu as an enterprise operating system for servers. Ubuntu 14.04 also adds support for 64-bit ARM microservers.

Among the other changes, some of the notable improvements in the desktop version include:
  • New language status icon in the top menu bar
  • Preview of Unity 8 desktop environment
  • Borderless windows
  • Support for high DPI screens
  • Anti-aliased corners on windows
  • New lock screen and screen saver
  • New window decorations
  • Update to LibreOffice 4.2.3 with a new Start Center, and Writer and Calc improvements
  • New Ubuntu-specific settings application, derived from GNOME's control center
  • Linux Kernel incremented to version 3.13
  • The Upstart has been upgraded to version 1.12.1
  • Choice of application menu position

A pre-release version of Ubuntu Touch for phones and tablets has also been updated to version 14.04 to support multiple SIM cards, geolocation, contact, calendar sync, and more. Official build is available for the Google Nexus 4, Google Nexus 10, and Google Nexus 7 (2013).

Users can download Ubuntu 14.04 LTS from here or can update from the previous version by choosing that option from the Software Updater.