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Well, this is not a first look at Natty. It has been four months since Natty’s release. After hearing so many people criticizing the newly introduced Unity interface in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal and frequent crash reports I got scared. After all I have far more important works to do on my computer than rating an OS if that comes into the way of my work. So I decided to not to give it a try.

A couple of weeks ago, out of nowhere, I felt like giving Natty a try, thanks to a friend of mine. I thought it has been quite a while since Natty’s release and most of the bugs must have been fixed by that time. So I installed Natty first on my notebook (with 512MB of RAM) and then on my desktop. And till the day, I haven’t had any single bug issue, let aside crashes. As I had thought, they fixed most of the bugs! Here are a list of a few of the notable changes that has been introduced in Natty.

  • Unity: Unity is the new default interface of Ubuntu. After using Gnome2 as the default interface in Ubuntu for so many years, this change has been quite sudden. But that doesn’t necessarily mean bad. After the first day, I never had any handling issue with Unity thanks to the web video tutorials available on the internet and if you ask me now, the interface looks very nice and is useful too. I really wouldn’t like to go back to Gnome2 again. The interface is very useful especially if you are working with multiple open windows and applications. It provides a great way to organize all your windows and tabs. And if you still hate Unity, it doesn’t give you a reason not to use 11.04 because you can still choose Gnome2 as the interface at the time of start up provided as a fallback to Unity.
  • Installation: The installation of Ubuntu 11.04 has been made a little different from the previous releases. And again this time, different doesn’t necessarily mean bad. An average Ubuntu user with a little experience won’t find any difficulty with the installation process and it is quicker too.
  • Application Menu: The application menu from the superbar is removed and the application launcher on Unity sidebar is way more organised and also shows available apps for downloads.
  • Workspace Switcher: The workspace switcher is also very nice and you can drag a window from one workspace to another.
  • Libreoffice: In the previous versions, Openoffice was the default office suite. Again I feel this change has been healthy. With Openoffice I felt like it was going nowhere, stuck in time, with no notable changes in one after one releases. With Libreoffice, you can also better handle your .doc and .docx files.
  • Banshee: Banshee is the new default music player replacing Rhythmbox. This application is also very nice.

So that was Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal. You should definitely give it a try and I am sure you will love it. And also in the upcoming releases, Unity is going to be the default interface on Ubuntu. And for all you Windows users, its worth giving a try while you don’t have to pay for it! Any comments are welcome.

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