Canonical has made available for download the desktop version of Ubuntu 12.10 open source operating system, which brings together desktop and cloud-based experiences.
When searching for documents in the Ubuntu 12.10 Dash, for example, users you see results from online services like Google Drive, as well as files saved on their hard drives. The Online Accounts feature allows authentication to online sites so that content like photos from Flickr accounts and contacts from Facebook can all be searched instantly by the Dash. The Dash can also search both paid and free content from Amazon and the Ubuntu One Music Store such as music, videos or any product be it digital or physical. The results are displayed in a separate section labelled, 'More Suggestions'.
Jane Silber, CEO at Canonical comments: "Ubuntu 12.10 is the operating system for the multi-device era. It makes life significantly easier for users by adapting Ubuntu to the way people really access their content today: online and on the hard drive, at work and at home, on the phone and, of course, on the PC. As consumers and businesses consider their upgrade options, Ubuntu 12.10 offers an easier, faster alternative to competing desktop operating systems."
New Previews give large previews of content as it appears in the Dash search results, giving you a quick way to get more information to help find what you are looking for. For example, previewing an album that the Dash has found in the Ubuntu One Music Store reveals a track listing and the option to listen - all without leaving the preview.
The new Web Apps feature offers integration between the desktop and online environment, by making frequently-used web applications like Facebook, Twitter, Last.FM, eBay and GMail available through the desktop, without launching a browser separately.
Ubuntu One, the 5 GB personal cloud service, is integrated and now available as a native app on Mac OS-X as beta, as well as Windows, iOS and Android. Ubuntu One's new referrals programme, means that it's possible to get even more storage in return for recommending new users. New APIs mean that application developers can make use of synchronisation features in their own apps.
A new remote log-in option now gives you the alternative of logging into a Citrix, VMWare or Microsoft desktop running on a desktop virtualisation server. Ubuntu 12.10 can thereby be used as a thin client by businesses that want to virtualise their desktop applications and deliver them to users over the network.
Ubuntu 12.10 can be downloaded at www.ubuntu.com/download