Introducing the Maverick Meerkat

Today Mark announced that Ubuntu 10.10 will be the ‘Maverick Meerkat’. I just wanted to re-post on my blog to spread the word. :-)

It’s time to put our heads together to envision “the perfect 10?.

This is a time of great innovation and change in the Linux world, with major new initiatives from powerful groups bringing lots of new ideas, new energy and new code. Thanks to the combined efforts of Google, Intel, IBM, Canonical, Red Hat, Oracle, Cisco, ARM, many other companies, Debian and other projects, a hundred startups and tens of thousands of professional and inspired contributors, the open source ecosystem continues to accelerate. We need to bring the best of all of that work into focus and into the archive. For millions of users, Ubuntu represents what Free Software can do out of the box for them. We owe it to everybody who works on Free Software to make that a great experience.

At the Ubuntu Developer Summit, in May in Belgium, we’ll have a new design track, and a “cloud and server” track, reflecting some major focal points in 2010. They will complement our ongoing work on community, desktop, kernel, quality assurance, foundations and mobile.

Our new theme is “Light”, and the next cycle will embrace that at many levels. We have a continued interest in netbooks, and we’ll revamp the Ubuntu Netbook Edition user interface. As computers become lighter they become more mobile, and we’ll work to keep people connected, all day, everywhere. We’ll embrace the web, aiming for the lightest, fastest web experience on any platform. The fastest boot, the fastest network connect, the fastest browser. Our goal is to ensure that UNE is far and away the best desktop OS for a netbook, both for consumers and power users.

On the other end of the spectrum, we’ll be lightening the burden of enterprise deployment with our emphasis on hybrid cloud computing. Ubuntu Server is already very popular on public clouds like EC2 and Rackspace, and now that Dell supports the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud for private cloud infrastructure, it’s possible to build workloads that run equally well in your data center or on the cloud. We’ll focus on making it even easier to build those workloads and keep them up to date, and managing the configurations of tens, or tens of thousands, of Ubuntu machines running in the cloud.

It’s not all about work. We don’t just want to be connected to the internet, we want to be connected to each other. Social from the Start is our initiative to make the desktop a collaborative, social place. For the past five years, we’ve all been shifting more and more data into the web, to a series of accounts and networks elsewhere. Now it’s time to start to bring those social networks back into our everyday computing environment. Our addressbooks and contact lists need to be synchronized and shared, so that we have the latest information everywhere – from mobile phones to web accounts.

So there’s a lot to do. I hope you’ll join us in shaping that work.

Introducing the Maverick Meerkat

Our mascot for 10.10 is the Maverick Meerkat.

This is a time of change, and we’re not afraid to surprise people with a bold move if the opportunity for dramatic improvement presents itself. We want to put Ubuntu and free software on every single consumer PC that ships from a major manufacturer, the ultimate maverick move. We will deliver on time, but we have huge scope for innovation in what we deliver this cycle. Once we have released the LTS we have plenty of room to shake things up a little. Let’s hear the best ideas, gather the best talent, and be a little radical in how we approach the next two year major cycle.

Meerkats are, of course, light, fast and social – everything we want in a Perfect 10. We’re booting really fast these days, but the final push remains. Changes in the toolchain may make us even faster for every application. We’re Social from the Start, but we could get even more tightly connected, and we could bring social features into even more applications. Meerkats are family-oriented, and we aspire to having Ubuntu being the safe and efficient solution for all the family netbooks. They are also clever – meerkats teach one another new skills. And that’s what makes this such a great community.

Here’s looking at the Lynx

Lucid is shaping up beautifully, but there’s still a lot to be done to make it the LTS we all want. Thanks to everyone who is bringing their time, energy and expertise to bear on making it outstanding. And I’m looking forward to the release parties, the brainstorming at UDS, and further steps on our mission to bring free software to the world, on free terms.

I am hugely excited about 10.10. I think Lucid is going to be a tremendous release, and Maverick will be even more exciting. :-)

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  • casey

    Well..uh. yeah. Wow. Paragraphs of Corporatatis Boardroomis Speakitus Overwhelmus.

    I almost feel like I do in any tech meeting I’ve had in work environments for the last few years: Glassy eyed and annoyed by meandering platitudes that mean very little to anyone who speaks plain English and gets to the point.

    Perhaps with meerkat we’ll put all the tooltips inside of rythmbox’s icon, shift the windows buttons to the bottom middle and steal some more mac UI stuff too.

    -sarcasm hat off from here on:

    I love this distro for the “just works” side of things, but lately, speaking as a tech and systems engineer, the flowery waffle is getting harder and harder to take.

    It did ask for comments ya know, and that’s my take on the announcement.

  • nixternal

    If Sarah Palin and John McCain, had a Meerkat, they would name it Maverick. This will be the release for Republicans \o/ 😀

    Thanks for spilling the beans, now people can stop asking me if I know the name.

  • rww

    So nixternal, what’s the codename for the N-release ;P?

  • randomdev

    I love this distro for the “just works” side of things, but lately, speaking as a tech and systems engineer, the flowery waffle is getting harder and harder to take.

    Yes, it seems that way. I guess that’s the price we have to pay if we want Linux to gain wider appeal…

  • Zac

    Ubuntu pushing out Linux goal posts once again. Bring on 10.10 !

  • nixternal

    it is going to be called ‘The Nerdy Nixternal’ :)

  • yman

    At least this time it seems to be saying something. For Karmic and Lucid there was a lot of rhetoric that meant nothing at all.

    I think this should be implemented ASAP, though anytime before 12.04 is good: Idea #9193: Links to OEM Vendors on the website:

    And I think what I wrote at needs to be repeated here as well: Plan for popularity: 1. Create a storefront for pre-installed Ubuntu machines from partner OEMs. Customers would be able to search for, customize, and purchase machines pre-installed with Ubuntu all in one place.

    1. Start marketing Ubuntu to the general population around the release of the next LTS (not Lucid). Market non-LTS releases as releases for technology enthusiasts and LTS releases for regular users. Build brand recognition among the general population.

    2. Get popular software to be ported to Ubuntu.

    3. Get Ubuntu machines to be sold in regular stores both physical and online.

    Ubuntu needs to be something more positive and well defined than “Linux for human beings”. If Windows is for work and Macintosh is for multimedia, then what is Ubuntu for? That question is the one that requires an answer. It can’t be games, as that’s one of the main weaknesses. It can’t be the web, because everyone already does that just as well. Just price alone doesn’t mean a thing. Ubuntu needs to fill the needs of a niche that is defined or dominated by Linux enthusiasm. Before it can do that, it needs to know what that niche is exactly.

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  • benjamin

    “and we’ll revamp the Ubuntu Netbook Edition user interface” uh oh.. “we aspire to having Ubuntu being the safe and efficient solution for all the family netbooks”

    Hint: families (like most users) don’t aspire to relearn everything and play sysadmin twice a year..