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Ubuntu dropping Netbook Edition


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In a post on the Canonical Blog, Gerry Carr, director of platform marketing at Canonical, has announced that the Netbook Edition of the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution will be folded into the main branch starting with the next release, version 11.04, code named "Natty Narwhal". Carr notes that the reason for the change is that future versions of Ubuntu will feature the controversial Unity desktop which was developed in-house by the Ubuntu developers, replacing the GNOME Shell.

Discussing the announcement, Carr said that, "The introduction of the new shell for Ubuntu means that we have a user interface that works equally well whatever the form factor of the PC. And the underlying technology works on a range of architectures including those common in netbook, notebooks, desktops or whatever you choose to run it on. Hence the need for a separate version for netbooks is removed." At the same time, the developers are changing the distribution's naming conventions. Previously known as 'Ubuntu Desktop Edition' and 'Ubuntu Server Edition', from 11.04, they will simply be referred to as Ubuntu and Ubuntu Server.

The final version of Natty Narwhal is expected to arrive on 28 April 2011. The latest stable release is version 10.10 "Maverick Meerkat", while the current Long Term Support (LTS) version is Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS "Lucid Lynx".

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