Hardy Heron is about to land but what should we expect from this new Long Term Support (LTS) version? Well the following link should hopefully be a good start:
Introduction to Hardy Heron
So for me the best aspects will be finally having Evolution and Google Calendar sync ability. Since about November I have relied solely on Google Calendar as it is so useful being able to access your information from anywhere you can access the Internet. The obvious problem being what if you do not have Internet access or just wish to be offline? Well up until now that is something I have had to live with, but things should be changing soon.
FireFox 3 will be the new default web browser. I have been using FireFox for some time now, first with Win-doh's and then when I moved to Ubuntu. Though I have experimented with the Opera and Flock browsers I always came back to FireFox, sure it could look a bit sleeker and with the vast amount of add-ons available you can make it look anyway you like, but it is that fact that it is so stable and versatile that keeps me coming back to it. I can not wait to see the latest upgrade.
A sleek new World Clock applet is on the way, maybe not very important, but I already have "FoxClocks" add-on for FireFox.This is the sort of tool I will find very useful and look forward to seeing in the final release.
Firewall as standard will be included. I currently use Firestarter as my Ubuntu firewall, but you must download it after installing Ubuntu. Now it seems a firewall is included and it should just be a matter of enabling it. Yes, the merits of having firewalls and virus protection in linux is often debated due to it being such a secure OS by default yet I stand by the belief that prevention is better then cure. So a firewall as standard seems to make perfect sense.
Totem movie player will have the ability to search and play You Tube videos directly! This will make things a bit simpler, I do not know if it will be able to integrate into one's You Tube account, subscriptions and so on but those would be nice features to see in the future. At the moment I rely on the "Unplug" FireFox add-on to take care of my You Tube requirements.
Now for me that is about it! The other major upgrades are important and certainly add to the versatility of Ubuntu, but for me the above give Ubuntu more user-friendly features. I have already been won over and my friends often comment on how impressive the OS is. Yet they shy away though I am not 100% why, some may say it is because it is a whole new OS, but these same people would happily swap their win-doh's for a Mac! That probably has much more to do with image.
There is a third way which is established and becoming more welcoming with every release. Most OS users want "plug and play", "Point and click" & GUI. I still need to open a terminal window to dial up to the Internet with my USB modem and none of my games seem to work just yet under WINE. Those are are relatively small issues though considering just how much is gained.
Ubuntu...Linux for human beings!