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Ubuntu Linux Looks to the Cloud for ‘Jaunty Jackalope’

jackalopeUbuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has announced that the upcoming Ubuntu 9.04 will be code named “Jaunty Jackalope” and should arrive April 2009. While most Ubuntu users are probably looking forward to 8.10′s release next month, Shuttleworth and team are already looking to the future, one that will push the OS toward hybrid “weblications.”

Shuttleworth, who has previously said that in order for Linux to compete on the desktop, it must “look as good as OS X,” promises that 9.04 will make the Ubuntu experience “comparable to those of the traditional big OSV’s — Microsoft and Apple.” But he also stresses the importance of what he calls “weblications” — desktop apps that integrate with web-based counterparts.

In a post to the Ubuntu mailing list Shuttleworth writes, “the bar is set very high, and we have been given the opportunity to leap over it… we want to make sure that the very best thinking across the whole open source ecosystem is reflected in Ubuntu, because many people will judge free software as a whole by what we do.”

As for the specifics of Jaunty Jackalope, Shuttle worth says the focus will be improving boot time and making the general performance snappier. He also writes that Ubuntu 9.04 will focus on the web-desktop metaphor, which is why the Ubuntu team has chosen the Jackalope code name:

Another goal is the the blurring of web services and desktop applications. “Is it a deer? Is it a bunny? Or is it a weblication — a desktop application that seamlessly integrates the web!” This hare has legs — and horns — and we’ll be exploring it in much more detail for Jaunty.

More specifics will likely be hammered out at the Ubuntu conference in Mountain View December where the developers will finalize their Jaunty plans.

[photo credit, Mykl Roventine, Flickr]

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