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Canonical touts Ubuntu 14.04 LTS desktop as Windows XP replacement

16 Apr 2014
Ubuntu on a laptop

Ubuntu developer Canonical has announced the desktop build of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, promoting it as a secure and reliable platform for enterprises, government and education, and a cost-effective replacement for the now defunct Windows XP.

Developed for desktop and laptop users, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is the latest release of Canonical's Linux distribution, which will be supported by the firm for five years. It will be available to download from 17 April, along with the cloud and server version of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, announced on Tuesday.

Codenamed "Trusty Tahr", Ubuntu 14.04 adds support for the latest hardware, including desktops and laptops with multi-touch trackpads and touchscreens, as well as for high pixel density screens.

Users can also try out Unity 8, the next-generation user interface currently running on Ubuntu phones and tablets, which is planned to deliver a unified user experience across all versions of Ubuntu in the near future.

The early preview of this showcases the convergence vision and also demonstrates applications that work across all Ubuntu devices. 14.04 LTS will also form the basis of the first commercially available Ubuntu tablets from Canonical's hardware partners, the firm said.

Ubuntu also has relatively low hardware requirements, with Canonical stating that a good rule of thumb is that machines capable of running XP, Vista or Windows 7 will almost always be a lot faster with Ubuntu.

Below we discuss some of the major threats and issues firms still using XP need to consider and why moving to platforms like Ubuntu could be a solution.

Canonical chief executive Jane Silber said that this – along with the 14.04 LTS release offering a solid, intuitive experience that is easy to manage – makes it a good choice for those seeking a replacement for Windows XP.

"It is a viable and affordable alternative for those organisations considering a switch from Microsoft, and specifically those replacing XP or Windows 7 as they come to the end of life," she said.

Canonical is also extolling the security virtues of its new platform, saying that the UK government's CESG security assessment organisation recently found Ubuntu to be the most secure desktop or mobile operating system among those tested.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS includes the 3.13.0-19.39 Ubuntu Linux kernel, which is based on the v3.13.6 upstream Linux kernel, and includes full disk encryption, added profiles and policies for the AppArmor Linux kernel security module, as well as AppArmor improvements for interprocess communications between confined applications.

As well as being available to download, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is expected to be sold pre-loaded on hardware from partners including Dell, HP and Lenovo, Canonical said.

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Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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