Ubuntu 10.10 'Maverick Meerkat' enters beta ahead of October 10 release

Ubuntu version 10.10 is about to come out on 10/10/2010 and score a perfect 10 out of 10 with reviewers. Or so the devs hope. The successor to April's Lucid Lynx has this week shrugged off the alpha label and stridden bravely into the world of beta software. GUI modifications are of course apparent, along with performance tweaks promising even faster boot times, but on the whole it doesn't look to be as big a leap as there was between the Lynx and Koala versions. The default photo management program is now Shotwell, replacing F-Spot, and there's an update to the Software Center allowing you to purchase paid-for Linux programs in an App Store-ish sort of way. Nothing's available to buy yet, but the plan is for that feature to go live with the final launch in October. The most intriguing thing about this Meerkat for us just might be the Unity desktop interface, which is now the default for Ubuntu Netbook Edition. If you're unafraid of beta-stage bugs (and small furry mammals), you can hit the source link to try it out.