3 days left until the release of Ubuntu 8.04. This release means a lot to me personally, because even though I don't work on the distro team, I started running this version of Ubuntu almost immediately after the archives opened last year, before the first alpha release. There were some times during the development cycle when my laptop didn't work at all (as you would expect while reworking important parts of the system), and I learned a lot troubleshooting, reporting bugs, even trying to fix one or two.
Another reason that this release is interesting is the number of commercial ISVs that will be supporting it.
More applications: More than 30 commercial ISVs plan to support and distribute their applications on the 8.04 LTS desktop platform, including Adobe, Google, Real Networks, Nero, Skype, Corel, Parallels and Fluendo.
I try to minimize my dependence on closed software, but I also like to have more choices. Currently I have 3 closed source applications running on my Ubuntu laptop: VMWare, Skype, and ActiveState Komodo IDE. ActiveState has recently made a FLOSS version of their editor (but not their debugger), I should really find an alternative to Skype, and I'm planning to try using kvm more than VMWare this year. However, I'll probably buy Nero, as the existing DVD authoring solutions on linux are still pretty bad. I think buying a copy of Nero to use on Linux so that I don't have to use iDVD in OS X to author DVDs is still a good step forward, and I hope that these applications being available on Ubuntu will help get even more people switched over to Linux, where they can continue the transition to using free software.
Finally, I'm excited about 8.04 because it means upgrades in our hosting environments all over the place - we had been running 6.06 on a lot of servers, and getting to upgrade to 8.04 will be a nice refresh.
By the way, I work for Canonical, but nobody asked me to blog about Ubuntu, or any of the stuff I have been blogging about like Launchpad or Bazaar. Inevitably, if someone asks me to blog about something, I just stop blogging. Dunno why I have such a strong reaction like that, but I really hate
IZEA astroturfing. I won't normally publish something negative about my current employer, because I think it is more responsible to try and fix problems directly rather than complaining in public, so thats why you normally see positive, enthusiastic posts. If I'm talking about it, it's something I like personally (usually).