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Ubuntu 11.10 Review: Benchmarked Against Windows 7

Ubuntu Software Center

New Look

The Ubuntu Software Center, underwent the most drastic interface change since its inception in Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala (see our review here).

Ubuntu Software Center in 11.10

Like much of Ubuntu, the Software Center continues to evolve toward a Mac OS X-like clone.

Mac App Store

While we don't necessarily disapprove of the OS X mimicry that has gone on in Ubuntu, this is one area we don't understand. FOSS projects like Ubuntu are often playing catch-up to the proprietary solutions like Windows and OS X. However, the Software Center is one area where Ubuntu was actually first.

New Options

Ubuntu 11.10 now has the ability to sync installed applications amongst multiple computers. This essentially lets you reinstall previously purchased software and previously installed free applications.

New Content

The Ubuntu 11.10 Software Center puts high-quality applications front and center. At the time of release, a massive banner for the award-winning arcade platformer Braid was displayed on the home screen. There is also a box for Top Rated software, which contains VLC, Blender, FileZilla, 7-Zip, and Hedgewars, among others.

The list of For Purchase software has also increased. It now includes a number of games, such as the aforementioned Braid, Crossover (which allows you to run certain Windows titles on Linux), and even OilRush (the newly-released naval RTS/tower defense game powered by the Unigine engine).

Also new to the Software Center are digital magazines. Ubuntu User, Linux Pro, Linux Magazine, and ADMIN are now available in digital form.

Magazines for sale in the Ubuntu Software Center