"Acer, the world's joint second largest manufacturer of PCs, has reportedly given October 23 as the date when Microsoft's successor to Windows Vista will become available."
If that date is confirmed, it would be very nice if Canonical could announce a new Ubuntu release on the exact same day.
The reason is simple:
All the news and articles that would talk about Windows 7 will start to mention the free, open source alternative. David vs. Goliath, what a story! Ubuntu 9.10 will surf on Windows 7 waves.
What that means to Open Source
Ubuntu 9.04 is one of the best Linux desktops ever released. It has the usability you expect from a modern Operating System, and is very light in comparison to Windows or Macs.
Canonical should use the following months to polish Ubuntu. Don't add new features -- think of Ubuntu 9.04 as "Ubuntu 9 RC1", competing with "Windows 7 RC1".
But Ubuntu also depends on its partners.
Firefox, for instance. Version 3.0 was fast and snappy when released. But now, after months of development, it is starting to crash more ofter than I'd like.
Don't get me wrong: Firefox is miles ahead of Internet Explorer 8. When comparing Windows 7 to Ubuntu, users will be also comparing Internet Explorer to Firefox -- and Ubuntu wins.
But we don't have much time to fix the problems, so Mozilla Foundation should stop working on new features and focus on performance and stability.
The same goes to OpenOffice. Differently from Firefox, I think it is much more stable and faster than previous versions. So, OpenOffice developers should keep their current focus.
And the same goes to all the other important Open Source projects: GNOME, Evolution, GIMP, Pidgin, Brasero...
Ideally, all the parts should be ready by early September. That's not much time.
Feature freeze now.
We have a great Release Candidate.
When Microsoft releases Windows 7, we'll have the best Linux desktop, ever.