The latest release of the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution, 13.04, made yesterday, marks a departure on at least two fronts.
For one, it will be supported only for nine months, not the regular 18 months that support has been offered for earlier releases.
Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu, offers long-term support of two years for one release in four; the next LTS release will be 14.04. Earlier, LTS releases were supported for three years.
The company has also decided to give up the idea of rolling releases which it had floated earlier this year. The current six-monthly release schedule will be adhered to.
The 13.04 release, also known as Raring Ringtail, offers the new Friends service which can be employed to consolidate all social networking accounts using Ubuntu Online Accounts.
The release is available in 42 languages
. There are two variants of the release - Ubuntu GNOME and UbuntuKylin, the former an official version that uses the GNOME desktop environment and the latter a version customised for Chinese users.
The next release of Ubuntu, due out in October, will be known as Saucy Salamander.
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