Yesterday, Martin Owens wrote on his site "Ubuntu broke so Now I use Windows" and I have to thank him for taking the time to write this as most other Ubuntu Community members would not dare touch this subject.
Im an Ubuntu user since 6.10 and have converted MANY people and installed Ubuntu on approx 75 machines now. All major problems cropped up for me around 11.04 Natty release so I keep people on hold at 10.10. Its interesting to read how Ubuntu users STILL have problems with Unity and Natty randomly freezing. Thats a major reason why after two months of using Natty I went back to 10.10 and quite happy.
I have been working with 11.10 since 1st beta and its extremely buggy still. This is hard to grasp considering we are only two weeks out from release. I think Ubuntu should focus on usability and quality instead of cutting edge systems that are unstable for most. Ive had five friends jump to Unity interface only to have all five go back to 10.10. For me, Unity is unproductive. Why should I mouse over, wait a second or two for Unity to appear, then mouse and wait more for the workspace switcher to get to my workspaces? Why should I have to break my concentration and flow by leaving the mouse to do keyboard shortcuts? So much easier to have my workspaces nestled in 10.10 on the bottom panel and right there for me. And thats just one example.
My sister is an avid Ubuntu user, buying a System76 a couple years back (and still working flawless). She wanted to use Unity so I put Natty on for her. She became very frustrated at just using an operating system to get basic tasks done. If Unity is your only intro to Ubuntu, then Yes, maybe it can make some sense, but as stated in the previous paragraph, it takes more steps (mental & physical) to get common tasks accomplished. She had enough after two weeks and yesterday I put her back on 10.10. The random lockups and system freezes was the clincher for her as she loved the Unity interface yet still found it difficult to use.
Maybe Ubuntu should consider going to a one year cycle to work out kinks and make the OS something to be feared for its usability AND stability. Many users still on 10.04 LTS and 10.10 (maybe natty too?) are unable to put an audio CD in and have Rhythmbox or Banshee pull up the track data. A major bug that gets left by the wayside because focus is always on the next release which always seems to be right around the corner. A one year cycle fixes these sorts of bugs that can get forgotten, yet are important to many many people.
Why not have Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, Edubuntu, Mythbuntu, etc all wrapped into one DVD? Users can pick at the beginning of install which they want, or if they have space, install all and be able to switch between them.
Just my 2 cents. I know nothing will change and us Ubuntu people need to speak up more instead of just being a fanboy or spokesperson for a great OS that might have some issues, in turn, pushing potential users away and making long time users look for other distros and operating systems.
My feet are firmly planted on Ubuntu's soil. Sure, Im probably labeled a fanboy by some, but stability should really be #1 priority. The best Ubuntu reviews I get from people are from 10.04 and 10.10 as they are pretty close to rock solid.