This Thursday Canonical will release the next incarnation of Ubuntu, version 10.04, codenamed "Lucid Lynx." This release does something that no other OS has done and integrate "social" right into the OS.
Lucid Lynx will bring with it a whole host of UI betterments, but the aspect that I think will be a big hit amongst users is social integration. Ubuntu 10.04 will come, out of the box, equipped with a browser, an email client, and IM client and a music store.
The music store comes in the form of Ubuntu One, an iTunes without the DRM that gives users access to millions of tunes.
An app going by the odd name of Gwibber allows users to combine data from Twitter, Facebook, Digg and other online services. This microblogging app is built directly into the OS so users can boot and and hook into their data streams effortlessly.
No other OS, not Windows, not Mac OS X, not the even the "hyped to the heavens" iPhone and iPad platform, offers users so much social integration right out of the box. No additional software required.
It's early days, but this OS could allow Linux to get an additional foothold in the OEM market, targeting a more mainstream user base. Courting social network enthusiasts could be a good move for Canonical and Ubuntu - because if the OS is popular, these people could be very influential and help spread the word to a new audience.