Adrian Kingsley-Hughes wrote a piece Monday on whether Ubuntu had plateaued, essentially cranking out service packs on their 6 month release schedule. What I want to know, though, is why this is a bad thing?
What this means is that Ubuntu has reached an incredible state of maturity and schools can quite happily use it without fear of obsolescence in 6 months. It also means that incremental updates are easily applied without significant disruption to labs or servers, while allowing users to take advantage of new features (whether they are exciting and sexy or merely useful and mundane).
It's one thing for me to fire up the latest and greatest distro from Canonical on my laptop and take it for a spin, kicking around visual effects and seeing what interesting packages I could find and use. It's quite another to do that in a school (or any enterprise, for that matter) with a barebones IT staff and teachers struggling to use something "not Windows" in the first place.
It's a great thing to revolutionize in computing and hats off to Canonical and all of the developers who have contributed to *buntu for bringing Linux into the mainstream and making it really usable for educators looking to credibly replace proprietary solutions. Hats off as well for just continuing to let the software evolve without making users jump through any new hoops.
While the geek in me is always looking for something new, improved, and uber-cool, the IT admin in me just wants something that works well and consistently, keeping my users happy and my costs down. Evolution can't be revolution for the geeks, but evolution is very much our friend as we make the case for rolling out non-Windows solutions in our schools.