I installed Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) Alpha 6 on both of my laptops over the weekend, and it looks very good. In the original announcement of the Intrepid Ibex development, Ubuntu spoke of giving priority to "pervasive internet access", and it appears to me that they have made good progress on that.
I mentioned last week that the Network Manager / Mobile Broadband was very close to working with my Sierra Wireless AirCard 880. With this new alpha release, it's no longer "very close", it works just fine. When I insert the AirCard a new entry shows up in the Network Manager menu, and when I click on Mobile Broadband the AirCard connects and I get 2+ Mbps download and 256+ Kbps upload speeds. Very impressive - and let me just say again, this is "out of the box", with no configuration, adjustment, definition or fine-turning necessary.
I still have two relatively minor problems with this alpha. First, it does not automatically detect and adjust the screen resolution when my S6510 is connected to its port replicator, which has an external Acer LCD display on it. This seems a bit odd to me, because Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) does this with no problem. It obviously sees that something is connected to the external display, because the screen resolution changes from 1280x800, which is automatically sets up for the laptop display, to 1024x768.
Second, the Alpha-6 release now includes Firefox 3.0.2 beta, which doesn't work with the Citrix ICA Client. More specifically, it appears to me that the actual problem is with the Juniper Networks Host Checker, which is used by the ICA Client. Whichever it is, I was able to get around the problem by downloading and installing Firefox 3.0.1. I assume this problem will be solved by the time Ubuntu 8.10 and Firefox 3.0.2 get to final release.
The final release for Intrepid Ibex is planned for the end of October.