When Canonical introduced its new Ubuntu Unity interface, a major design element was a global, universal menu that all apps would use. Things have changed. Canonical is switching back to local app menus.
Regardless of whether it was a design decision to make the most of today's high-end displays or because of grumbling users, local menus, LIM is on its way. For now, it's only available in Ubuntu 14.04 Long Term Support (LTS) betas. This feature first appeared with a way to manually disable Unity global menu on a per-app basis.
In the latest betas, you can set all your programs to use local menus from the Unity Control Center Appearance panel. If all goes well during testing, Ubuntu 14.04 will be released on April 17, 2014, and the default will be set to local menus.
Personally, I rather liked the global menu... on smaller screens. Like Canonical's developers, I've noticed that on my larger displays, such as my 24-inch Samsung SC770 Monitor, the menu can be a long, long way from my active application's window. In other words, I can see why the return to local menus will be useful. So long as Ubuntu gives us a choice about which menu style to use from an easy-to-access control panel, I'll be happy.