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Gallery: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3

In terms of the user interface, Canonical’s Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” represents a significant departure from previous versions. Will end-users accept the changes?
By Jason Perlow, Senior Contributing Writer
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Ubuntu Linux 11.04 now uses the "Unity" user interface, which features a prominent "Task Bar" on the left hand side that acts as both a task manager in addition to a common application launcher. Shown on the desktop is LibreOffice Writer, the word processing program that comes with the new LibreOffice productivity suite which replaces OpenOffice 3 in previous versions of Ubuntu.

See also Jason Perlow's full report, Ubuntu Linux 11.04: A whale of changes for Canonical's user base.

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Nautilus is still the default file manager although it now uses the context-based menuing system in 11.04.

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Firefox Version 4 is the default web browser that ships with Ubuntu 11.04. As you can see the web browser menus appear in the top menu context navigation area, a la Mac OS X.

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Virtual desktops can be paged through using the Unity Taskbar. Applications in the Taskbar automatically zoom to the correct desktop they are running in when selected.

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The Windows or "Super" key brings up the main search interface which allows you to find applications and files on your computer.
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Here's another search view showing installed applications.

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Banshee is Ubuntu's equivalent to iTunes. You can connect and sync it with your iPod, iPhone and even Android devices. A built-in music store allows you to buy content from Amazon or Ubuntu One. You can also stream live music from Last.fm.

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Here's how file management is represented in the within the Search interface.

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