Ubuntu Linux currently has two main versions to their OS releasing cycle. One is the “usual” version that releases a new version after each 6 months and is supported up to 2 years (software updates, bug fixes, etc).
The other version is released using the code-name of LTS (long term support) and they release a new LTS version after every 2 years (supported up to 3 years for the Desktop and 5 years for the Severer, previously), but Canonical just announced that the upcoming LTS Desktop edition 12.04 (code named “Precise Pangolin”) will also be supported up to 5 years! (the Server edition support is “untouched”).
The LTS versions are aimed more at the business communities (+ the users who don’t like have a new version after each 6 month “thing” 🙂 ) thus unlike with the usual 6 months release… the LTS includes thoroughly tested, secure software in comparison.
The Ubuntu Engineering director Rick Spencer said that…
“Ubuntu has always been known for its ability to keep pace with the latest applications and hardware”. But as our user-base grows and matures the ability to plan for the longer term is vital.
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS will give desktop users the perfect combination of keeping pace with hardware changes and extended support depending on their needs”.
So according to Canonical, both users and the manufactures will benefit from this decision since from now on they can manufacture PCs for the same software platform for extended period thus giving business an up to date hardware embedded PCs still with the same level of software security and stability.
When considered Ubuntu’s ever growing popularity (despite Gnome desktop “ditching” and other few highly criticized decisions, oops kinda slipped out 🙂 ) and recently Mark Shuttleworth himself said that …
“We also need to do justice to the fact that 12.04 LTS will be the preferred desktop for many of the world’s biggest Linux desktop deployments, in some cases exceeding half a million desktops in a single institution. So 12.04 is also an opportunity to ensure that our desktop is manageable at scale…”
… I think 12.04 had this coming for sometime now.