With Ubuntu 9.04, the Jaunty Jackalope, now in a feature freeze for the April release of this distribution update, Mark Shuttleworth has announced the Ubuntu 9.04 successor.
Succeeding Ubuntu 9.04 come October will be Ubuntu 9.10, which has been codenamed the Karmic Koala. With Ubuntu 9,10, Mark hopes the Karmic Koala further enhances Ubuntu's position on servers with cloud computing improvements and on the desktop through a number of emerging technologies.
Ubuntu 9.10 will contain cloud computing enhancements for those using the Amazon EC2 service or for those looking to build their own computing cloud. There will be new utilities and other improvements in the free software stack to better position Ubuntu in the cloud.
As for the desktop, there's a lot of thing we hope will land in Ubuntu 9.10. For example will it most likely integrate Plymouth. Plymouth is the wonderful project developed by Red Hat to replace RHGB as the boot splash program. Plymouth was introduced with Fedora 10 and uses kernel mode-setting (on supported drivers/hardware) to provide a clean and flicker-free experience. Plymouth also has a number of plug-ins and other capabilities that makes it an excellent replacement for USplash. We previously reported on plans for Plymouth integration in Ubuntu 9.10.
Beyond finally having an Ubuntu release with kernel mode-setting support (since Ubuntu 9.04 will not ship with Linux 2.6.29 that brings forth KMS), on the desktop front the Karmic Koala will also focus on netbook improvements.
In the Ubuntu 9.10 announcement, Mark wants Ubuntu to be able to boot on netbooks in under 25 seconds with Jaunty and even faster with the Koala. More on boot performance here. Beyond that, more improvements will come in the Ubuntu Netbook Edition spin of the Karmic Koala.
It is also planned that Ubuntu 9.10 will feature the long awaited Face-browser.
As part of announcing Ubuntu 9.10, Mark Shuttleworth has also stated the next Ubuntu Developer Summit will take place at the end of May in Barcelona, Spain.
If you want to know more about the koalas, Mike Basinger wrote a blogpost titled "10 things you did not know about Karmic Koalas" which is very funny.
The Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" announcement can be found on the Ubuntu developer mailing list.