The first beta of Ubuntu 12.04, codenamed Precise Pangolin, was made available today. The 12.04 release, which is the next major version of the popular Linux distribution, will officially launch in April. It’s a long-term support release, which means that it will receive updates and support for five years.
Precise will introduce some noteworthy improvements to Unity, Ubuntu’s user interface shell. The biggest enhancement to Unity in 12.04 is the HUD, a new keyboard-driven user interface for accessing menu items. Version 12.04 will also bring better hardware support, such as improved power management for certain hardware configurations, and updated software.