Canonical unveils the Ubuntu Software Store

Published Date
31 - Aug - 2009
| Last Updated
31 - Aug - 2009
Canonical unveils the Ubuntu Software Store
With the auspicious Ubuntu 10.10, Ubuntu users are in for a treat. Canonical the creators of the amazing Ubuntu Linux distribution have plans for a new Ubuntu Software Store to set all of Ubuntu's application management woes right.

For someone who has just started using Linux, installing, uninstalling, and updating application can be a daunting task, especially thanks to the mess of dependencies. However once you start using it you realize how simple the process is compared to Windows, and how much more efficient.

While Windows requires the user to download the software from its own website, and install it using its own installer, uninstall it using the Windows "Add/Remove Software" or "Programs and Features" tool. Updating software is usually managed by the application itself, or needs to be done manually by the user, while updates to Microsoft products are managed through the Windows Update utility.

In Linux on the other hand, software are mostly managed as repositories from which you can download, install, and uninstall software using a unified interface. Updating application can also be managed centrally. 

Ubuntu's software management system is a mess of utilities, which when used by an experienced user can be quite powerful, but are nonetheless redundant and confusing for new users. They have started the new Ubuntu Software Store application project to simplify and integrate the process for all users. According to the project page:

"In Ubuntu 9.04, there are at least four graphical utilities promoted for installing and removing software. For installing and uninstalling graphical applications you can use “Add/Remove Applications“ or the more technical “Synaptic Package Manager”, though the former warns you to use the latter “for more complicated needs”. For installing and uninstalling other software, you must use Synaptic. For installing updates, the usual route is Update Manager, but it instructs you to run Synaptic if it encounters conflicts. For configuring where these utilities look for software, you use “Software Sources”. For installing downloaded .deb packages, you use gdebi. And for removing no-longer-needed software, you use Computer Janitor. This redundancy increases the amount of interface people have to learn, wastes space on the Ubuntu CD, and fragments development effort. Having multiple sanctioned graphical methods of installing software also makes people more likely to think that unsanctioned methods (such as Ultamatix or third-party Web sites) are also safe, when they are not. Meanwhile, the descriptions of available software are often technical gibberish..."


With the new Ubuntu Software Store they intend to eliminate these complexities by providing a single interface for finding, comparing, installing, uninstalling, updating, rating, and reviewing applications! 

They intend for this new system replace the current methods entirely, making it easier for all kinds of users with "an interface a grandparent can use."

While it is not expected to replace the current system until Ubuntu 10.10, some of it will start showing up in Ubuntu 9.10 coming out soon. Till then you can check out the project's page and test it even before it comes out. We know you want to!