The new version of Ubuntu comes out on Oct. 30th. After running my machines through beta versions of Ubuntu during the last development cycle, I decided to be a bit more patient this go around. I left my laptop and primary desktop machines alone, but last weekend I updated the girls machine to the beta version last weekend. It seems I updated during a window in which a bug was causing some upgrades to fail. The bug would cause the machine to bootup and right before login would just give you a brown background. I filed a bug, which got marked as a duplicate of https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/rarian/+bug/284074 After it was fixed, a fix for broken systems was posted and I got the girls machine back up and working.
The wallpaper was going to be this, which looks like poop through a kaleidoscope. It looks like they finally changed it to this, which looks amazing and is on par with their previous wallpaper's quality.
The next major noticeable difference is that everything feels a lot more responsive.
Wallpaper candidates can be found at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Artwork/Incoming/Intrepid/Desktop_Background_Submissions There are some really great pieces of art in there.
About a month ago I tried to update our XO. The update left me with an unusable machine. I couldn't even get to the terminal to try any repaired. After some searching last night I found out how to restore it to factory default settings. Once that was done I did a clean upgrade which essentially wipes the drive clean and builds the latest version off of a USB key. The latest updates give a better user interface and it also feels a little more responsive. I even gave it the brand-spanking-new Flash 10 which seems to run fine.
In just about two weeks I will be upgrading my primary PC and laptop with the final version of Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex.