It’s here! Days like today come only twice a year for Ubuntu lovers. I’m talking about the operating system hitting yet another huge milestone, Ubuntu 7.10, which brings features like read/write support for NTFS drives, desktop search, Compiz Fusion, and more! Since we’ve already reviewed Ubuntu 7.10 back when it was in the Beta stage I thought I would take this time to detail Kubuntu 7.10!

–New Features–

I snapped over a dozen screenshots of the new operating system so that you can see it from every aspect, and let’s start with a look at what’s new:

  • KDE 3.5.8 – Kubuntu comes with the most up-to-date version of KDE which was just released earlier this week.
  • Dolphin File Management – The new default file manager in Kubuntu makes navigating your file system extremely quick, but not meant to replace Konqueror. Some of the main features of Dolphin are: a navigation bar for quick navigation through the file system, view properties are saved for each folder, split views, undo and redo functionality, renaming of multiple selected items in one easy step. The screenshot on the left shows the main Dolphin interface, and the one on the right is connected to a remote Vista machine:
    Dolphin Dolphin Network
  • Restricted Driver Management – Kubuntu 7.10 now includes the same Restricted Drivers Manager as Ubuntu. The Restricted Drivers Manager is a control module that allows you to simply install drivers for your hardware that are of the non-free variety. Such drivers include the NVIDIA 3D graphics driver, the ATI 3D graphics driver, Broadcom wireless drivers and more.
  • 2.3 – The latest version of the open source office suite is included with Kubuntu.
    OpenOffice Kubuntu
  • Enterprise Personal Information Management – The Enterprise version of Kontact is included for more advanced functionality.
  • Strigi Desktop Search – It’s kind of like using Google Desktop Search, only the results aren’t shown as you type them. You must hit the “Search” button to see results, and they are displayed in your browser.
    Strigi Desktop Search Strigi Desktop Search Preferences

–Other Features–

Now that was a lot of stuff, I know, but to make this review more complete I thought I would snap some screenshots of other things in Kubuntu. So here they are:

  • Desktop feed reading – Kubuntu includes two options for reading RSS feeds from sites: Akregator and Kontact. Whatever feeds you have in Akregator will automatically be displayed in Kontact:
    Akregator Kontact Feeds
  • Getting your groove on – Amarok is one of my favorite media players.
  • Chat with your friends – Kopete makes it easy to chat it up with all your friends, no matter what network they are on!
  • Watch your back – Make sure your computer is performing the way it should by using System Guard. I mean who doesn’t love seeing pretty graphs of their computer’s performance?
    System Guard
  • Wireless made easy – As soon as I started up Kubuntu I was able to connect to my wireless network…or one from my neighbors. ;) I can’t believe what great strides have been made to ensure wireless access is a painless process in Ubuntu/Kubuntu.

–The Verdict–

Now I’m a KDE lover at heart, but Ubuntu’s GNOME interface has really been warming up to me lately. Kubuntu is definitely a nice distribution, but it doesn’t come with Compiz Fusion out-of-the-box like Ubuntu 7.10 does. That might not matter to some of you, but I’m a sucker for good eye candy. I’m going to give my KDE award this year to Mandriva 2008.