According to reports, Ubuntu might be moving away from the six month release cycle to a rolling release. According to Mark Shuttleworth, daily updates are required in an increasingly internet based world to keep Ubuntu up to date with other platforms. He also said that the Software Center will assume an increasingly important role.
This is what he said:
Today we have a six-month release cycle. In an internet-oriented world, we need to be able to release something every day. That's an area we will put a lot of work into in the next five years. The small steps we are putting in to the Software Center today, they will go further and caster than people might have envisioned in the past.
Ubuntu has strictly followed a six month release schedule since Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft. With the six month release schedule not only are the core components updated every six months, even third party applications like Firefox, OpenOffice etc. are also updated to the new version only once in six months.
A rolling release has been something that I have wanted in Ubuntu for a long time. It eliminates the hassles of having to do a clean install every six months – the upgrade never seems to work for me. A rolling release ensures that you get the latest software quickly as a part of the official update.
However a rolling update also has its disadvantages. The components tends to get a more thorough testing before becoming a part of the next release cycle. With rolling releases sometime there may be stability problems – like if an obscure package might not have been tested thoroughly.
All in all, both the fixed release schedule and rolling release has their advantages and disadvantages. However I prefer a rolling release. Which one doyou prefer?
Anyway Mark Shuttleworth has not explicitly said that Ubuntu is moving to rolling release yet. He might be talking about the backport PPAs, nightlies etc. So, no need to get all excited on this yet.