Just days after marking the end of life of Ubuntu 13.10, Canonical has released Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS, the newest version of its open source Linux operating system for desktops, servers, the cloud and (coming soon, maybe) mobile devices.
This update is a point release that brings a series of updates, none of them particularly momentous on its own, to Ubuntu 14.04, which debuted in April of this year. Taken together, however, the long list of changes represents significant enhancements to the operating system, which is particularly important because Ubuntu 14.04 is a long-term support (LTS) version of the platform.
Of particular note are a number of new hardware drivers that add support for various kinds of bluetooth, wireless and audio devices, as well as improved performance for certain graphics cards. Hardware support on Linux is exponentially better these days than it was until a few years ago, but since the myth of poor device compatibility continues to haunt the Linux world, updates on this front will be welcome.
It's interesting that Canonical has issued a point release with such extensive changes because, in the past, the company has focused generally on fixing only the most serious bugs between Ubuntu releases, and has waited for new versions to introduce less vital updates. But rolling out a point release to fix bugs in an existing operating system only months after the release originally debuts makes sense within the context of Canonical's shift toward a production cycle that prioritizes LTS releases and reduces the duration of support for other releases to only nine months—which is why Ubuntu 13.10, the version that appeared in October 2013 and immediately preceded Ubuntu 14.04, already reached its end of life earlier this month.