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Maverick Meerka, the Mascot of Ubuntu 10.10

Ubuntu 10.10 that will be out in October 2010 has been codenamed Maverick Meerka. Mark Shuttleworth made the announcement on his blog, where he also announced pertinent changes in this upcoming release cycle.

This is a time of change, and we’re not afraclass to surprise people with a bold move if the opportunity for dramatic improvement presents itself. We want to put Ubuntu and free software on every single consumer PC that ships from a major manufacturer, the ultimate maverick move. We will deliver on time, but we have huge scope for innovation in what we deliver this cycle. Once we have released the LTS we have plenty of room to shake things up a little. Let’s hear the best ideas, gather the best talent, and be a little radical in how we approach the next two year major cycle.

Why Maverick Meerka and not Magical Mouse or Majestic Mammoth??? Shuttleworth has always been good with words…

Meerkats are, of course, light, fast and social – everything we want in a Perfect 10. We’re booting really fast these days, but the final push remains. Changes in the toolchain may make us even faster for every application. We’re Social from the Start, but we could get even more tightly connected, and we could bring social features into even more applications. Meerkats are family-oriented, and we aspire to having Ubuntu being the safe and efficient solution for all the family netbooks. They are also clever – meerkats teach one another new skills. And that’s what makes this such a great community.

[Update 1]
Ubuntu 10.10 Release Schedule
Canonical has once again modified the Ubuntu release schedule, this time around instead of three Alphas and two Beta releases as with Ubuntu 10.10 “Lucid Lynx” LTS the will be 4-Alpha versions and a single beta release for Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerka

June 3rd, 2010 – Alpha 1 release;
July 1st, 2010 – Alpha 2 release;
August 5th, 2010 – Alpha 3 release;
September 2nd, 2010 – Alpha 4 release;
September 23rd, 2010 – Beta release;
October 21st, 2010 – Release Candidate;
October 28th, 2010 – Final release of Ubuntu 10.10.