Beyond pushing out a new graphical boot screen just before the feature freeze went into effect for Ubuntu 9.10, Canonical released the first public version of their own app store, previously codenamed AppCenter, but now known as the Ubuntu Software Store (or software-store as its package is called). Canonical does have some grand plans for the Ubuntu Software Store and in this article we have some screenshots of what it looks like currently and how it functions along with some of their plans for the future.
With the Ubuntu Software Store, Canonical is hoping to unify all of the different package management needs into a single, unified interface. While this will not be achieved in Ubuntu 9.10, Canonical is hoping that all of the capabilities of the update-manager, Synaptic, the computer janitor application, gdebi, and other package management-related programs will be merged into Ubuntu Software Store. When this has occurred, it will be easier on the new end-user having to just deal with a single program to provide all of this functionality.
In time for the Ubuntu 9.10 release in October, Canonical is hoping that the Ubuntu Software Store will be graphically pleasing, provide fast and error tolerant search, provide detailed information about individual software packages, interactive demonstration of how to use the software that the user has installed, improved security for the package installation, and begin linking up the software-store with Launchpad. According to its Wiki page, in time for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS they are hoping that the Ubuntu Software Store will replace Synaptic, Software Sources, Gdebi, and possibly the Update Manager. In that first Ubuntu release of the new decade they are also hoping to send all apt: links to open with the Ubuntu Software Store. The Launchpad + Ubuntu Software Store integration will also allow the storage of ratings and reviews of Ubuntu software, which will then be implemented on the client side in Ubuntu 10.10.