Broadcasting live from Ubuntu

I’ve been using Linux on and off (mostly off) for ten years. Every so often, someone declares that it’s ‘finally ready for the desktop’, and I download a version or two, to test those claims. Today is the big launch of the new version of Ubuntu (v7.04 – as in month 4 of year 07), which has established itself as the most friendly face of Linux… and you know what? This might finally be it.
I’m writing this minutes after booting up from the live CD. It all worked first time: all Windows drives mounted ready for action, and even my Wacom tablet worked (which I think is a Linux first). They make confident promises about wireless networking too, which I haven’t tried yet, but was ultimately why I aborted my last Linux experiment.
The key, embarrassingly enough, may be the ultra-cute ‘desktop effects’ which are only offered as a ‘technology preview’, and aren’t enabled by default. If you download Ubuntu, enable them – trust me on this. The ‘wobbly’ effect as you drag a window is just gorgeous, not to mention the transparency effects, the minimise/restore animations… yes, it’s enough to win my heart already.
I’ve got a big empty partition on my hard disk, waiting for a distribution worth committing to. I can still think of a few must-have applications which would stop me switching away from Windows; but with Firefox and OpenOffice on board, that’s 90%+ of what I need covered. I’ll keep playing with the Live CD for now… but the day of installation may be at hand.