The Ubuntu roadmap suggests that it will graduate to version 11.10 codenamed Oneiric Ocelot next month. With this new version of Ubuntu, we will see new features, one of them being Ubuntu Friendly. Ubuntu Friendly is a user-feedback system that determines whether Ubuntu runs smoothly on particular hardware or not.
The Ubuntu Friendly wiki explains the system as,
Ubuntu Friendly is an open hardware validation programme for desktops, netbooks and laptops that will be developed during the Oneiric cycle and that will allow to validate as “Ubuntu Friendly” those systems that are known to work well with a particular release of Ubuntu, based on test results sent by Ubuntu users.
The basic aim of the system is to make lives easier for Ubuntu users and to help them decide on buying of laptops and desktops. The review system however, is not completely user-controlled. There is software that runs the review test and it is already available in Launchpad PPA. The Ubuntu Friendly brand is owned by Canonical. However, there are no commercial criteria for a system to be Ubuntu friendly. It just needs to pass the test successfully.
The Ubuntu friendly program has two teams- the Ubuntu Friendly Squad and the Ubuntu Friendly Control. The Ubuntu Friendly Squad will collect test results, check them for completeness and sort them out. It will also maintain documentation for the program and write new tests for Ubuntu Friendly. Ubuntu Friendly Control is more about managing the Ubuntu Friendly community, as a whole .It will have rights to add and remove members from the program and manage results so that they do not bias the system.
While collecting user-reviews and system compatibility data, the Ubuntu Friendly program will also give Ubuntu users a feeling of being a part of the community. It will be interesting to see whether users take interest in this review system or not.
For more information of Ubuntu Friendly, take a look at their FAQ page.