Ubuntu Project founder Mark Shuttleworth has revealed the Linux-based operating system's next big step: replacing the menu paradigm. The HUD works like a system-wide search box in the vein of Alfred or LaunchBar for Mac, but returns commands within nested menus. For example, bringing up the HUD and typing "D" would return results including "Edit > Delete" or "File > Open > DVD_cover_300DPI," like the Help search field in OS X. The system is designed to streamline the process of using menus, saving the time of physically looking for what you need on the screen — you don't need to know what folder or subheading to dive into. It certainly looks sleek in motion, though we wonder how easy it will be to use if you don't know what you're looking for — the good news is that the traditional menus will be displayed in the panel. The HUD should work for any standard Ubuntu app with global menu support when version 12.04 is released in April, and the ultimate goal is for it to replace the menu in all Unity applications. Shuttleworth says that the next step for the HUD is integrating voice control, along with gestures and touch.
HUD in Ubuntu v12.04 to eventually replace the menu
Ubuntu version 12.04 will feature a new command-based HUD system that is ultimately designed to replace the menu. Users type in commands, rather than scroll through lists.