The popular Linux distribution Ubuntu has just unveiled its new focus: A way to navigate the menu choices, without actually using any menus. The menus have simply been replaced by a so-called HUD (Heads Up Display), which allows you to search for what you are trying to find, without the need for long menus and submenus.

The new HUD will work across programs and applications, and will be one of the basic features of the operating system. For Mac users, this may be compared to programs like Alfred or Quicksilver , although Ubuntu’s new menu system can do far more.  You can do everything from composing a new e-mail, browse your bookmarks, search the menu items in your photo program or change the status of your Instant Messaging program.

It certainly looks like a smooth solution, but the question is how easy it is use for new users, who often don’t  know quite what they’re really looking for. The same might also apply to more experienced users when a new version of an installed program is released with brand new features and menu items, which suddenly can be difficult to find.

Fortunately, it will still be possible to find a way into tthe text menus, even if the goal is that the HUD will eventually replace the traditional menu system.

In the video below you can see the HUD in action.

What do you think? Is this the way to go?