Canonical’s founder Mark Shuttleworth has revealed that version 9.04 of the popular Ubuntu Linux open source operating system is set to debut on April 2009. Officially dubbed Jaunty Jackalope, the name follows the company’s practice of naming each release after an animal and this latest version will focus on the convergence of desktop and web and improving boot times – also one of Microsoft’s priorities for its upcoming Windows 7 operating system.

The Ubuntu development community is currently gearing up for the 8.10 release next month, codenamed Intrepid Ibex, but Shuttleworth is already laying out his vision for what Jackalope will be all about – ambitiously pitching it against the likes of Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s OSX. While the announcement concentrates of general goals, rather than specific features, more details will be available after the upcoming Ubuntu Developer Summit in December.

One notable announcement Shuttleworth did make, from a development point of view, is that Jaunty Jackalope will mark the first time that all of Ubuntu’s software will be managed by Bazaar, Ubuntu’s revision control system, which will purportedly make it easier for a wider developer audience to collaborate with the project.