We are really very close. Still testing some new and exciting things.
I can confirm a couple of things I intend on trying if they pass QA over the next week.
1. Using the 3.2 Kernel instead of 3.0 - there are lots of fixes, I have found what seems to be a good PPA that houses a current 3.2 Kernel for this version, and I am testing. I might still roll one specifically for wattOS, but that takes more time and would prefer to stay with the PPA that I am testing with now.
Below is a list of likely apps to make the final cut that I am testing now
Pinta - new photo editing app that is easy to use, lightweight, but not to strange to figure out for the average user. Much more user friendly than Gimp, but has many of the same basic features.
Pidigin- back in for IM /chat functions
Midori or Chromium - still needs to be settled. I am testing Midori exlusively for the next few days in my day to day work to see how it performs. It certainly consumes less memory, but Chromium is much more mature and has many more plugins, tools, etc.
Brasero - for CD burning (probably the last time for a CD burning app as CD's and DVD's are becoming less prevalent)
Cheese for web cams
SMPlayer for video
ePDFViewer for PDF since its lighter and seems to handle big PDF's better on low resource systems
Jupiter - for managing performance and power savings as well as easy manipulation of video settings (right in the panel) (change power consumption/processor utilization, video size, multiple monitors, etc)
Network Manager replaces Wicd - memory footprint is neglibable and ease of use for average folks is much better.
Many more tweaks for power management and tools including PowerTop and lm-sensors, etc. included by default.
I will be publishing some specific power consumption comparisons over the newt week between wattOS R4 and R5 as well as Windows 7 on the same hardware. I bought a "Kill A Watt" power meter and I am putting it to good use :)
Continued tweaks for low memory as the screen shots show, I am still sitting around 64MB on a vanilla machine. More to come on that, and some other interesting utilities I am including with this release to give to control over things relatively easily.
Oh and yes the software update manager is included and works well, and it checks for updates once weekly and will alert you of any security related issues. You also have the ability to change that app however you would like.
More to come!