I don’t see how this approach offers a more “thoughtful” installation. It sounds a bit like a solution in search of a problem. Presumably there’s some user-research to show people are struggling with the choice of “minimal installation” and “full installation” and the impacts thereof?
And if shipping LibreOffice and Thunderbird by default is affecting the usability of Ubuntu, does the latter solicitation of whether to bundle in software like GNOME Weather and Solitaire, help or undermine the goal?
I appreciate I may be missing something (wouldn’t be for the first time) — but rather than making installations faster, forcing users to sift through a list of software to check boxes or hit buttons to install the software they want — yay choice — sounds like it’s going to slow things down…
And that assumes, as has been pointed out, that users even know what apps they want!
I don’t think “app bundles” are a solution. They’re cute on paper — “creative super pack”, “social media power up”, etc - but what’s the criteria for what’s included? Who decides? And aren’t bundles of apps just repeating the problem the default install (supposedly) has given it effectively already comes with a bundle of apps (not every one of which people want)?
I mean it’s not like we collectively lack the ability to install the apps we want as things stand - Ubuntu comes with a package manager and software center.
A smaller ISO would be welcome but since the proposition here is that we all have super-fast connections allowing us download the software we want on demand… renders ISO size moot.
You say “clearly neither [current] option suits the varied needs of our users” — but I have to confess: it’s not clear to me!
Ubuntu should ship sane defaults that “just work” for the broadest set of people and, crucially, offer the best software open-source has to offer. I think the current curated install ticks all those boxes