The Ark Linux project is pleased to announce the release of Ark Linux NT (New Technology).
As the name implies, this new version is built around entirely new technologies – in particular, we have replaced KDE SC with a much more user friendly desktop known as “wine explorer.exe”, and OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice with the vastly superior “wine msoffice.exe”. Crappy open source games have been replaced with proper equivalents from the professional world (wine minesweeper.exe). Konsole and xterm have been replaced with dosemu to provide a much better command line experience.
Unfortunately given the licensing restrictions on some of the new technologies, this version can not be downloaded or freely distributed – Ark Linux NT is available for just $1999.99 at your favorite Linux shop. Ark Linux remains a non-profit project – the fee is entirely for the cost of creating the DVDs (we had to get away from the 1 CD installer in favor of 7 DVDs to retain the same level of functionality) and 3rd party licensing fees – $250 for the office suite, $560 for Windows 7 Ultimate neeed to get the revolutionary explorer.exe desktop, and $950 for replacing Krita and Scribus with the Adobe Creative Suite.
Nevertheless, this release has found high praise in the press and among the community.
Feedback ranged from “Replacing that crappy KDE with a desktop that actually works was a very smart idea, and it gets rid of that non-free Qt crap! This is the first version of Ark Linux I’m actually going to look at.” (Miguel de Icaza of the GNOME project) over “We hereby certify that this is the only version of Linux that is legal to use.” (Steve Ballmer, Microsoft) to “This is great! I’ve never seen a better version of Linux (and finally we’ll have a market on Linux too)!” (Mark Bregman, Symantec, Antivirus division).
The only slightly less enthusiastic – but less than devastating – comment came from a Free Software Foundation spokesperson: “It should be called Ark GNU/Linux NT.”
If you believed any of this, look at a calendar. But on a positive note, the next release that actually exists will be ready rather soon – I’ve been running development builds on all of my boxes for a while now, the most important remaining unfinished piece is the new network config tool.