The Fedora Project made the latest version of its OS – Fedora 15 (codenamed Lovelock) – generally available a couple of weeks ago.
Although there is a town in Nevada called Lovelock, I’m assuming the Fedora Project named the latest version after James Lovelock, inventor of the microwave and originator of the Gaia Theory of how planet earth is a self-regulating organism able to adjust various parameters to maintain some sort of biological and geological balance.
Having reviewed version 14 last year, I installed Fedora 15, creating a dual-boot system with Windows 7 Ultimate on our Labs test system – a Dell Optiplex 980 desktop system.
Anybody who has tried to create such a dual-boot system knows that any Linux distribution needs installing after Windows since Redmond’s all-conquering OS just can’t abide co-existing with any other operating system.
In fact, Windows goes out of its way to knobble other OSes having the temerity to co-exist with it, and cuckoo-like makes sure it is the only operating system that boots, stamping out any attempts by other OSes.
Remember all the furore about Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser being the only browser available after Windows was installed?
The EU brought its weight to bear on Redmond, and in 2009 Microsoft offered users a choice of which browsers they’d like installed on Windows.
Well, I’d have thought Linux distributors have a much better case to present to the IT gnomes at the EU, since Windows not only fails to present users with a screen showing which other operating systems are installed on their systems, it only boots itself. Of course, this has been the case for years, so why the Linux vendors haven’t been shouting from the rooftops is a mystery. Maybe it’s those exorbitant lawyers’ fees.
Once I had Fedora installed and running, it became clear that the earlier rumours of something afoot in Fedora 15 were true. Fedora has a new look and feel, courtesy of the Gnome 3 interface. Fedora 15 was easy to use, and apps such as the office productivity easy to install; in fact, I wrote this column using LibreOffice’s Writer package.
Journalists have been banging on about Linux for decades, but I suppose it’s only in the past four or five releases that Linux distributions have sorted out hardware drivers and standard office apps to the point that they all work without requiring repeated helpdesk calls.
I’d like to think Linux could still grab a significant market share in the enterprise and on consumer desktops, but maybe I’m just a naïve geek with rose-tinted glasses – and always will be. I can dream, can’t I?