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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

State of OS4 address

Hey guys its been an exciting year.  One year ago we relaunched OS4 and in some ways its been a greater experience than most anything.  We have laughed, we have cried and we have struggled to get back in the game.  The balls in our court and one thing that goes on is the introduction of criticisms and ideas.  But despite all the criticisms the consensus is the same, that OS4 OpenDesktop is the best desktop Linux distribution on the market today.  So lets go ahead and clear up some of these criticisms right now and we will tell you whats coming up.

Now keep in mind, that when a project or product becomes popular, people tend to come out of the wood work and quickly dismiss as junk or say that its not good enough.  Those arent the criticisms that I want to address.  I appreciate everyones opinion and if they want to open useful dialogue about what we are doing wrong or right Im excited to discuss it.  First, are we trying to resurrect the BeOS or the Amiga?  This is something we have been fighting since PC/OS came out and the answer is a resounding no.  BeOS/Zeta and the AmigaOS were very much unique and ahead of their times.  They were at the forefront of the PC revolution and one thing that they did was inspire creativity, and they ushered in the era of curiosity.  Thats something we all try to do in the computer industry, to inspire and to bring out the creativity and curiosity of people interested in computing but thats not done through Window managers or a theme for a Window manager or placing a deskbar in the system.  So how does OS4 try to inspire creativity and bring out the curiosity in people?  We do it by providing easy to use, modern tools and to bring users a system thats easy to understand, thats easy to use and to bring forth a modern toolset that we hope will inspire learning and understanding and will introduce a new generation to the joys of computing and coding.  I want you to stay up until 5 am using Gambas, QT Creator, Mono or whatever tool you decide is the best fit for you being creative, solving complex problems and to contribute.  

Some people claim that myself and the rest of the team are creating our next generation platform only for monetary gain.  If that was true, I would have enhanced BSD, close sourced it and just put it for sale.  We, as a team,  all believe in Open Source.  We believe that its OK to share ideas and ideals, sharing for the betterment of human kind is not a bad thing.  Commercialization is not a bad concept.  This is how certain companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Red Hat feel towards the world and thats OK too.  Every piece of software that PC/OpenSystems LLC or myself create is always contributed back to the communities.   Can a open source company survive?  Yes, we have been around since 2008, 5 years now and we are stronger now than we were then and we are stronger not only because we create the best platform, but because we have never abandoned our ideals.  One of the things we do is educate people, we have never and will never bad mouth our competitors or make up some dodgy scary numbers as to why we are better than they are.  Every number and statement that we release has been researched and factual.  We dont need to bad mouth our competition, we learn from them.  We learn what they do wrong and where we need to get better.  So I hope that clears up a few of the criticisms of the team, the company and myself.

Now, where are we at now with OS4?  We are at version 13.3 of the Opendesktop product and we are at 4.0 of the Enterprise Server product.  So with this we have a few announcements to make.

PC/OS PowerStation is dated and pretty much obsolete at this moment and time.  It has not been enhanced in 3 years and since I no longer have a PowerPC based machine, we are announcing End of Life for PC/OS PowerStation.

Of the PC/OS line we are also announcing end of life for PC/OS 2008/2009 and 10.0.  PC/OS 10.1 and 11 are still supported and we will announce end of life for those products in 2014.  Those customers who used PC/OS 2008/2009 and 10.0 have already migrated to OS4.

OS4 OpenServer becomes OS4 Enterprise 4.  The price is still the same and we have added a lot of enterprise features to OS4 Server products and it is one of the best server products in the world.  But it will also be OS4 Enterprise Desktop.  It will ship with all the common desktop components and include the Server components.  It will also include LibreOffice , QT Creator and Gambas and other tools.  But OS4 Enterprise 4 can be utilized as either a desktop or a server

OS4 KDE is being discontinued.  Feedback from our partners in Asia and Europe have all said that the OS4 interface as it is, is excellent.  We will still support the QT toolkit and you will be able to run ALL QT based applications on OS4.  I recently asked on the Facebook page and in the OS4 fan group about interfaces and the Workspace Manager won, resoundingly, hands down.  So going forward XFCE/Workspace Manager will remain the default desktop.

The OS4 interface will not change.  We have gotten a lot of positive feedback and this is it.  Now we will be releasing a series of videos on customizing the interface to make it look more like the Mac and Windows if thats what you guys prefer.  The OS4 desktop is completely customizable to your liking.  This includes icons, windows borders and placement of the panels.  Its your operating system and if you want it to look a certain way it should.  We will however be releasing Nautilus with OS4.  This is an extremely cut down version of Nautilus.  It contains none of the GNOME dependencies so there is no un-needed or unwanted software running on your system and its incredibly fast.  It will be set up initially so you guys can use it like the old BeOS and Mac style Window based system, or you can set it up like the newer desktops with the places bar and the bookmarks.  Some of the improvements will be, Integrated search so no need for Catfish, Integrated CD/DVD burning, ability to directly connect to remote filesystems eliminating the need for Gigolo and it will bring emblem based organization.The transition will be very smooth and I definately hope you guys like it.  Any feedback on this contact myself or Cristobal Molina and tell us.

Pricing.  Pricing of OS4 OpenDesktop and Enterprise Server will remain the same this includes free shipping.  OS4 New Year fundraiser will remain until June of 2013.  We are also contemplating a $5.00 download fee for the digital version of OS4 but there are several details that need to be worked out before that happens.  Now, certain situations have arisen where people have bought USB keys or DVD images from OSDisc or another creation service and they did it because those companies are cheaper.  We had a habit of replacing disks because either the media failed or OS4 wouldnt boot or wouldnt install.  If you purchase OS4 from a third party we will no longer replace those disks.  I had done it before to be a nice guy but now its happening way to frequently and I will no longer do it.  If you purchased a disk from a third party they will be responsible for replacing it.  From our experience they wont do it.  We will replace disks ordered from the OS4 store only.

Hardware. We are introducing new hardware devices weekly, from wifi compatible devices to storage.  All these devices are also tested on Linux Mint, Red Hat Enterprise and SUSE Enterprise.  We have gotten tremendous responses to the hardware and we want to reiterate we test on lots of Linux distributions.  On our preinstalled systems we only preinstall OS4 and we will preinstall Windows, if the customer buys the license.  All of our systems come with SecureBoot disabled and can be loaded with ANY OS,  but if you are a support subscriber  it has to be loaded with a supported OS.   Supported OS’s include, OS4, Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise, SUSE Enterprise, Oracle Linux and Windows 7.  But keep looking at the OS4 Store for new devices as we release them.

Download sites.  PC/OpenSystems entered into an agreement with Sourceforge and our ISO’s are only available there.  As they offer multiple mirrors we feel that its a superior service.  As more mirrors become live we will list them.

Thank you all or a great first year and we look forward to many more.  As always if you have any questions or comments feel free to contact us.

1 comment:

  1. Great job, Roberto, on a great distro that will only get better. I always find myself going full circle to return to it because it just plain works. It does not crash like Mint, Ubuntu, or those Debian based distros do.
    Will donate more in the not so distant future to show my appreciation.