The more exciting release right now has nothing to do with Microsoft or Valentines

So Microsoft's Vista is being launched out now to overtake the world.

The massive marketing machine is finding its way into reports, blogs and interesting TV commercials. I've had a look at its fancy smancy interface with its transparent window bars and 3d windows navigation and quite frankly I've been yawning. I've seen all this six months before with the Edgy release of Ubuntu. Again the FOSS movement is ahead of the curve.

The more exciting release right now has nothing to do with Microsoft.

The Fawn has arrived. In true form if Vista is somewhat a bull, the Feisty Fawn is gently making its way through the woods without much fuss at all.

Feisty Fawn, the latest in Ubuntu releases has hit the downloads and while still in Alpha, looks pretty impressive.

Doug Schlenker a developer and sales professional from Mercurial (the software outsource firm I work for) has just downloaded and installed Feisty Fawn on 2 laptops and a PC. I talked Doug about how it went given the various stages of customization in his machines.

Doug downloaded via a wireless connection to all three machines simultaneously.

"Both lap tops, which had minimal third part customization and on which I had only installed programs from the repository, downloaded, installed and rebooted without incident." he said. "The pre check was quick and the 1000 packages installed and updated like magic. No problems. In fact, it was the easiest install I've ever done. As it was installing it was asking if I wanted to update the existing applications, which it did without problems. Very cool."

The PC however was highly customized with Beryl components, Cinerama dual monitors, and a lot of third party non-repository applications. "It was not quite as smooth, but relatively speaking pretty impressive. The Atheros wireless didn't work after the download and I had to download Mad Wifi subversion files and compile them to get the wireless working". This is of course something your average grandmother might have a challenge doing; but then again this was on the customized machine, rather than the simpler Ubuntu installations as installed on the laptops. "But that was the only problem (well, other than the fact I only got 25k per machine on the wireless download and it took 7 hours)."

"In any case, whenever I've had any questions, really without fail, the Ubuntu forums have answered them, as they did in this case too."

So have I installed the Feisty Fawn myself?

No I haven't. I will wait until the post beta release as I am paranoid and not quite as adventurous as Doug. I wouldn't want to install it prior to my Tuesday blog post because undoubtedly I would run into a problem and then, while having something to write about, I wouldn't be able to post.

I'll just play voyeur and monitor Doug's experience with the Fawn for now.

For a look at the new features check the Ubuntu site. If you've used Ubuntu you'll find them cool. And go ahead, download. It seems like it works and is an awful lot cheaper than Vista.


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