If Windows Vista is so terrible, how come there's someone in the open-source community who wants to copy it? That's the case with the latest Linux distro, a Vista look-alike called Vixta.The project is hosted by Sourceforge, the online home of numerous open-source efforts, large and small. Vixta fits into the latter category.
There's hardly any information on the effort, other than a short blurb, which says it's based on the Fedora distro of Linux. Fedora is itself a project which evolved out of the Red Hat community, and is still sponsored by the enterprise-Linux powerhouse.
Vixta appears to be the brainchild of one A. Paulo Santos, who has posted most of the messages on the short Vixta-info mailing list, including one announcing the availability of Vixta release 094.
Vixta's home page touts the imminent availability of version 095, and enumerates the goals of the project as follows:
1. Absolutely free, in every sense;
2. Spread Linux to the "masses";
3. ABN - Absolutely No Config.;
5. Eye-catching. Familiar look and feel.
Screenshot of the new, Fedora-based Linux distro, which apes Windows Vista's look and feel. (Click picture to enlarge, and to see the second part of this doc.)
Not much else is extant about Vixta. Word of the distro became widespread when Digg picked up the first story on Vixta, posted by the Tux Enclave blog. The blog has become the home for a healthy discussion on the topic.
Many of the Tux Enclave respondents appear mystified as to the rationale for Vixta. "Why would I switch to Linux just because it looks like Vista? I have that with Vista," writes one. A number of others wonder when Microsoft will sue for emulating Vista's look and feel.
The most insightful comment I saw was this: "They've entirely missed the point about what makes an OS function. Vista isn't just about a new GUI (which looks much better than this attempt), but a way of organizing your computer. Plus, this Vixta doesn't run Windows software, so it's no competitor."
On the other side, there's this: "This is wonderful! I can't wait to download the distro and taunt my friends with Vista."
Personally, I think a Linux distro which looks like Vista is a great idea. If the code can be solidified, it could leave Ubuntu in the dust in terms of end-user appeal
Vixta can be downloaded for free from the sourceforge site, here.