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  1. Zorin OS 15 Enters Beta with Flatpak Support, Based on Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS The development team behind the Ubuntu-based and user-friendly Zorin OS GNU/Linux distribution announced that they are working on the next major release, Zorin OS 15, which entered beta testing today. Based on the long-term supported Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system series, Zorin OS 15 promises a revamped user experience that has been modeled to suit everyone's needs, not only those who are migrating from a Microsoft Windows operating system, but also power users and advanced Linux users. "Creating a Linux desktop operating system that’s designed for everyone – not only the engineers & power users – has always been the mission of Zorin OS, ever since the first release nearly 10 years ago. Zorin OS 15 takes this decade-long effort and amplifies it to the next level," said the Zorin OS team in today's announcement.Here's what's new in Zorin OS 15Zorin OS 15 comes a new Zorin Connect app that lets you connect and interact with your Android mobile devices to receive notifications on your computer, browse and share files, receive and replay to SMS messages, as well as to control media playback. The Zorin Connect app is based on the open-source GSConnect and KDE Connect apps. Zorin OS 15 features a highly customized GNOME 3.30 desktop environment with brand-new desktop themes in six color variants and Light and Dark modes, Night Light mode, a new adaptive desktop background option that changes throughout the day, and an all-new desktop interface tailored explicitly for touchscreens. Under the hood, Zorin OS 15 is powered by the Linux 4.18 kernel from Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS and comes with the LibreOffice 6.2 office suite, support for Flatpak apps and repositories, Mozilla Firefox as the default web browser, a new system font, new customization settings, experimental Wayland support, network captive portal detection, out-of-the-box Nvidia graphics support, and Thunderbolt 3 support. Zorin OS 15 Beta is now available for download right now from our free software portal if you want to take it for a test drive and give feedback to the developers. However, we have to warn you that this is a pre-release version that should not be installed on production machines, nor used for any production work. New desktop theme Support for Flatpak apps and repositories LibreOffice 6.2 Night Light Source
  2. The Zorin Group has released a point update to the beautiful beginner-friendly Linux distro Zorin OS 15, and while not substantial it does ship with a few nice improvements worth mentioning below. But the real headline, at least in my opinion, is the visibility Zorin OS is enjoying with Mac and Windows users. In the release announcement, the Zorin group shares that within 6 months Zorin OS 15 has been downloaded 550,000 times, and that a surprising 65% of those downloads come from macOS or Windows machines. More than half a million downloads may seem trivial when compared to the large user-base for Windows and Macs, but for a boutique Linux distribution — in a sea of literally hundreds — this seems worthy of celebration. This likely comes down to the simple, direct marketing the Zorin Group employs. Phrases like “A powerful desktop you already know how to use” and “Your Computer, Better” are powerful and easy to understand. This is combined with imagery (such as the above photo) that frequently invokes the clean lines and looks of Apple hardware like iMacs. (Makes sense, it’s pretty easy to install Linux on your older Macs.) The team is also targeting Windows 7 users as a free, modern alternative to the aging Microsoft OS that loses support in January 2020. In addition to that, there’s a Zorin OS Education Edition targeted at elementary schools that couples the existing ease-of-use with a ton of open source educational apps and games. ABOVE: Listen to my fascinating interview with Zorin OS founder Artyom Zorin about the future of desktop Linux. But I wanted to hear directly from Zorin OS founder Artyom Zorin, so I asked him for his take on this: “It's a bunch of different things,” Zorin replied. “By having a laser focus on a specific use case and demographic – Windows and macOS users who aren't familiar with Linux in our case – this was always at the top of our minds when making any decision, from how to develop the system to how we explain it to newcomers on our website. Because of this, we knew how important it was to make the system approachable and attractive to the regular computer user. Even when proficient Linux users first came across Zorin OS, they could see that it's something that their friends who still use Windows and macOS could be interested in, and they spread the word of Zorin OS.” Zorin also shared that they’ve spent “virtually no money on advertising.” The growth of Zorin, he says, has been entirely word of mouth. “It's thanks to the incredible community that Zorin OS has gotten to where it is today, and we couldn't be more grateful,” he adds. Regardless of statistics, Zorin OS is a Linux distribution worth paying attention to. It’s refreshing to see that it’s potentially bringing so many Windows and macOS users over to the more beautiful and less frustrating side of the desktop PC fence. It’s also refreshing to see a Linux distribution openly sharing their download numbers. This week’s Zorin OS 15 update includes GameMode, a tweak that automatically boosts CPU performance of certain games, a slick improvement to the Zorin Connect app that lets you control your mouse cursor with an Android phone, and LibreOffice 6.3 among several other improvements detailed here. Source
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