At least as significant, however, have been all the many new updates and announcements made recently by several of the popular Linux distributions. Lest these important operating system advances get overlooked, here's a roundup of some of the key updates coming soon to a PC near you.
1. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1
In the distribution's first major update since RHEL 6 shipped in November, Red Hat on Thursday delivered RHEL 6.1 complete with improvements in system reliability, scalability and performance and support for a variety of upcoming system hardware. RHEL Linux 6.1 also delivers patches and security updates while maintaining application compatibility and OEM/ISV certifications.
Other updates include enhancements in virtualization, file systems, scheduler, resource management and high availability; a technology preview of Red Hat Enterprise Identity (IPA) services, based on the open source FreeIPA project; and integrated developer tools that provide the ability to write, debug, profile and deploy applications without leaving the graphical environment.
2. MeeGo 1.2
Also on Thursday, the MeeGo project announced the release of its version 1.2. "This release provides a solid baseline for device vendors and developers to start creating software for various device categories on Intel Atom* and ARMv7 architectures," the project's developers wrote.
Notable features in the new release include MeeGo Reference Kernels supporting a variety of Intel Atom and ARMv7 platforms, and the QML Application Framework and extended Qt-Mobility APIs, including additional location, system, connectivity, and sensor/haptic capabilities for rapid, rich, application development. Enhanced telephony and connectivity capabilities, meanwhile, include GSM, GPRS, and HSPA+ network support along with USB, WiFi, and BT-PAN data tethering capability.
3. SimplyMEPIS 11.0
Earlier this month saw the release of SimplyMEPIS 11.0, the latest version of the Debian-based distribution that's designed to be easy to install, use and customize. Targeting i386 and amd64 platforms, the new software comes configured with a 188.8.131.52 kernel, the KDE 4.5.1 desktop and apps including LibreOffice 3.3.2, Firefox 4.0.1, VLC 1.1.3, Amarok 2.4.0, Kdenlive 0.7.9, Digikam 1.9.0, GIMP 2.6.10, and Inkscape 0.48.1.