‘Vixta’ Linux distro mimics Vista’s look and feel

I don’t know if Linus Torvalds has nightmares about Linux turning into Windows but some people definitely do. Linux Doesn’t Need to Look Like Windows has been a popular and oft-visited article about Vixta on reddit since last week. It had spurred about 100 comments going back and forth about the merit of Vixta’s user interface design and whether Linux should look like Windows.

However first things first. What’s Vixta? I hear you ask. Its developers describe and define its goals like so:

  • Absolutely free in every sense.
  • ABN – Absolutely No Config.
  • User-Friendly.
  • Eye-catching.
  • Familiar look and Feel.

It’s possible to say all that about Ubuntu too so why the kerfuffle? Well Vixta copies Windows Vista’s start menu and the side bar. Actually its whole look is pretty Vista-ish. Download a copy and check it out.

Some people however hate the fact that there is a Linux distro – Vixta is based on Fedora – which tries to mimic Vista’s look and feel. The author of the aforementioned Information Week article writes “…I confess to having mixed feelings about the whole thing. Mostly negative ones.”

He then goes on to say “Here’s the big reason I feel as uneasy as I do: it’s tantamount to an admission of defeat”. He concludes by writing that he wants to see more diversity among OSes and not less.

I don’t know about you but I can’t help but think that the author is overreacting. Sure I agree that there should be a greater diversity among OSes but having Vixta adds to the diversity. There is no doubt in my mind that Vixta will continue to grow outside the Vista model that its developers started with.

Second given that it was developed by just three programmers it is nothing but a testament to the skill of these three individuals and the flexibility of Linux and KDE.

I’d hate to think that such lame articles may prevent developers from creating and experimenting out of fear of being labeled copy cats and unoriginal. I applaud the three developers of Vixta and want them to know that there are people who support them and appreciate their effort. We shall continue to watch this project.