Some weeks ago the popular AROS distribution VmwAROS has changed name into Icaros Desktop, for two reasons: to avoid confusion with VMware-related products, and to better focus on the “Live” version, which runs on top of real hardware. This new release, Icaros Desktop 1.1, the first with the new name, has got many enhancements over the previous ones.
Firstly, the web browser OWB finally allows AROS users to surf the web in a modern fashion and to use popular applications like Google Maps and Google Docs, Preezo, Meebo, and so on. An improved version of E-UAE allows launching multiple sessions, while MPlayer now reads all DVDs correctly. Many new applications have been added to the distribution, like the new ArosPDF reader, the SabreMSN Messenger client, and more.
Icaros is an AROS distribution. For those that don’t know AROS: it used to stand for Amiga Research Operating System, but in order to not be associated with all the legal bickering and nonsense in the Amiga community, it changed its acronym to stand for “AROS Research Operating System”. The project was started back in 1995, and right now, it’s a near-feature complete implementation of the AmigaOS. Since AROS is only source-compatible with older AmigaOS software, older packages either need to be rebuilt, or run using an emulator like E-UAE.
AROS is open source, and released under the AROS Public License, based on the MPL. It runs natively on x86, x86-64, and PowerPC.
Anyway, more news about this 1.1 release, and some screenshots, can be found on the official website. Icaros Desktop comes, as usual, in two flavours: the Live! version which run on real PC hardware, and the VE one, already pre-installed in a VMware virtual machine.