Mandriva announced last night the first beta release of Mandriva 2009, which brings KDE 4.1, GNOME 2.23.5, Firefox 3, and the final version of Linux kernel 2.6.26 with tethering support for Windows Mobile 5+. Also, in this beta, the old bootsplash is finally replaced by Splashy and the synce framework makes its first appearance, which brings synchronization support for Windows Mobile 2003 devices. The development cycle of Mandriva 2009 will continue with the second beta, due for release in the middle of August, two release candidates in September, and will conclude with the final release in early October. With the 2009 edition, Mandriva Linux will try to compete with the current release of openSUSE 11.0 and the upcoming Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex), and even to "steal" some of their devoted users. The following features could be part of Mandriva 2009, scheduled for release on October 9, 2008:
Linux kernel 2.6.26
improved boot speed
improved DKMS (Dynamic Kernel Module Support) management
improved language selection
implementation of the PolicyKit and PackageKit technologies
improvements to the Mandriva Windows Migration and Parental Control utilities
Live Upgrade (same as Ubuntu's update-manager tool)
Splashy will replace the actual boot splash
Lots of desktop improvements
There are also some rumors that X.org 7.4 and GRUB2 will be included in Mandriva 2009. Until then, let's have a look at the screenshot tour for Mandriva 2009 Beta 1, showcasing KDE 4.1.0:
Mandriva 2009 Release Schedule:
June 25th, 2008 - Alpha 1 release July 10th, 2008 - Alpha 2 release July 29th, 2008 - Beta 1 release
August 19th, 2008 - Beta 2 release
September 3rd, 2008 - Release Candidate 1 release
September 23rd, 2008 - Release Candidate 2 release
October 2nd, 2008 - Official Internal release
October 9th, 2008 - Official Public release of Mandriva 2009
Mandriva 2009 will be delivered, as usual, on 100% FREE edition CDs and DVDs for 32bit and 64bit platforms, and the One edition with KDE4 and GNOME Live CDs.
Download Mandriva 2009 Beta 1 right now from Softpedia. Remember that this is a beta release and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended to be used for testing purposes only. Please test Splashy, Mozilla Firefox 3, the hardware compatibility, hibernation functionality, missing software, and report bugs to the Mandriva Bug Tracker.
Also, you can download the stable release, Mandriva 2008.1, right now from Softpedia.