SymphonyOS is a distribution of Linux which does things a bit differently. It doesn’t use KDE or GNOME like most distributions – they use their own window manager called Mezzo. The concepts of beauty and simplicity behind Mezzo are great; although I wouldn’t say that it’s particularly aesthetically pleasing at the moment.

I think I gave the distribution a test run when it was in Alpha 2. It was interesting but only available as a live CD. It was also buggy and ugly. It’s probably improved quite a bit since then since it’s now in the beta stage.

When I first tried Mezzo, I found it pretty confusing. Unlike KDE and GNOME, Mezzo does not try to emulate Windows. Mezzo has UI rules of its own – for example it doesn’t use one start menu but four distinct buttons in each of the four corners to access documents, devices, etc. It doesn’t use menus but uses the whole screen. Mezzo ensures that content on these buttons fits one screen exactly so no scrolling is required. It also shows a thumbnail of the windows in the "taskbar". Widgets are an integrated part of the desktop – you can not put files and folders on the desktop.

I haven’t tried the beta release yet so I can’t formulate any opinions on it but from what I’ve seen in previous releases and on the website, it is going to be an interesting distribution. May be worth downloading if your a distribution enthusiast 🙂

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