Zorin OS, a newbie friendly Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, has now got four new companions in Zorin OS 7 Educational, Business, Multimedia and Gaming editions. All these editions are based on the Zorin OS 7 Core that was released on 9th June. Zorin OS 7 is based on Ubuntu 13.04, and is thus package-compatible with Ubuntu’s repositories. Version 7 and its companion editions come out about a year after the Zorin OS 6 release, and do not differ much from it in terms of features. The new release comes with a huge set of software updates, and a facelift (new logo plus theme) that closely follows on the Windows 8 interface design.
Zorin OS comes with a Windows-like theme to make it easy for newbies to switch from Windows to Linux. Personally, Zorin reminds me of the heydays of Linspire and Xandros, that were also corporate-backed distros with Windows-like feel for newbiews. New and regular Linux users alike would enjoy Zorin’s own set of tools that include Zorin Look Changer (switch between Windows XP/7/8, Mac OS X, Unity and GNOME 2 looks) and Zorin Web Browser Manager (easily install / change web browsers). A complete feature tour is available here.
Announcing the release of the four companion editions of Zorin OS 7 on their blog, the Zorin team wrote:
The Zorin OS Team have released the Educational, Business, Multimedia and Gaming editions of Zorin OS 7. Zorin OS 7 brings about a plethora of changes and improvements such as a wide array of updated software, the Linux Kernel version 3.8, the introduction of new software and an enormous design overhaul.
The Zorin Look Changer is integrated into Zorin OS 7, which allows users to choose between the Windows 7, XP and GNOME 2 graphical interfaces in Educational as well as the Mac OS X, Unity and Windows 2000 interfaces in the Premium editions of Zorin OS. As always, Zorin OS 7 uses the Zorin Desktop environment with Zorin Menu for unparalleled customization and ease-of-use. We also include our Zorin Web Browser Manager, Zorin Background Plus (Premium only) and other programs from our earlier versions.
Out of these 4, only the Educational edition is a free download (get it here along with the Core editon). The other 3 are available through disc purchase as part of support via donation or through premium support.