Icaros Desktop is a pre-configured AROS desktop environment for the PC platform, distributed on a bootable live media. The AROS Research Operating System is a open source lightweight, efficient and flexible desktop operating system, aiming at being compatible with AmigaOS 3.1 at the API level, while improving on it in many areas.

It has been a long and hard work, but the new version of Icaros Desktop Live! has just been released to internal beta testing team. Last stage will be deployment of the Light edition and of the update disc for current Icaros users, which will require some more love than before, since many things have changed in the new version and many improvements have been added to the distribution, mainly thanks to your suggestions, and to the hints given by beta-testers.

Good friend Stephen Jones said this "may be the best Icaros ever": I don't know if it will really be, however this time we did all the human efforts that we could, to make it the AmigaOS-like experience you'd all want on your PC. It's a pity something still misses (we can't print yet, for instance. Nor we can drag screens on VESA, ATI and others cards different from GeForce lines), but that's really the best we could do for now. Further enhancements will be deployed for futher releases, on the (long) road that we still need to walk before Icaros 1.3.

This version will not be a "point release", however it will be the nearest thing to it: we scrapped from the distribution many games and applications that didn't work, we updated the system files keeping track of their development, we tested many times new and older features to be sure they actually work. And, considering that AROS is still "alpha quality software", we all came up to the conclusion we made a fair job. We can't honestly declare it won't ever crash anymore on your computer, nor that hardware compatibility has been extended to any PC all over the world, but compatibility and stability have noticeably got better than in Icaros 1.2.4.

We tried to add many new features to enhance reliability. Some of them have been already unveiled on this website. The new MyWorkspace drawer will be cosy to everyone, but users with a single system and work partition (such as people installing Icaros on a pendrive) will LOVE it. The new compact profile for AmiBridge will shorten boot times, in particular when loading Icaros in Live-DVD mode. Screen dragging is marvellous on GeForce cards and support for wireless network is just fine, if you have an Atheros-5000 based wi-fi receiver.

What you will still miss for now is the recent work on the 68K side of AROS. Since it is still in development, we preferred to avoid including in this Icaros release system files that could have been affected by the 68K bounties. Toni and Jason are making a wonderful, marvellous work on this, but Icaros always preferred to wait for a more mature stage of newer features, before adding them. It has already happened for many other important AROS items in the past, it's now 68K's turn. We are however hopeful, in the next months, to be able to support ADF games and demos in Janus-UAE using the AROS kickstart.

See you in a few days...