Gray Matter


Linux Distribution: Windowsfx

RT Cunningham | March 17, 2021 (UTC) | Linux

WindowsfxWindowsfx is a Linux distribution maintained by a Brazilian developer. At least, that’s what the copyright notice at the bottom of the Linuxfx website indicates. There isn’t enough information on the website to indicate the size of the development team.

Windowsfx Comes in Two Editions

If you browse through the Linuxfx website, you’ll probably be inclined to think there’s only one edition. The files for the free versions (a commercial version is available), stored at Sourceforge show the two editions:

The first edition, which I installed for testing, is supposed to resemble Windows 10. The other one is supposed to resemble Windows 7.

Both editions are based on the latest Ubuntu LTS version. The Windows Edition uses the K Desktop Environment (KDE Plasma) and the Windows 7 edition uses the Cinnamon desktop environment.

My Impression of the Windows 10 Edition

I can’t give you my impression of the Windows 7 edition. I jumped from Windows XP to Windows 8, skipping both Vista and 7 altogether. My impression of the Windows 10 edition isn’t good.

I’ve tested both Kubuntu and KDE Neon. Both are based on Ubuntu and both use KDE Plasma as their desktop environments. The difference is in the development teams. The Windows 10 edition of Windowsfx is KDE Plasma with changes to make things resemble Microsoft Windows 10 and run Windows applications. It uses the Wine compatibly layer.

In the short time I tested the Windows 10 edition (a single day), I didn’t find a single thing to like about it. I have never liked the Windows icons and I don’t really like KDE Plasma. I don’t think a person should have to click more than once to find what they’re looking for. So it looks and acts like Windows 10, precisely the reason why I’ll never use it.

Legal Issues

I don’t remember all the details, but Microsoft sued “Lindows” for trademark infringement in 2002. Lindows became Linspire because of it. Windowsfx is more egregious than Lindows ever was. Microsoft lost the lawsuit because the term “windows” was used for computers before Microsoft started using it. That’s not the case here at all.

Linuxfx is deliberately using two Microsoft Windows interfaces and offering a “Window 10 Pro” edition. While Microsoft may have a real case, they may not be able to pursue it. It depends on trade agreements between Brazil and the United States.

I witnessed the power of trade agreements when I was in Japan in 1987 and 1988. When I first arrived, I could buy pirate copies of American movies and TV shows from the local video stores and stands on the streets. Suddenly, Japan started enforcing copyrights as the result of one agreement or another. The pirated copies disappeared virtually overnight.

Linuxfx should have just stayed with the Linuxfx branding. The term “Windowsfx” takes it too far, in my opinion.

Image Attribution: Linuxfx

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