Merry Christmas and happy new year!

2008 was a great year for us and we managed to achieve most of our goals. We released Linux Mint 5 Elyssa, our first Long Term Support release, then came three community editions (KDE, XFCE and Fluxbox) and we successfully started supporting a new architecture: amd64.

Of course we didn’t manage to do “everything” we wanted. We had plans to investigate the enterprise market, mintAssistant was to receive OEM support and we were to give another try at Debian CE. But overall we did well, and even with Linux Mint 6 coming more or less a month later than expected, and x64 still not on the same schedule as i386, I’m convinced we didn’t just do well, but we also found ways to work more efficiently.

There’s a lot of great things coming up. Linux Mint 6 Felicia is going to get reviews and we’ll be giving them a lot of attention (not only to please our egos but because they’re usually full of positive feedback and constructive criticism which will help us improve while designing Mint 7). I also like answering reviews as it gives me a unique opportunity to talk about what’s going on behind the curtains, why things are as they are, what drove our decisions…etc.

The x64 edition will come quite fast, early in the year. The changes planned for it are “exactly” the same as for the main edition and almost all Mint 6 packages are already available for amd64.

And then will come the CEs of course, with Boo starting on a brand new KDE4 desktop 😉

I’m sure 2009 will be full of surprises, upstream innovations, great developments, challenges and we’ll certainly have a lot of fun. I’d like to thank all of you who use Linux Mint and have contributed ideas, supported us and made this distribution what it is today. Some of you have been following us since the very beginning. All we’ve done is listen. It’s your ideas, your feedback which made all this.

As project leader and founder of Linux Mint I sincerely feel grateful for what you’ve done to it. I did have a vision when starting this whole thing, but the more I listen to you, the better the picture gets. This is your vision, and I hope we continue in the future to capture it as well as we did in 2008. The Open Source nature of this project means we can build on the shoulders of giants, achieve great things without reinventing the wheel. It also means we’re all in it together, thinking about it, benefiting from it and contributing to it. It’s a great experience and I’m delighted to see what a nice desktop Linux Mint has become and what a great community you’ve turned out to be.

Many thanks to all of you and until we get the opportunity to have even more fun together, I whish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year.