Q4OS 0.5.11, a desktop operating system designed to offer a classic style user interface and bearing an uncanny resemblance to Windows XP, has been released and is now available for download.
According to the developers, Q4OS 0.5.11 is very useful for cloud environments thanks to its low hardware requirements, but users will find it very practical if they are also looking for an operating system that can closely mimic Windows XP, down to the menus and buttons.
The distribution is based on Trinity DE, which is actually a fork of the old KDE 3.x branch. It's not something used in present distros, mostly because the current KDE releases have been moving away from the old desktop paradigm.
The developers of Q4OS 0.5.11 don't provide a Live system, which means that you will have to install it in order to test it. The best way of doing that is to use VirtualBox, which will ensure that you don't actually break your computer.
Right from the start you will notice the Windows XP resemblance, and the developers have made a great job imitating Microsoft's operating system. Someone less savvy in computers won't be able to really tell the difference.
The distribution comes with a number of applications already installed, like Konqueror, but users can also install Google Chrome, DebApps (manage and install applications from Debian repositories), Virtualbox Guest Additions optimized drivers for those who run inside VirtualBox, and Application Server / Client (accelerated application terminal server and client).
A very important package that users might consider installing is the Look Switcher, which will upgrade the way the distribution looks. It applies a different theme to the system and it will make it look a little bit more modern. It won't resemble Windows XP all that much, but you won't be able to shake that Windows feeling either.
The Q4OS distribution can also run Windows applications by using Wine compatibility layer. Just enter the following command in a terminal:
sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude install wine
So, if you ever feel the need or the nostalgia to see Windows XP, just install Q4OS. We must stress once more that it's recommended that you use VirtualBox for any testing.
Remember that this is a development version and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended for testing purposes only.