The second alpha version of what will become ROSA Desktop 2012 was released yesterday. It is a showcase of the very bright future ahead for this Russian distribution.

Aside from shipping with Linux kernel 3.5.5 and KDE 4.9.2 and several other software updates and revisions, ROSA Desktop 2012 alpha 2 comes with a redesigned, QML-based SimpleWelcome, the distributions fullscreen menu. SimpleWelcome is now snappier and has a new social network feature – you can now login to a couple of social networks from its TimeFrame tab.

This is the first tab of SimpleWelcome.
SimpleWelcome

The Applications tab (of SimpleWelcome) is no longer vertically scrollable. Like Takeoff Launcher, the other fullscreen menu of the K Desktop Environment, it is now a slider. This is the first page of the Applications tab.
SimpleWelcome Applications

And the second page. What SimpleWelcome needs is a Favorites tab. Takeoff Launcher has it.
SimpleWelcome Applications

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This is the TimeFrame tab. The Documents view is empty in this screen shot because it was taken from a brand new installation of ROSA Desktop 2012 Alpha 2.
SimpleWelcome TimeFrame

The Social networking sites view enables you to access a couple of social networking sites – Facebook and VKontakte (vk.com). There should be more such social networking websites in future releases, but for now, only Facebook and Vkontakte are supported. Vk.com is a major player in the European social networking space. Call it the Facebook of Europe.
SimpleWelcome Social

Attempting to login to Vk.com. I do not have an account, so login failed. Same with Facebook. This integration of social networking into the menu is actually very good. That, I think, is the future of menus in Linux distributions. I expect the integration of online retailing websites, so you can shop right from the menu, just like the integration of Amazon.com into the Dash of Ubuntu.
SimpleWelcome Social Login

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Aside the new SimpleWelcome and its social feature, KLook and StackFolder are now even more tightly integrated. That combination and the integration of KLook with Dolphin, the file manager, makes ROSA Desktop the most user-friendly, KDE-powered distribution available. I have the enterprise version running on my laptop.
KLook and Dolphin

The final, stable version of ROSA Desktop 2012 is scheduled for release on November 28 (see the roadmap). Want to see what it has to offer before that date? Try ROSA Desktop 2012 alpha 2 on your machine? Installation images are available here. And you may read the release announcement here.

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