Linux Mint is an elegant Linux-distro based on Ubuntu, which is in turn based on Debian. Its release usually follows Ubuntu releases. However, the release of Linux Mint 12 (following Ubuntu Oneiric) has been delayed and people have been left clueless because of no communication from the Linux Mint team. Finally, the Mint blog broke the secrecy yesterday, and has given a preview of what is to come.
I would like to apologize to the community, the media, and the journalists who wrote to us to know more about our upcoming release. We have been extremely secretive and 3 weeks past the Ubuntu release, it is still unclear for most people exactly what the next Linux Mint will look like. The reason we have been so silent is because we did not want to promise something we could not guarantee.
The story so far
Linux Mint has recorded an impressive 40% increase in market share in a month. We can easily guess that these are disgruntled Ubuntu users disappointed at the poor usability factor of Unity. The Mint team deserves credit for doing it right. Sticking to an older version of Gnome was not an option, as it would have lost support very soon. Linux Mint has rightfully decided to go with Gnome 3, but with their customization on top. Their main concern has always been:
How do we make people like Gnome 3? And what do we provide as an alternative to those who still do not want to change?
Gnome 3 is facing the same struggle as any change. It is facing resistance and Linux Mint aims to make Gnome more usable. They have addressed it with elegance and have presented Gnome 3, modified into a more usable version- MGSE.