Concerned about the long-term future of Zorin OS

I'll get right to the point. With the internal strife that's been happening on these forums out in open view following the Zorin Group's announcement that the XFCE version of Zorin OS will be discontinued down the road (personally, it doesn't make a difference to me about XFCE, and I can actually see the Zorin Group's side about discontinuing it), it concerns me as a Zorin OS user. I had planned on coming back from Linux Mint with an updated Zorin OS 17 Pro ISO after I had been informed that the forced logoff issue had been fixed, but now? I'd still like to come back, but again, this unraveling of internal strife out into open view has concerned me.

I still have not seen any follow-up by the Zorin Group. I have not seen the issues raised by some folks (like @Aravisian, for example) be directly addressed by either Zorin brother in the form of a forum post or even a blog post. Something like this should have been addressed promptly, to be honest. There is still silence. I like using Zorin OS. Before the forced logoff issue, I was happily using Zorin OS for two solid months after distrohopping between Zorin and Linux Mint. After the logoff issue started, I stayed, but after I lost stuff that I left in suspended mode, I had to leave for practicality's sake until the fix was in. Now that it's in, apparently, I'd like to come back, but right now, I need to hear that long-term, Zorin OS is a safe bet.

I may still come back even if no one says anything, because I like Zorin OS that much. Right now, though, hearing something would help go a long way towards reassurance. I suspect I am not the only one who feels this way. Many other "silent" users probably do, too. Thank you. @AZorin @zorink

P.S.: I have not forgotten about how a few of my suggestions made it into Zorin OS. That shows me the Zorin Group does listen and care. That impressed me. It made me want to stay with Zorin even more and continue being a "pro" user in the future. But communicate, please. Maybe a monthly (or quarterly) blog post would help?

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I think you have to decide what is best for you. I like Zorin but my preference has always been Mint. Now I am a big LMDE fan and liking Debian more for the last 2 plus years because it is the distribution that has the least amount of wrinkles if any, with better application scrutiny for functionality and security. (Not perfect but better for me.) I am OK with older packages on occasion.

I think Zorin needs to address the elephant in the room. Although not a deal breaker for me, they take too long releasing after the Ubuntu LTS release. Mint does it generally within 90-days of the LTS release. For Zorin, this last release was about 20 months for the April 2022 Ubuntu LTS. I think 90 days is fine, even 180 days. I understand their philosophy to make the distribution secure and reliable but 20 months is too long.

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This makes two elephants:

  • ZorinGroup communication with and relationship with their User Base
  • ZorinGroup accountability for multiple software announcements and delays.

This is a helpdesk. Providing solutions is what it is for.
Resolving these long standing tensions would be very helpful.

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Has the Zorin Group reached out to you privately?

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You literally just made me jump and go check my email. LOL
I was like, wait... what? Do you know something I don't know?

No, aside from their making a communication in the Moderator Forum concerning the release of Zorin OS Lite (Which I responded to in thread), I have not heard from them.
Private communications are rare and when they occur, they generally result in a public statement, anyway.
If they had, I very most likely would have already publicly commented on it.

At no point have they ever asked me to keep a secret. They have asked that we moderators do not disclose an Upcoming release until they have a chance to do so- That is not a secret, it is a courtesy.
There has never been any single occasion in which information was exchanged that was to be kept from public viewing.
That being said; we are not friends, co-workers, or even acquaintances. I could not tell you either of their favorite colors. How they spend their weekends. On a human level, I like them just fine.
My standing with them as a person is equal to yours and I hold no special place nor a Bat-Phone to be able to call them in an emergency (Believe me, many times I have wished that I did.)

I think Zorin OS is a great OS that is solid, reliable and well made. Zorin OS did not become a lousy OS in my estimation. Rather, it is completely about how we show support for the various needed elements of GnuLinux in order to promote an ethically sound, End User oriented experience for all users, now and future.
Every Zorin OS and GnuLinux user can relate to this, given our experiences in common with more restrictive environments compared with the rather frightening feeling of being empowered on GnuLinux (It's daunting until you build confidence).

I am quite passionate about GnuLinux, (as I am about Astronomy). i am quite passionate and protective about the End users... because I am one.
As one, I seek to protect our interests, full-tilt. Too many just go along as they did with Micro$oft decisions made for them. Too many think it is probably not a big deal what direction things are going in... until it is too late to change that direction.
And they begin to feel its effects.

As a developer myself, I want to make something very very clear:
No developer ever has any special insight or knowledge on the Entirety of code.
We specialize in some aspects of Code, but no one has a handle on the over-all complexity. Linus Torvalds is great with the Linux kernel - but that does not mean he knows anything about the necessary programming to make a desktop environment. And he also... keeps a cheat sheet with his preferred terminal commands on it that he forgets.
@Bourne mentioned TempleOS in another thread and it is a great example of this. What makes TempleOS so singular and amazing is not the OS. It is rather basic and lackluster and... weird. What makes it amazing and stunning is that One person created the entirety of it from scratch. He wrote all the pieces. It blows everyones mind. He is the only person to have ever done that. It is incredible but we must also acknowledge that... you wouldn't use it. Not as a daily driver, nor as a non-daily-driver. You might use it to experience the novelty and that is about it.
It is so simple and meager, it does not have much to offer for a user.

Being a developer does not give any special position. It means only that you have a job.
It consists of a lot of looking things up and learning and trying things out and even guessing.
Zoirn OS as a name is owned by the ZorinGroup.
But Zorin OS as an Operating System is owned by the users. It is critical for Developers and Users to always remember this. And developers love to forgot it.

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Great response. It is getting late, and I will keep my reply short.

  • We agree that Zorin OS is a great OS, as you said. That is why I switched back to it after distrohopping between it and Linux Mint. It is also why I will go ahead and reinstall Zorin OS Pro when I have time next week, and come back to Zorin. Linux Mint is good, too, but in the end, I'm a Zorin OS guy.

  • I agree completely that prefaced with a pro-GNU/Linux philosophy, that Linux OSes are meant by far to be owned by users in the sense that they have input in where their respective preferred OS goes. Zorin OS is no exception to this. It is why I was a little concerned by the way the news about XFCE was announced, and especially with the subsequent reaction.

    If they had done a blog post informing people ahead of time and offering an opportunity for users to chime in before making a final decision, I think the initial reaction (including yours) would've been different. Much different. I sincerely hope the Zorin Group learns from this going forward, and takes care to work more visibly (and proactively) with the Zorin OS community.

  • I wish they'd reached out to you (@Aravisian) privately, and started a dialogue about how to rectify the situation. That's why I asked if they had initiated contact with you after all that "drama" on the forum. I hope they do.

That's it for me. I'm gonna move on from this. Again, getting late ...

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The best way I can word how I perceive this is "out of touch."
There is a long list of indicators toward this.

I have openly discussed issues with the ZorinGroup previously - indeed over the course of years.

  • Long release cycle
  • Necessity of clear open and consistent communication. I actually got nervous that I brought this up too much, even as Kyrill acknowledged that they know they need to work on that. I thought, maybe I am pushing to hard here.
  • Concerns over the direction of Zorin OS as well as Gnome and GnuLinux as a whole.

Some of this is from the Moderator Forum. Some is from PM. Some is publicly viewable on the open Forum, with threads dating back a ways asking about a Roadmap for Zorins direction as well.

I believe that the ZorinGroup simply never deemed it necessary to reach out.
How you and members who have interacted with me for a long time on the forum perceive me and how they perceive me are different things.

You may perceive me as helpful and an advocate for Zorin OS, where they perceive me as a nag and a thorn in their side constantly berating them.
I am not really sure exactly how they perceive me, actually. I usually suggest that they have a dartboard on the wall with my picture on it.

For me, as an individual, Zorin OS dropping XFCE is not a big deal.
I can install it with one terminal command. I can have it set up to match my workflow in mere minutes.
Again: Defaults are extremely powerful.
If I am selfish; I can move on with self-assured ease. Sadly... not so much. I do care about the well-being of others and of the future and direction of GnuLinux.
Not everyone is comfortable with changing their system, indeed, the ZorinGroup themselves have concerns about users installing third party applications, repositories or other things that can mess things up. They have vowed to never prevent users from doing so.
However, this also means that they know that in dropping support for these options, they are opening up the doors to users installing third party repositories and software - Something that they used to support: XFCE.
You can see the disconnect; and the problem.

That being said, I have no expectations that the ZorinGroup jump and run because Aravisian got in a tangle.
But if they are open to discourse about addressing the hard questions and seeking understanding (not about any sides wants but about protecting users free ability to easily attain their own wants on their own system pressure-free); I have always been all for it.

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I don't think there's cause for alarm on the future of Zorin OS. While not as bright as many may have expected, Core still provides a great experience out of the box and that will continue to be worked on. And even so, Lite will continue to exist for a few more years until 2029.

To me, as long as Zorin OS Core continues to deliver, I will continue to use it. Although I will admit that I've been questioning this given the amount of issues popping late as of late.
Zorin OS is the only distribution that I found that causes a great first impression, and we all know how much this matters. People are quick at noticing little flaws here and there even if they can't quite put their fingers on it. And since Zorin OS is my go-to distribution for people new to Linux this is very important to me. A close second, and one that I'm really looking forward for their new version, is Pop!_OS.

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I agree completely with you. But as for Pop!_OS, I tried a live image of it once. Not for me. That's just me. But 'tis the beauty of Linux. Something for everyone. Including newcomers to Linux, which includes me.

Yeah, I don't think Pop!_OS is particularly pretty but I've had a very good run with it. The new Cosmic desktop environment looks quite promising, too.

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We understand how important this issue is, so I wanted to take the time and effort to write an appropriately thorough and considered post to address the questions that were raised. We owe it to the community.

Our mission from the very start was to make it easier for people to switch to Linux by creating the best and most user-friendly OS we can. That’s the north star that underpins every decision we’ve made. That’s what makes Zorin OS, Zorin OS.

We introduced the Lite edition with Zorin OS 4 (in 2010) to expand the scope of our mission to include users of older and lower-spec computers. It was always intended as a streamlined edition of Zorin OS. To fulfil that purpose, it made sense to select a desktop environment that had a suitable balance of just enough functionality and resource efficiency. It might not have all the features, details, and polish that users come to expect from the Core edition, but enough to provide a good experience on limited hardware.

Fast forward to today, I want to communicate the full context of how and why the decision to eventually sunset the Lite edition in 2029 came about:

As a slower-moving project, XFCE (the desktop environment that powers the Lite edition today) is missing an increasing amount of table-stakes features and hardware support that users come to expect and – by our level of standards – should be present in a modern desktop. We’ve had to spend additional time and resources integrating & developing features like taskbar window previews and location privacy controls for the Zorin OS Lite desktop, just to name a few. This additional complexity stacked on top of the base desktop takes additional system resources. We’ve already been hearing feedback in recent years about how Zorin OS Lite is becoming the heaviest XFCE desktop distro, mainly because of these additions.

More significantly, support is less than ideal for hardware features on modern computers, such as high-resolution displays, fingerprint readers, and multi-touch for example. As newer computers age over the coming years, supporting these hardware features in the Lite edition will get more and more important, especially by 2029. We’ve already heard from some frustrated users that – because of some of these missing features in Lite – they’re going back to Windows. If the OS doesn’t just work for new users like this, we’re not delivering on our goal to provide the best and most user-friendly OS for newcomers to Linux. That's a failure in our book.

If we were to continue down our previous path while remedying this situation, we would likely have to implement this hardware support in the Lite desktop and maintain it ourselves over the long term. This would take our time away from working on the features and improvements our users request, slowing down the overall development cycle further. Worst of all, the additional complexity and background services powering these features would take even more system resources as time goes on, preventing us from delivering on our promise to provide a smooth and polished user experience.

At the same time, the desktop environment in the non-Lite editions of Zorin OS is continuously getting improvements – both from upstream and downstream – in the form of support for more hardware features and performance enhancements. For example, even last week we published several software updates in Zorin OS 17 which should further improve the robustness and performance of the desktop. We developed these updates in hand with some community members that we reached out to who reported some issues previously. The Zorin OS 17.1 .isos – available for download on our website – have also been refreshed with these updates pre-installed to provide the best possible experience to new users out of the box.

More importantly, focusing on this desktop - with its more extensible foundation - allows us to implement the many new features our users regularly request and provides a platform where we can iterate and improve Zorin OS further and faster, for the benefit of the whole community.

With this desktop, we’re able to provide an experience that comes closer to our vision of the desktop than what we can deliver with other desktop environments. An experience aimed at newcomers and built with the user community’s wide-ranging feedback in mind.

In short, if the trend were to continue, the Lite edition is likely to get heavier as the table-stakes features and hardware support get added to the desktop, while the non-Lite editions would get even more performant. Meanwhile, we would have to take our time and resources away from developing the new features that users request, and put them toward catching up and implementing the table-stakes features on the Lite desktop which are already available in the non-Lite desktop. This would further delay the release cadence.

Speaking of the release cadence, I also want to take this opportunity to speak about this in more depth. We’re aware of the dissatisfaction some users have expressed with how long it took to release Zorin OS 17. I agree that it took a lot longer than expected and that we should improve in the future. Without getting into too many details here, the largest reason was that we experienced a significant amount of delays with developing the release upgrader (our most requested feature since the very beginning of the Zorin OS project) which ate into the planned Zorin OS 17 development schedule.

Due to the nature of software development, things often take longer than initially expected and are difficult to accurately estimate timelines for. There's always the trade-off between timeliness and the quality of the end product, but our policy has always been to err on the side of releasing when ready rather than putting out a substandard product quickly. That’s why we took our time with the upgrader and Zorin OS 17; to get them right.

Nevertheless, we’re always striving to improve our products and how we deliver them. Moving to a more timely release cadence was the single biggest request we’ve heard from the community since the release of Zorin OS 17 and this is something we want to improve in our next releases, but not by compromising on quality. Given the constraints we have on time, resources, and all of our other behind-the-scenes obligations to keep the Zorin OS project running (@Aravisian this is something we’ve communicated in the past), we have to make a trade-off somewhere to be able to deliver what the users want most.

With such an important decision, we had to go back to the very roots of what makes Zorin OS, Zorin OS, and think about what we’re trying to put out into the world. What makes Zorin OS uniquely valuable to the users? After a lot of thought and deliberation, we decided to eventually sunset the Lite edition for the reasons I detailed above, as well as the others we communicated on the Lite page here. It was a difficult decision to make, given the amount of effort and toil we put into Zorin OS Lite throughout the years and the code contributions we made to the upstream XFCE community. At the same time, failing to make a difficult decision like this could cause even bigger difficulties and risks to the future of the Zorin OS project, affecting the entire community in the long term.

Over the past 15+ years of Zorin OS's existence, we've seen many Linux distros and other projects come and go. When studying why these projects failed, a common theme we found was that their leaders weren't always able to make the difficult decisions to focus on the most important tasks to keep the project going. They spread themselves too thin and took on too many obligations to the point that they lost their original focus and got overwhelmed, and subsequently quit when it all became too much. Being aware of this grave risk, we have to constantly ask ourselves the question: is what we’re working on the best way to achieve our vision to create the best and most user-friendly OS for newcomers to Linux? This has been our core principle from the very beginning and is what has guided our decisions to bring the Zorin OS project to where it is today.

I understand that this announcement about the Lite edition might be disheartening to some here. However, I want to make it clear to address some of the confusion that I’ve seen: nothing is tangibly changing about the Lite edition now, and not for some years from now. We will still take on the work of maintaining the Lite edition during the latest Zorin OS 17 release cycle and another release after that. It will still receive software updates until at least June 2029, nearly the end of this decade. We made this commitment as a consideration for those of you who are accustomed to the Lite edition and want to keep using it. Discontinuing it sooner and with shorter notice would have lightened our workload, but would have caused more stress to the community, which would be inconsiderate and against our user-centric ethos. That’s why we communicated it this early instead.

The Zorin OS project has been the biggest and most important thing I’ve done for most of my life, since the age of 12 when @zorink and I started it. Despite the many challenges and personal sacrifices we’ve made along the way to keep it going, it’s always been meaningful and rewarding for us. Specifically because of how we hear that it’s touched so many people’s lives positively, even if it’s only in a small way. That's what keeps us going, and that's what will keep us improving Zorin OS further for as long as we can.

Onwards and upwards!

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EXCELLENT reply and follow-up! Thank you very much. Can't wait to get back to Zorin OS 17 Pro when I reinstall it next week now that the forced logoff issue has been fixed. Keep up the great work, and I definitely appreciate this communication. I am sure the others will, too, when they see your response. I would humbly suggest that you and Kyrill consider doing quarterly blog updates going forward, even if they're small updates. Doesn't have to be extensive. Obviously, you have a bunch here who care about Zorin OS and like it enough to make it their daily driver. Zorin OS makes Linux fun to use (if that makes sense). Definitely the best Windows-like alternative out there. You've achieved that goal. And I'm happy to continue supporting you guys by buying "Pro" versions in the future. Thank you again.

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Can I ask something about Your Way to communicate this big News? I don't share all Your Points but I understand why You and @zorink decide how You did.

The Point on this whole Situation that I don't understand is the Way. You don't post it in the official Blog and write it there. You only find it when You go to the Download Page scroll all the Way down and at the Bottom is a Link for Lite to download. And on this Page is the Explanation. I find that it is hidden and not open.

I mean, You have the Blog for official Stuff like that. Why You didn't used it on this Way? This would be much more open.

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I am pleased you have responded here to the question concerning the long-term future of Zorin OS.

We seriously need more regular communicaton from you to foster a more cohesive bond with the user community.

My view is that we have recently had a prolonged period where the devs have been operating in silent isolation and seemingly divorced from the community they serve. From my early days with ZorinOS 12 and the old forum, I am sure you appeared in front of the users more often. The existence of two-two way traffic with the devs then, captured me as a regular ZorinOS user and advocate. This bond has been strained of late, hence the flurry of threads similar to this one questioning the direction and future of Zorin.

As users, we do not know how much time is taken on different aspects of Zorin OS development including the updater. Also do not know how much of your time is expended in direct user support of Pro editions of Zorin OS, extra to actual software development for new versions and other projects e.g. Grid.

I have been using Z16.3 Core on a 2007 dual-core laptop. It is reliable and fast enough for me and has kept that machine away from e-waste for some years. I also have a Win10 machine expecting to go ZorinOS. I hope Z17, through continued development, becomes as reliable as Z16, so I can eventually upgrade to that version without fear.

Onwards and upwards! is good, but communication with users is essential to maintaining the ZorinOS community.

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Absolutely agree with you. On point. This is how you build brand loyalty. Plus, in real life, for me, I have been an administrator before. I can safely say that communication is essential to success. Not that I'm saying Zorin hasn't seen success, no, but it helps garner more success. And that's what I think us loyal users of Zorin OS would love to see for the Zorin Group and the OS.

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I agree with what has been raised here.
This explanation of why the Zorin Lite version is terminated, should have been posted on the blog. That way we all would have heard about it and the reaction would have been different.
This is something I have been repeatedly complaining about: the lack of timely communication with the community.
For the moment I am satisfied and I will not change distribution.

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This is an interesting bit of discourse.

I think it deserves careful examination of the points raised as well as the perceptions that surround it. Part if this may be because I am a long time follower of Tobias Bernards blogs and am well familiar with how wording can inflect direction.

I will preface this by noting that XFCE is a long term development project. One currently in use with long term plans by many distros.
It needs little in-thread support to post that the Gnome Desktop environment has been losing features and functionality over the course of years, much to the protest and dismay of Gnome users for almost a decade.
Any reader of this thread can easily review the internet to find this long chain of removals of user-loved features.
Indeed, the Gnome D.E. stock, is well documented, along with the addition of Gnome Extensions which the ZorinGroup must add in to the stock Gnome in order to make... Zorin OS.

XFCE has retained and even added to the features that come built into its desktop - no extensions necessary. The desktop comes fully-featured and ready to go.

Yes, we can point to instances of users saying that they are frustrated by their experience with the OS and that they will return to Windows.
Initially, I said it myself.
Some even do return to Windows.
I have seen many say it about Zorin OS Core. And the majority of issues we face are about Core issues, from Gnome Shell crashing, freezing, crashing upon wake and while mitigating these is critical, they go back a very, very long time.
To say that "we have gotten feedback and therefor..." can be as easily, if not more easily, applied to Core.

Given that Both desktops provide these pros and cons, it seems that the provision of both provides the very foundation of support users have come to need and expect.
What one lacks, the other provides.

Can you clarify this statement?
As I read it, while previewing the XFCE roadmap, general user comments on the XFCE forum, blogs etc., it has the appearance of really just coming down to

Wayland.
What table-stakes features are missing? What hardware support is missing?
Admittedly, the XFCE devs have committed themselves to looking into Wayland support. But this raises the larger point: That Wayland is being pushed, in spite of its own very well documented shortcomings and lack of readiness, and if there are elements not fully on board with Wayland, they are to be discouraged.
Which is instrumental to my reaction of ZorinGroup opting to drop Lite - that it demonstrates dropping support within the Wider GnuLinux community as a whole.
These points are worthy of examination.

Reducing our diversity and freedom of options within GnuLinux. Reducing our desktop to one, integrated, standardized... one like... Microsoft Windows.
I read a lot of pop-buzzwords here... Modern... Polished... they lead the reader without having to answer questions.
This direction is deeply disturbing. It will take more than popular buzzwords to address that disturbance.

Would you be willing to point toward your documentation on this? This is very interesting and I would like to look over the code.

I am aware of multiple means of accomplishing this but also that I have never seen taskbar button previews on Zorin OS Lite (though I may have just not had those settings since I prefer to not have previews, anyway).

The distro "Linux Lite" is certainly quite light on its feet. Even so, as a distro hopper, I have compared Zorin OS Lite to other XFCE distros - Indeed, I have posted the results on the ZorinGroup Forum.
I cannot say that in recent years that this has dramatically changed. Certainly, feedback noting it is important. Has this been benchmarked in order to examine the validity?

Using XFCE, a user can install geoclue and use dconf-editor to set their privacy settings for location privacy controls.
Examining my build of Zorin OS 16 Lite, I cannot find any Zorin Specific additional setting management for this, nor any configuration file that addresses this. What am I missing, so much so that it adds enough complexity to make Zorin OS Lite heavier?

I realize this may seem tedious, but evidence based discourse is far more productive. We are all previous Microsoft users and as such, our life experiences have taught us to question things and examine things closely.

I agree with this. It is present, but less than ideal.
Gnome also has issues in this, along with Fractional Scaling. which XFCE's DPI handles a bit better.
Both Desktops need more development for High Resolution displays and High res is certainly the direction consumers are taking.
And both could use more development for Fingerprint readers. This comes up often on the forum from Core and Lite users.
This partly comes down to manufacturers, not just GnuLinux.

This is, in fact, a strong argument in favor of retaining a desktop environment that can support issues where the other falls down.
As you have marketed Zorin OS Lite, for a long time, as "for older computers", I find this comment interesting.

And this forum routinely handles addressing user concerns on these missing features on Core and on Lite alike.

Users on this forum have commented on the release cadence prior to 17 and one user took the time to differentiate the release cycle times since Zorin OS 12. I agree with you that the Upgrader and Covid events were definite factors in the release of 17, however, we cannot neglect over-all trends.
This becomes especially important as users look forward to Zorin OS 18 or 19... Should delays occur. Having a solid base of foundational updates, roadmaps and communication is, by far, your greatest asset.
Better than trying to explain after the fact.
Better than focusing on one delay, not the rest.

The ZorinGroup have created a beautiful OS, reliable, solid and well meaning.

No one is eager to grab their torches and pitchforks. When enough time passes, as is the case with Zorin Grid, when even understandable and relatable delays cause a wait - we are happy to wait. To show our support. We are happy to choose Zorin OS Pro and hope that funding gets applied to improving your working conditions or supplying help.
You need a definitive and solid plan to introduce community communication.
We all understand a release-when-ready policy as they are intended to produce the highest quality within a reasonable timeframe. But the Policy, as it exists, is also one that requires documentation. So that users are ensured of the highest diligence.

Taking the time to reply to your users is not a gift you are granting us.
It is the job.
Being a part of your own community is not a time constraint.
It is the reward.

I believe that I can speak for everyone here when I say that Zorin OS has touched us all in a deep and meaningful way.
Such that some of us have devoted vast amounts of time to supporting and promoting Zorin OS.
Sleepless nights with eyes burning, but the user still has not solved their issue.
Frustratingly long threads, trying to suss out what the issue is.
Ensuring a safe, friendly place where any user of any belief, physical difference or mindset is welcome and cared about and helped.

You are strangers to us. But you have affected us all. These effects are important.
They are far reaching and can affect and influence other developers. The wider GnuLinux Community. Your reach exceeds Zorin OS.
Once you were 12 years old. Brow furrowed, looking at something new with wonder and some fear. Even as tired attempts and frustrated moments passed, there was that moment - when the code worked. Everything came together. In that moment, you laughed.
Now... it is a job. Now, it is tiring. Now, it is followed by - the next problem. Do you remember when you laughed when it worked?
I remember mine. From that first engine starting up, to the fist successful API. I cling to it. It is how I remember what is best.
Not best for the developer or the engineering of mechanical. Not best for me. Not best for customers.
What is best.

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It' good to hear from the devs. If I can ask for one thing in the future it would be: Please be more communicative. I am very happy with Zorin OS 17.1 Pro and have never been a Lite user, so the recent decision doesn't affect me personally. But I did feel for the others, especially because of the looong silence also in the 20 months of making Zorin OS 17. We users are giving valuable feedback everyday. Just come here every now and again to check if things need addressing. It doesn't need to be on a daily basis, but please let us know of the process of development. Otherwise we don't know what to expect anymore.

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I am pleased to engage with you for the first time since joining the forum.

However, I have been withholding a question that has been on my mind since the outset. I have observed instances in the past where community moderators, acting on your behalf, have defended Zoringroup against complaints from users, including pro users, regarding response delays. I empathize with the challenges faced in developing and maintaining software, particularly with a team size of only two members.

While I appreciate the difficult decisions you have made to uphold the ideal vision of ZorinOS, I fail to comprehend why the expansion of the Zorin development team has not been considered. It seems evident that such an expansion could alleviate numerous challenges, such as the communication gap and the timely development of all Zorin OS editions, consequently addressing delayed release cycles.

If there are plans in the near future to augment the team, I implore you to consider initiating this process promptly. Doing so could potentially have prevented the decision to sunset Zorin Lite. I do not propose an exponential increase in team size; rather, even the addition of 2-3 additional team members, considering the remarkable achievements of the current duo, could significantly enhance operations and benefit all active editions and side projects of Zorin.

Additionally, I have a direct inquiry: Is Zorin Grid among the primary reasons for the sunset decision regarding Zorin Lite?

I trust my concerns are conveyed clearly, and I eagerly await your response.

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One of the reasons I adopted Zorin at version 4 was due to the fact that it was the only OS, following the demise of Linspire and it's community edition Freespire, that made former Windows users capable of migrating with the least amount of discomfort. When I first started using GNU/Linux my preferred DE was KDE as it was more closer to Windows than Gnome, the latter having two Panels with the main one on the top. However, Gnome had one big advantage over KDE in respect of Accessibility, Orca. These days times have changed, as has the need to be able to require a host DE needed to run applications developed by a different one. neonuser is one such OS which uses KDE but also has the Gnome framework present together with jammy jellyfish backend provided repos. It was a few years ago that I stumbled upon the 'political' arguments around the systemd debacle. The Linux kernel gets criticised for the expanding use of code, while systemd has been overlooked because it was historically pushed by Red Hat who had brought this into being with the aid of one of their devs, Lennart Poettinger, who also developed the problematical Pulseaudio to replace ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture). Having joined my local Linux User Group I was informed that using GNU/Linux with systemd was like giving your computer a bar code that anyone could read. At the start of lockdown I was using FerenOS, which allowed me to do everything I needed to do at work without Windows, with the exception of one group mail account which needed me to run a VM of initially Windows 7 Pro and when support for that dried up, Windows 8.1 Pro. In December 2020, having learned about the issues with systemd, I migrated to what I thought was more secure, Devuan 3.0. The other element I had migrated to was Virtual Machine Manager, far superior to Virtual Box, in particular with regard to USB 3.0 support.
Further enlightening information from Sheff LUG's coordinator that Snapd on a security footing was worse than telnet or finger. Most recently, a post in the Latest Security thread has noted a security breach in flatpak. What I have observed is that a lot of Distros and Application Developers have felt the need to 'go with the flow', by adopting systemd, snapd, flatpak, and now IBM's big push for everyone to adopt Wayland over xorg/X/X11 instead of looking at how existing protocols can be improved upon. I haven't seen any redesign on the wheel for transportation. It is only more recently that I discovered a community that lists Distributions that are completely free of systemd. Devuan is not included. Why? Because it still has remnants of it in the form of elogind which was originally designed to enable to have a cut down version of systemd for the Gnome DE. Currently I am in the process of leaving neonuser behind, not least of which down to its obsession with snap and flatpak. Enter PCLinuxOS: I've been able to run it in live mode (24.04 KDE 5.27, 6.6 kernel) on a machine I built in 2006 with single core Athlon64, 2 Gb RAM, an EVGA 512 Mb 8x AGP card in live mode, using very little RAM, and most impressively comes with Synaptic Package Manager, Timeshift and Ventoy. I have also tried their xfce release which limits printing to CUPS. I have to agree that xfce has gone past it's sell by date as a modern desktop and Team Zorin should be congratulated on making it work. The biggest danger now I feel is the adoption of Wayland by so many distributions, with IBM making the big push for it to replace xorg. Even PCLOS has not spotted the danger of Wayland and KDE 6 which it wants to push out later this year, early next year. (I need to comment on their forums about that). As I was so impressed with PCLOS low resource usage I want to install it as my main go to as even while Antix allows you to add othe DEs such as KDE or Gnome, it drags unwanted elements into the OS such as elogind. It will not run on my rig because of my GT1030 graphics card so I have purchased an unused GT440 off ebay so I can get it to run. What I am trying to point out here is that it is clear that what makes GNU/Linux OS heavy to use is systemd. If PCLOS can make KDE super light why not others?. Back in the day Windows was my goto for gaming, now it is the PS4 Pro. I am aware that a lot of migrants to GNU/Linux crave the need for gaming support, I am happy to just play those games written for the GNU/Linux platform (GNU is the OS which runs off the Linux kernel). Sadly, I can eventually see my GNU/Linux days coming to an end, and eventually being forced to move to GhostBSD. Take care folks, it's a dangerous world out there, and whatever you do, never stop being a free thinker.