This year, we saw the new releases of major distributions such as Ubuntu’s Jaunty Jackalope and Karmic Koala; Mandriva 2009 and 2010; Fedora 11 and 12; and openSUSE 11.2. It was also a big year for Google in the open source arena with the release of the Google Chrome OS beta, the new Chrome browser, and the Android 2.0 platform for the Droid smartphone.

As always there were plenty of controversies and hot discussions, along with the new developments that got TechRepublic members’ interest. Below, I’ve gathered some of the top posts of the year, based on a combination of discussions, views, and votes.

#1 Will the real “new” features in Windows 7 please stand up

Did Microsoft really create all those nifty new features in Windows 7? Jack Wallen stirred the pot with this one. He gave his abbreviated list of Windows 7 features that already exist in Linux. Needless to say, many people voiced their own opinion. Read the original post.

#2 How Linux can finally rise above Microsoft

Jack Wallen believes that the battle for Linux prominence is primarily on the desktop and figuring out how to introduce users to the right one at the right time. The battle of the desktop is always great fodder for debate. This one was no exception. Read the original post.

#3 VMware Server 2.0 offers handy new upgrades

Vincent Danen outlined the new features of the free VMware Server 2.0 product, included tips on installation, and explained why he really likes the Web console. Read the original post.

#4 Ubuntu 9.04: Wow

Jack Wallen was immediately enamored with Ubuntu’s Jaunty Jackalope, and he wasn’t afraid to say so. TechRepublic members weren’t too shy to share their thoughts on it either. Read the original post.

#5 Fedora 12 boasts enhanced performance, improved reporting, better graphics

Vincent Danen reviewed the latest Fedora release, calling it one of the most significant to date. He discusses the performance enhancements and feature improvements that he believes make it a top distribution. Read the original post.