GNOME 2.10, the latest version of the GNOME Linux desktop environment, has gained new multimedia applications including a video player and CD ripper.
GNOME developers claim the addition of these features helps close the gap on rival desktop operating systems such as Windows and OS X.
"Key features GNOME 2.10 users can look forward to include an integrated video player, one-click CD 'ripping', and improved media format support," said the GNOME Project in a statement. "This makes the Linux desktop's multimedia support more competitive with the leading proprietary operating systems."
The video player, called Totem, is already included in some of the desktop offerings of commercial Linux vendors, such as Red Hat's desktop product and Mandrakesoft's Globetrotter.
Other features in GNOME 2.10 include an improvement to the Evolution mail client and the capability to automatically detect more hardware and network servers.
Luis Villa, a member of the GNOME Foundation Board, claimed that GNOME beats proprietary vendors in the time it takes to add new features.
"Instead of just talking about vaporware that takes years to come out, GNOME's developers are creating concrete improvements and delivering these to our users twice a year," said Villa. "This is something no proprietary desktop vendor matches."
GNOME 2.10 is already available in SuSE Linux Professional 9.3, which was also released last week. GNOME developers have also created a LiveCD of this release so that users can run Linux directly off a CD-ROM, letting them try the operating system without installing it.