Elementary is actually an Ubuntu distro that comes with some Elementary Apps and a modified Gnome Panel. The latest release is Jupiter and is an Ubuntu 10.10 (!!!). I didn’t know that, so I did download it and ..I freaked out! ..Ubuntu 10.10 in 2012!? ..Right after installing, it gives you a message that distro is not supported and a choice to upgrade to 11.04 (to the *worst ever* Ubuntu release!).
So I quit that, I set up a clean Ubuntu 12.04 and I installed Elementary modules from Elementary Daily PPA.
The new Elementary OS is called Luna, is based (lucky guess) in Ubuntu 12.04, and is going to be released probably in October -or when is ready- ..I didn’t find a release schedule.
Menus for all tastes, with categories or with paging. It could be a smart idea for Gnome Shell, as in version 3.8 they will -likely- replace categories with paging.
A nice and clean user interface that helps you to setup your 4 hot spots, with predefined or custom scripts.
The Switchboard-gnome-control-center. Nothing special on it. I think it supports a plugin system.
The two Browsers of Luna, File Browser (Pantheon 0.1) and the more popular Web Browser Midori. Most of Elementary modules are written in GTK3, Vala and C.
Of course all I was caring about was the user interface of Elementary. I think is possible to install it alongside with Gnome Shell and Cinnamon (at least in Ubuntu 12.04). Gala combines Gnome Shell, Cinnamon and a bit of OS X. Watch :)
Do you think that Gnome Shell is forked so much because is unpopular and people dislike it? Well, I think that this is the real power of Gnome3. Gnome3 is a blank canvas that everyone can build a custom user interface. Every fork is welcome in any software and forks show a very healthy project.
Original Video @ here.