Digium, the creators of Asterisk, have released AsteriskNow, their response to TrixBox. AsteriskNOW V1.4.0 is a Software Appliance; a GUI implementation with the open source Asterisk distribution. AsteriskNOW includes all the Linux components necessary to run, debug and build Asterisk, and only those components, so installation is easy. You no longer have to worry about kernel versions and package dependencies. Unlike other Linux distributions used to deploy Asterisk, no unnecessary components that might compromise security or performance are included.
So what does this mean? Digium is driving Asterisk towards the non-technical. One of the things that makes a solution like TrixBox so appealing is that it makes it easier for those without a rich technical or linux background the ability to use the software. There are positives and negatives to making technology easier for the mass market to use, but in the case of AsteriskNow, it is a move in the right direction for Digium. Just as Fonality has TrixBox to build their commercial product from (and hopefully convert TrixBox users to), Digium has AsteriskNOW, which should form as the software basis of the Asterisk Developer Kit appliance. The battle continues!