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Xandros buys Linspire

Xandros buys Linspire

The purchase gives Xandros the rights to Linspire, Freespire, Click 'N Run, and all related technologies.

Bolstered by its success on the popular Eee PC from Asus, Xandros – the little-distro-that-could – has announced that it is to purchase beleaguered Windows-alike Linspire.

Xandros Linux – a minority distribution of the popular open source GNU/Linux operating system – hit the mainstream when a heavily-customised version was shipped with the original Asus Eee PC. Featuring a re-tooled GUI designed for the low-resolution portable, the lightweight Linux distribution proved a hit amongst gadget aficionados. Linspire, on the other hand, has had a somewhat more troubled history.

Originally developed to be a drop-in alternative to Windows, Lindows – as it was then called – was designed to mimic the look and feel of Redmond's finest as closely as possible. Using the Windows compatibility program Wine – allowing select Windows application to run within Linux – along with an intuitive package management system – which also doubled as a software shop – called Click 'N Run, the environment was tailored to a Windows user looking to make the shift to Linux. Microsoft, being the friendly multinational corporation that it is, took umbrage at this: threatening to sue unless the company changed its name, the software giant forced a re-think which saw the company hastily re-brand to Linspire.

While the acquisition will probably prove beneficial to Xandros – who now have a whole raft of user-friendly technologies to adapt for their own use – not everyone is particularly happy. Ex-Linspire CEO Kevin Carmony is quoted by Betanews as saying that the purchase was driven by a desire to “drain [Linspire] of its cash and resources” on the part of current CEO Michael Robertson and a way for him to avoid “living with the public humiliation that Linspire failed under his leadership.” Not that he's bitter, or anything.

The deal, which was officially signed back in June but not publicised by either company, will see Xandros continuing to support and sell the Linspire and Freespire operating systems under their current names.

Any Linux fans sad to see another company vanish from the radar, or is the creation of a bigger Xandros better for everyone? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

9 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Woodstock 3rd July 2008, 12:18 Quote
hmmm thats a nice move by xandros, as that should give them the rights to distribute non-free codecs, of course ill still take my gentoo, with gstreamer any day of the week
Phil Rhodes 3rd July 2008, 13:37 Quote
Anyone who's tried to make an Eee do - well - anything it doesn't do as it comes out of the box will question the phrase "raft of user-friendly technologies."

"More user friendly than the rest of Linux" does not equal "user friendly!"
Gareth Halfacree 3rd July 2008, 13:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Anyone who's tried to make an Eee do - well - anything it doesn't do as it comes out of the box will question the phrase "raft of user-friendly technologies."

"More user friendly than the rest of Linux" does not equal "user friendly!"
But... The Eee doesn't run Linspire. It runs Xandros. Xandros has bought Linspire, giving it access to a "raft of user-friendly technologies" that it didn't have when making the Eee OS. Which means the next Eee OS will hopefully be more user friendly than the last one.

Isn't that what I wrote?
Dreaming 3rd July 2008, 15:29 Quote
I think this could be a good thing for the linux movement which is something I want to believe in but still whatever its advocates say still struggles with the user friendly click and go experience that you get with windows (except when windows goes wrong... heh). It's come a very long way and this is just another one of those steps.

Not there yet, but making progress...
Phil Rhodes 3rd July 2008, 21:17 Quote
> Isn't that what I wrote?

I'm not sure anymore... I'm going back to XP!
Glider 3rd July 2008, 21:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming
Not there yet, but making progress...
Every step is one closer... For average Joe there usually already is a OpenSource package that does what he wants...
Cthippo 4th July 2008, 05:46 Quote
I've heard good things about Linspire, my dad uses it and sayd it just works, which is often quite a compliment to a linux distro.

The codecs alone are probably worth whatever Xandros paid for it.

What's interesting here is that this puts Xandros in a great position to take the mantle of "linux messiah to the masses huddled in windows" away from Ubuntu. They've scored a great coub in being the first mass marketed distro in the consumer space, and it sounds like they're on track to get even better!
Xir 4th July 2008, 07:38 Quote
sooo...freespire is the free version of linspire?
ParaHelix.org 4th July 2008, 10:48 Quote
I just wish Steam would start working on Linux compatible content, I know there is WINE but that's just no good for gaming.
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