03.29.08

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Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part II: Those Other Microsoft Allies (Linspire, Xandros)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Linspire, Microsoft, Turbolinux, Xandros at 2:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There are 4 companies in total, at least among GNU/Linux desktop vendors, which sold out to Microsoft. Turbolinux hardly makes it into the English-speaking news channels while Linspire and Xandros are orders of magnitude smaller than Novell. But here is what we know about them based on the past week’s news.

Linspire

Linspire is rarely reviewed, but here is Steve York taking Freespire for test drive.

Conclusions

I genuinely cannot fault Freespire and that’s hard for an overly critical person like me to admit. The only complaint I have is the slightly cluttered start-bar but that’s customisable – functionality wise the whole system just works. The single most annoying thing about Freespire is that I’ve only just stumbled upon it’s greatness. If someone dresses up the menus and the folder icons then this has the potential to be the best release in the world – and I genuinely believe that.

Here is Matt Harley’s review of CNR (Beta).

You Missed One. As I read the press release, I felt like Linspire started off strong in explaining its technology and how CNR went from closed to open source, but then they lost me in the end. Where is the Ubuntu support for proprietary codecs ? Despite Linux users opting to use free and open alternatives to restricted codecs, the reality is that most newcomers to Ubuntu are looking for proprietary codecs in such a way so as not to have to wonder about the perceived legalities in their country.

[...]

Hopefully, Linspire will continue to focus on CNR and work towards improving it even further than it already has. We wish them the best of luck and except to see exciting developments from them going forward.

Xandros

The low-profile Andreas Typaldos will make an appearance in public pretty shortly. He is the head of Xandros.

Xandros, Inc., the leading provider of intuitive Linux solutions and mixed-environment management tools, is scheduled to present at the Cambria Capital Investor Meeting in Salt Lake City…

Eee PC

We continue to assume that ASUS pays Microsoft not even a penny for what is clearly just a derivative of Xandros. The only uncertainty that remains and boggles the mind is the extent to which Eee PC helps Xandros at a marketing or recognition level. Here, for instance, is an SDK for the Eee PC, which credits Xandros.

According to the user guide (PDF link), the SDK includes the following components:

* Xandros Desktop Open Circulation Version 4.5
* QT
* Eclipse
* QT plugin for Eclipse
* Debian packaging wizard developed by Xandros

The Eee PC will soon have multi-touch support, which X Server facilitates.

The feature will require ASUS’ variant on Xandros Linux and will only support pinching in Adobe’s Acrobat Reader, ASUS’ Photomanager tool, and OpenOffice documents. As with the Mac, scrolling is universal.

Sales are still going well despite supply shortages. The proportion of Linux PCs that are sold in this way is important in establishing a critical mass, although the tipping point is already behind us.

Asus has claimed that it’s only able to sell one Eee PC for around every three people that want one.

It seems safe to say that low-cost laptops will reshape the market. They blur the gap between computers and devices, and that’s just fine.

XFCE

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