The company changed its name from Lindows, pulled out of an IPO, and then did a licensing deal with Microsoft, much like the ones signed by Xandros and Novell – only Linspire’s was even less popular.
Whoever signed this deal at the time either did not speak to a lawyer or was simply too foolish (and greedy). An internal post mortem could reveal who is responsible for the end of Linspire. At the moment, all that’s left is a legal mess and an abandoned plan [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. CNR is a non-asset despite what the following article tells.
So maybe this is the real value of the Xandros/Linspire deal: a humane package manager, a way to install external software in Linux that doesn’t scare off the uninitiated. I still like the idea of everything-in-the-repository for the sake of consistency, but the more possibilities we have on the table, the better.
CNR is already GPL-licensed though. What’s more, other analogous (and very satisfactory) solutions already exists. Even Kevin Carmony came to realise that Ubuntu, for instance, did not require CNR.
All in all, is seems like this so-called acquisition is just lipstick on a pig. It would be just embarrassing had Linspire shut down rather than sold itself.
Interestingly enough, Xandros might not end here. Pay attention to this.
Londini isn’t ruling out more acquisitions of this sort by Xandros in the near future.
Xandros’ CEO, Andreas Typaldos, has acknowledged that the move forms part of the company’s desire to expand into enterprise markets. “This is part of Xandros’ larger plan and vision for being a full product company to service both the consumer/OEM and enterprise markets,” he said.
Xandros has already acquired (ruined) Scalix, which now pays 'Microsoft tax' as well. So although Scalix never signed a deal with Microsoft, the Xandros takeover had a similar effect. They signed a quiet agreement later (‘licensing’ protocols).
Companies like Xandros and Novell are a death blow to any FOSS entity they touch. It would be an issue if PlateSpin, for example, was a FOSS company. XenSource, on the oither hand, became a prisoner of Redmond because of Citrix. █