Bonum Certa Men Certa

Linspire Torn to Pieces by Linux Watcher, Xandros Linux Lost Its Way

It is not our role or desire to disrespect developers and their product, but the following two bits are worth mentioning. They are both new and both of them serve as timely reminders that Linspire and Xandros never stood a chance in the Linux market.

Such reminders might, as a matter of fact, explain why Linspire and Xandros chose to defect, sell out, change teams, and work with Microsoft against other Linux distributors. They did, after all, receive some money to fight Free software with venom such as OOXML, .NET, IP FUD, and proprietary bridges for loose-yet-pricey interoperability.

The betrayal ought be very clear for everyone to see. For those who fail to see the Big Picture, remind yourselves of the subtle actions that speak volumes. To quote Scott Ruecker, the recently-inaugurated editor-in-chief of LXer:

The hands down winner for FUD article of the week belongs to the CEO of Linspire, Kevin Carmony. He makes veiled accusations and talks about the respect we should have for the IP of others, namely Microsoft. He's right about one thing, Linux is splitting into two factions. Those who capitulate to unfounded IP claims and those who don't.


Here is what another short article has to say:

Microsoft wants Linux dead. Write it down.

My opinion of anybody who purports to be pro-Linux while selling out to Linux's sworn enemy was already pretty low. News of Novell, Xandros, and now Linspire lining up to seal a deal with Redmond already crossed my desk, and the very best I can hope for them is that they find a cooler niche of Hell to go stand in.


I did not quote parts that contain stronger language. The writer rips them apart and he takes aim at Kevin Carmony for his tactless and controversial statements. He also criticises those that defend Carmoney's statements. These statements are even worse than Novell's, which still likes to deny that the deal was not about patents (albeit it still flip-flops on this one, at times).

The writeup ends up suggesting that Carmony now works in favour Bill Gates. just as we recently argued ourselves. You may already know this, but when Carmony was recruited to manage Linspire, Roberson asked him what he knew about Linux. Carmony said he knew nothing. And guess what? Nothing has changed since.

The second item worth mentioning is a review of the latest Xandros Linux. This comes from an author with proven expertise in KDE, so his words are nothing to sneeze at. Here are his conclusions:

Overall I’d consider Xandros Linux 4 Professional a less than decent Linux distribution, definitely nothing to write home about, and certainly nothing I would recommend to anyone seeking to make the switch to Linux. Especially with the somewhat mediocre job Xandros did with their version and the recent patent contract with Microsoft. I also find it ironic that while they’re very much set on converting Windows users to Linux by the bucketful, they ultimately signed a patent treaty with the same company whom they’re trying to undermine by stealing their users. A pact with the devil that’s sure to come back and haunt them some day.


It is becoming clear that Linspire and Xandros will sink, not flourish, after their deals with Microsoft. Their investors might hope they got paid generously in order to take the dive. Let us also hope that they don't stay around for much longer because their existence does more harm than good to Linux. They carry a rotten message and they actually implement (with their own resources and staff) Microsoft's latest tools for sustaining a monopoly.

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