03.08.08

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Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part II: Xandros and Linspire

Posted in GNU/Linux, Linspire, Red Hat, Tivoization, Xandros at 3:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Making a bit of an exception here, this Saturday posting is about Linspire and Xandros in isolation. For those who are new to this Web site, posts which have “Do-No-Evil Saturday” prepended are an attempt to catch up with neutral/good news about companies which we keep track of.

Here is a story about poor old Linspire, which explains just what happened there with Microsoft several years ago. The antitrust petition says a lot more.

Poor old Microsoft

The firm often likes to cast itself as the victim despite being manifestly ill-suited to the role

It’s a safe bet that if you ask the average PC user to name a well-known computing resource starting with “lin” they’d think of Second Life’s unit of currency, Linden Dollars. And, five years back, the same people would probably have said: “Oh, Lindows!”

That was when Lindows was a brand name that didn’t belong to Microsoft. It does today, but only after a long lawsuit that didn’t in fact go Microsoft’s way: the software giant had to pay what is now Linspire Inc $24m to settle the case and get the rights to the name. And this was a case that Microsoft initiated.

[...]

There is, of course, a marked difference between protecting a brand, and exerting monopoly power. Monopoly power involves telling the small PC builder that they have to pay Microsoft for a Windows licence on every PC they build, whether or not they install Windows on every PC, because those are Microsoft’s terms of business ­ take it or leave it.

Linspire made some noise about Win4Lin with this press release earlier this week.

Linspire, Inc. developer of CNR.com, an easy-to-use, one-click digital software delivery service for desktop Linux software, and Virtual Bridges, Inc. developers of the award-winning Win4Lin Pro virtualization software, today announced the immediate availability of Win4Lin Pro Desktop 4.5 through CNR.com’s one-click Linux software delivery service. Available at a special introductory price of $34.99, Win4Lin Pro Desktop provides consumers, SMBs and enterprise customers an easy-to-use virtualization solution that allows Freespire 2.0, Linspire 6.0, Ubuntu 7.04 & 7.10 desktop Linux users to run Windows on Linux and assists in the complete migration process to desktop Linux.

Here is Linspire’s big problem.

With so many new distributions like PCLinuxOS, Linux Mint, and more established distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora stepping up on polish, and even since the community edition of Linspire is available, Freespire came out a while back, why buy Linspire?

Moving on the Xandros, it has just introduced a tool for Red Hat.

Xandros, the leading provider of intuitive Linux solutions and mixed-environment management tools, and parent of Scalix, Inc., the leading e-mail server and solutions company, today announced the preview of the all new Xandros BridgeWays Management Console for Red Hat servers.

There was also this other announcement, but the press bothered to cover none of the two.

Low-Cost Turnkey Solution for Windows Deployment and Updates to Preview at CeBit in Hanover

There is a new review of Scalix here (now part of Xandros), but it’s interesting that none of the press releases above actually attracted the attention of journalists. Scalix and Novell’s Groupwise are listed in this article about E-mail server suites, but it’s hardly the article’s focus.

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