06.07.08

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Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part III: Xandros and Laptops

Posted in GNU/Linux, Xandros at 6:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Xandros, a bad boy of Linux, appears to have made some progress over the past week. Just as a quick and gentle reminder, Xandros is a Microsoft-taxed GNU/Linux distribution that exploits Debian. Microsoft is paid money when you buy it, so please don’t.

Over at Practical Tech, there is this rather bizarre piece from SJVN who is advocating — or at least recommending — Xandros. Grains of salt may be needed when it comes to his speculative statistics. The eWeek-Xandros affinity leaves us cautious regarding this assessment. SJVN used to work for Ziff Davis, so there’s room for bias.

Novell’s Zonker rightly rebuts this one. He also adds:

The new wave of UMPC devices and new mobile devices are a strong opportunity to put Linux in the hands of new users. The resource requirements mean that Linux is well-suited for these devices, and the fact that Linux can be heavily customized also means that Linux is a great choice for manufacturers looking to differentiate themselves from the competition in ways other than hardware and pricing.

There was one press release from Xandros, which appears to have gotten a little chummy with Intel’s Moblin and those Netbooks many rave about at the moment.

Xandros, Inc., the leading provider of custom OEM Linux solutions and next-generation Linux desktop and server products, and advanced cross-platform Windows-Linux management tools, today announced that it will deliver Moblin-based products designed to increase the battery life and energy efficiency of a new breed of simple, affordable Internet devices called ‘netbooks’ using Intel® Atom(TM) Processors.

ASUS uses its homebrew derivative of Xandros, which appears to be extending to more of its devices as time goes by. Like Acer, it increasingly strategises on GNU/Linux and builds its own customised solutions to achieve the task.

ASUS plans to launch the system in September and is still anticipated to use its custom version of Xandros Linux to drive down the price; an earlier cost estimate puts the Eee Monitor’s launch price at $500, or well under the $1,200 price of an iMac and less still than the Windows-based, $1,300 Gateway One and the $1,500 Dell XPS One.

We wrote about IIRA once before in the context of Xandros and now it appears as though this India-based company deploys Xandros. It actually buys this whole “interoperatibility” Kool-Aid.

After studying the scenario we deployed Sugar CRM for customer relationship management, Mambo for CMS, and a very advance Helpdesk on very reliable Operating system Xandros. The main strength of teh OS lies in the interoperatibility of Xandros with other properitary software.

It’s always interesting when you find trivial typos like “teh” in a press release (never mind “properitary”). The channel of distribution too indicates that IIRA is still a small company that does not qualify for the more professional and pricey pipes (wires). So, it’s nothing to worry about at the moment.

There is also this press release about Scalix, which is now part of Xandros.

Scalix, the Xandros award-winning Linux e-mail, calendaring and messaging company, today announced the release of Scalix “Software-as-a-Service” (SaaS) solutions for Managed Service Providers (MSPs). The Scalix Hosting Edition enables MSPs and other B2B service providers to offer Scalix e-mail and calendaring solutions to their business customers at half the cost of comparable Microsoft Exchange solutions. In contrast to the subscription model of Microsoft Exchange, Scalix has a perpetual one-time license fee. As a result, Scalix service providers can pass savings on to customers, yet approximately double their return on investment (ROI).

All in all, it seems like Asustek does a lot of the legwork for the “Xandros” brand. Xandros itself just unleashes press releases, but almost no-one in the press seems to notice (or care).

It would be interesting to know if Xandors gets paid by Asustek in some way (other than the ‘brand’ reward, which is intangible). We are not courageous enough to ask Xandros questions. We do, after all, run a formal boycott against them.

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2 Comments

  1. sjvn said,

    June 7, 2008 at 8:16 am

    Gravatar

    Actually, I don’t recommend Xandros in this piece, I’m simply noting that quite quietly Xandors, thanks to the Asus deal, has become quite popular.

    That said, I do recommend Xandros for Windows users wanting to put a toe into Linux. I’ve found it to be the most Windows-like of the distributions.

    Your usage may vary.

    Steven

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 7, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Gravatar

    Hi, Steven,

    I’m still not sure how fair it would be to call it Xandros. It’s like calling Ubuntu Debian, maybe even “Debian for Human Beings”. It seems as though Asustek never named their derivatives or at least the UI (think about Mezzo + Ubuntu = Symphony OS).

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