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Xandros Reportedly Buys Out Linspire

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the surely-somebody's-making-money-here dept.

Linux Business 153

2muchcoffeeman writes "Former Linspire president and CEO Kevin Carmony — whose relationship with his former employer has turned acrimonious, to say the least — reported on his blog that Xandros and Linspire signed an agreement in principle for Xandros to buy Linspire June 19. Carmony includes a scan of the memo to Linspire shareholders announcing the deal, which requires the former Linspire company to change its name. According to the memo, the stockholders voted to change the company's name to Digital Cornerstone, Inc. Despite the wording of the Linspire memo to stockholders, this deal apparently came as a surprise to Carmony and other stockholders. Some here may remember that both Xandros and Linspire signed patent protection deals with Microsoft in 2007."

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Obscure stuff (5, Interesting)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 6 years ago | (#24010305)

From the eweek link:

#97 Kevin Carmony - Linspire/Freespire
Guiding Linux distribution to be among the most popular on the desktop.

I think Linspire users must be as rare as hen's teeth, I've certainly never even heard of a single person using it, other than the guy who reviewed it for distrowatch. Same goes for Xandros. though I did download that one once to check it out with a windows-stranded friend in mind, but saw no advantage over Ubuntu.
Come to think of it, who the heck is eweek?

Re:Obscure stuff (4, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about 6 years ago | (#24010333)

Good points, but Xandros is the default Linux distro for the Asus EEE PC. I'd expect a sudden boost in popularity just from that.

Re:Obscure stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24010865)

Xandros is the default Linux distro for the Asus EEE PC

Why? Is there a compelling advantage to Xandros for Asus? Does Lindros pay them to do it, and/or offers technical assitance to make sure the distro's a good preconfigured fit for the hardware? Does the deal curry any favour with Microsoft? They may not have figured out the 'extinguish' yet, but this would be an early foothold of an 'embrace' by getting a collaboration partner distro or two become representational faces of Linux.

Re:Obscure stuff (0, Troll)

setagllib (753300) | about 6 years ago | (#24010945)

It could be because Xandros licenses patents from Microsoft that are necessary for functionality average end users expect, so it can be provided by default, out of the box, unlike on Ubuntu. I vastly prefer Ubuntu anyway, as someone who never uses anything out of the box.

Re:Obscure stuff (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | about 6 years ago | (#24013571)

It could be because Xandros licenses patents from Microsoft that are necessary for functionality average end users expect, so it can be provided by default, out of the box, unlike on Ubuntu.

What exactly does Xandros offer out of the box that Ubuntu doesn't that also requires a patent license from Microsoft? I'm genuinely curious.

Re:Obscure stuff (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | about 6 years ago | (#24013941)

Blue Screens of Death?

Linspire came on some cheap desktops I picked up, but the very first action I took after plugging it in was to format the drive. But if I remember right, they were touting it as having some better / easy application installation......but Ubuntu isn't hard, either.


Re:Obscure stuff (1)

setagllib (753300) | about 6 years ago | (#24014039)

WMV, and things like that, from what I've heard. Don't quote me on that since I haven't tried it, which is why I said "could be".

Re:Obscure stuff (1)

stm2 (141831) | about 6 years ago | (#24014615)

Xandros has a filemanager that looks like the windows file explorer. I don't know if this is patented.

Re:Obscure stuff (5, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 6 years ago | (#24011447)

Well,I can tell you I have been very happily running Xandros Business on my laptop since Xandros 3(currently at 4.1) and I can tell you that if you need to interface Windows networks,especially with AD or Exchange,you really can't go wrong with it. And from what I have read on the forums the only reason that Xandros signed that deal with MSFT was because MSFT refused to give them the code for the AD/Exchange APIs they had to have for interoperability. Considering that Xandros is for mixed business networks and that Xandros server was designed to be dropped right into a Windows AD forest and inter-operate, without access to those APIs they would have been toast.

As it is it really does make a nice drop in replacement for a business desktop on a Windows network,and even comes with Crossover Office so your major Windows apps will run. As it is I am quite happy with its performance and ability to get me on different SMB AD networks that I am called in to work on without hassle. When I am out on a job I don't have to twiddle with the CLI,and for me Xandros just gets the job done reliably. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

Re:Obscure stuff (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 6 years ago | (#24012831)

I think you are mistaken about the API necessities. Contemporary versions of Samba, Kerberos, and LDAP work quite nicely with Active Directory integration. Additional API's might be desirable to replace Active Directory _servers_, and the Samba team is having understandable difficulty getting all the details right for Samba 4.0. But keeping Microsoft's alleged but undocumented and unrevealed patents away from your investors could easily be worth signing such an agreement to a company that just wants to sell their products, and is willing to leave the ethical andn legal burdens of protecting Linux to the rest of us.

Crossover Office is handy, but I've never found it to be more than 95% effective. Perhaps this API cooperation with Microsoft is more centered on MS Office? That's a vastly more complex, ill-documented, and difficult to integrate API than network integration itself.

Re:Obscure stuff (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 6 years ago | (#24013323)

Well,from what i read a lot of the trouble came from AD and Exchange server and their protocols,as the Xandros team was trying to make Xandros server work both as a member server AND as a domain controller in an AD forest,depending on the needs of the client. And from what I understood the really stickler was getting it to run seamlessly. After all,we are talking about a server,which is something you need to run rock solid 24/7/365 and can't just reboot it because AD and Exchange have stopped playing nice. Add on top of that the integration of Scalix for integration of group calendar and messaging functions, and trying to get all that to work reliably,and you can see where access to the APIs could be the difference between success and failure. And folks seem to forget this was done a good while before the EU decision that opened up the protocols,and before that it was pretty much MSFT voodoo that could be changed at anytime.

Would I have made the same decision? I don't know,as I don't know how much luck they were having with integration. But that is one of the great things about Open Source,we can all do things differently. For those that want nothing but free,there is distros like Gnusense. For those that want free as in beer and don't like the MSFT deal,there is Ubuntu and many others. And for someone like me who needs to be able to walk into an AD network and have things just work,there is Xandros. Everyone can choose what works for them. And as always this is my 02c(free in every way),YMMV

Re:Obscure stuff (1)

Internet_Communist (592634) | about 6 years ago | (#24010347)

heh, pretty much exactly what i was thinking too. I don't think anyone in their right mind uses linspire. Don't they charge just to use their repository? what's the point when there's a ton of free alternatives which are likely just as good if not better.

Re:Obscure stuff (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | about 6 years ago | (#24010695)

They have to charge for something, they are using direct financial income to support the development they do. They do in fact write some code for their distro, though i can't remember what it was at the moment.

Re:Obscure stuff (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24011117)

And... Red Hat doesn't pay developers to work on RHEL/Fedora and Fedora is a free as in speech and beer distro. And doesn't Canonical pay developers to improve Ubuntu even when it is a free as in speech and beer distro?

Re:Obscure stuff (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | about 6 years ago | (#24011165)

Yes, I'm just saying their business model is quite different so they have to charge for something somewhere. Xandros actually charges for software, most of them charge for support and give the software away for free. RHEL is 100% GPL as far as i know, but some Xandros stuff isn't GPL or even open source, so they can literally prevent people from giving it away like you can with RHEL (centos).

Re:Obscure stuff (1)

cbart387 (1192883) | about 6 years ago | (#24013737)

> RHEL is 100% GPL as far as i know

It must certainly is. Without Redhat we wouldn't have CentOS. CentOS is built from Redhat's source with all the trademarking removed. []

Re:Obscure stuff (1)

Knuckles (8964) | about 6 years ago | (#24011819)

And? RedHat charges a lot for its distro, and Ubuntu has a millionaire to pay the bills.

Re:Obscure stuff (1)

NickFortune (613926) | about 6 years ago | (#24013939)

And? RedHat charges a lot for its distro

Strictly, RedHat charges for the support contract that goes with the software (and also you get Red Hat branding, for those who care about such things).

If all you want is the software, you can get that for free, with RedHat's blessing. CentOS would be

Eee (4, Informative)

wytcld (179112) | about 6 years ago | (#24010357)

The ASUS EEE runs a derivative of Xandros, although Xandros sort of disowns it:

Does Xandros Provide Support for the Eee PC?
No. The Eee PC is an ASUS product and is solely supported by them, including Operating system issues. The Operating System on the Eee PC is not a Xandros Product. While Xandros may have aided in the development of the Eee PC OS, it is owned and supported by ASUS.

Re:Eee (1, Informative)

Burz (138833) | about 6 years ago | (#24010763)

That's good to know, because Xandros is one of the corps that signed a patent deal with MS while Steve Ballmer was threatening Linux users over supposed patent infringement.

More than that is GPLv3, which only grandfathered in the deal with Novell. As time goes on and GPLv3 figures more largely in the typical Linux distro, the other corps who signed on with MS will be stuck in a hard place.

Re:Eee (0, Offtopic)

initialE (758110) | about 6 years ago | (#24010855)

A pity that Asus doesn't provide a lot of good support, especially for the Linux wireless drivers for the built-in aetheros device (fyi my experience was that WPA wasn't working) - afaik it's either community support or nothing. Which is strange since both the distro and the hardware specs are clearly not unknowns.

Re:Eee (1, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#24011715)

I remember the days when PC magazine was a good magazine. It had reviews, technical howto articles and did decent reviews. I still remember the war between Windows and OS/2. As Microsoft became the only player in town, the magazine stopped being "PC magazine" and became "Windows magazine". Then it went all downhill.

Re:Eee (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | about 6 years ago | (#24012819)

Didn't know that! Well, be it Asus or Xandros, I find that they did a very good job here! Out of the EEE box, everything "just works". I never had so little problems with video and sound formats as on the EEE. If they only could sign a deal with Apple to get quicktime working flawlessly as well ;)

Re:Obscure stuff (5, Informative)

Dice (109560) | about 6 years ago | (#24010361)

Come to think of it, who the heck is eweek?

They're one of those shitty "tech magazines". PC World, Network World, CIO Mag, all trash magazines that you can basically pick up for free in those little magazine racks that nobody pays attention to in computer stores. The magazines are 75% ads and 25% ads masquerading as articles.

eWeek and Spencer the Cat (2, Interesting)

Orion Blastar (457579) | about 6 years ago | (#24010895)

Infoworld and eWeek were the computer tabloids that wished they were Byte or even Compute!, they had more articles that shilled products than they had neutral articles if you could find one. Most editors and writers got bribed by computer companies to write a good article on their product in exchange for keeping the product plus other gifts.

Spencer the Cat was the gossip guy, but around 2000 his gossip columns became more advertising and less rumor. I think when he made a prediction that Microsoft would switch to a Xenix clone named Winix to compete with Linux was when he lost his mojo back during the Clinton Administration and Dotcom busts that made gossip and rumor columns had to get info so they started to make stuff up.

Re:eWeek and Spencer the Cat (3, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | about 6 years ago | (#24011031)

Most editors and writers got bribed by computer companies to write a good article on their product in exchange for keeping the product plus other gifts.

As a former senior editor at InfoWorld, I request that you either substantiate that claim or keep your opinions to yourself. You obviously have no idea what you're talking about.

For the record, I know for a fact that nobody accepts any kind of gifts in exchange for editorial coverage at InfoWorld. I can't speak for eWeek of my own experience, but I have no reason to believe they're any different.

Incidentally, I'm sure there are plenty of people on Slashdot who will say that you're shitty at your job, too, but it's really none of their business, now is it?

Re:eWeek and Spencer the Cat (3, Interesting)

Orion Blastar (457579) | about 6 years ago | (#24011243)

Gladly, Infoworld explores such a thing here [] .

It is no secret that vendors give out "gifts" and this happens for many corporations even magazine publishing corporations.

So you are telling me that despite Infoworld employees being given "gifts" by vendors, it does not influence how they write their article, and just because the article written is positive and the writer and/or editor got "gifts" it is not selling out or shilling or even considered unethical?

That somehow because I cited a problem in the media, it means I do a shitty job?

Well to be civil, and because you are upset and angry over it and it appears I touched a nerve, I will withdraw the statement for your sake. I don't want you getting stressed out over it, or anyone to say you did anything wrong over it, eWeek too as well as Infoworld. :)

Re:eWeek and Spencer the Cat (3, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | about 6 years ago | (#24011373)

So you are telling me that despite Infoworld employees being given "gifts" by vendors, it does not influence how they write their article, and just because the article written is positive and the writer and/or editor got "gifts" it is not selling out or shilling or even considered unethical?

And I am telling you -- not just making stuff up, as you are doing, but telling you -- that it is specifically against InfoWorld editorial policy to accept gifts of any kind in exchange for editorial coverage. I say this out of firsthand knowledge. On what do you base your repeated claims? An editorial that was written in 2002 on a different topic?

That somehow because I cited a problem in the media, it means I do a shitty job?

No, what I am saying is that by making baseless accusations you are in effect accusing a lot of very talented, very dedicated people of doing shitty jobs. I wouldn't do that to you. What gives you the right? Furthermore, what makes you think you shouldn't be called out on it?

If you had any kind of evidence to support your claims, you would name names, at least, and allow those people to defend themselves. God forbid you should have any actual evidence. But to just say "all the editors take bribes," without so much as naming a single name, makes you not just a liar, but a coward, too.

Re:eWeek and Spencer the Cat (2, Informative)

Orion Blastar (457579) | about 6 years ago | (#24011499)

Well some people seem to think so [] and so do others [] and some gave awards [] for shilling.

But clearly I must apologize as I don't know what I am talking about, nor does any other Slashdot reader. I don't know why we say these things, must be a geek thing. We are all liars and cowards, like you said. Must be why we disagree about Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows with you.

I'm sorry and I apologize, it was a botched joke.

Re:eWeek and Spencer the Cat (2, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | about 6 years ago | (#24011737)

I accept the apology. I likewise apologize; you made me hot under the collar, because as you point out above, people in my industry have to take crap like this all the time.

I'll put it to you this way, and then I'll leave it alone, because you've already apologized and it's seriously off-topic anyway: You can say that I or any of my colleagues in the industry are stupid. You can say we don't know what we're talking about. You can say we can't write. You could say you could do a better job than us. You can say we're ugly and we smell, for all I care. None of that matters to me; when you sign your name to something that you publish online, you set yourself up for that. But when you call into question someone's professionalism, their dedication, their standards, and their ethics, and you imply that they're somehow corrupt and easily bought, and you do it in such a way that it sounds like you're stating some kind of incontrovertible facts -- to me, that's not right. When I hear that, I feel compelled to set you straight. The people I have had the pleasure to work alongside in this industry are not prostitutes, nor are they shills for Microsoft or any other company. I suspect people will never quit saying that they are, but I may never cease to be annoyed by it. That's all.

Re:eWeek and Spencer the Cat (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | about 6 years ago | (#24011855)

No problem, I get angry too and lose my temper. I understand and again I am sorry. You've shown me that I made a mistake and that I was wrong. You have proven yourself to be one of the good ones.

I am sorry that I was one of those overzealous computer geeks trying to strike back for anti-Linux and FUD articles, and I am glad to see that you are anti-FUD which gains you some respect for me and changed my opinion on Infoworld and eWeek. I was just playing along with Dice in this thread, joking around like I usually do, but my jokes sometimes get botched and people take me serious like Andy Kaufman or some other misunderstood comedian. I write funny articles at humor Wikis on technology issues and I sometimes forget where I am at and get out of control. I got sick and mentally ill and lost my job, so there is a bit of resentment in me that I am trying to get rid of via humor. It is one of those Dilbert laugh or you go insane sort of situations. Most people at Slashdot get my geek humor at times, but sometimes I botch a joke and it gets rated troll. This was one of those cases. Though some of my jokes get rated funny or interesting as well.

No hard feelings, you are one of the good ones and I apologize to all of the Infoworld and eWeek editors and writers I wrote about. I did not know you guys had it that hard.

Re:eWeek and Spencer the Cat (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | about 6 years ago | (#24012025)

I write things to help with my mental illness [] and I also write humor and satire.

I used to be a fully functional human being, top notch, always positive, programmer/analyst that earned very good money. But the stress got to me and I had a nervous breakdown. I got sick, got high blood pressure and had heart problems, and my stomach and colon started to fail on me and then I developed schizoaffective disorder around 2000 after I had solved the Y2K issues in everyone else's code on my team and management kept piling on the work and I worked extra hours. A lot of news articles got to me, they were always negative, and I guess my stress at work made it worse. But them I went on short-term disability in June 2001 and by the time 9/11 happened I was at home recovering and it was a shock to me. Everything at my employer changed and having a mental illness was a security issue and cost too much for health insurance, and I was fired and I tried to commit suicide. I tried other employers but I was fired for being sick. I found out my medicine had caused suicidal thoughts, but I was blackballed anyway. I couldn't get health insurance nor life insurance and I was forced on disability. My career is basically over as I am not medically cleared to work, nor am I functional enough to hold a job. So I think I can understand about having a job with a lot to handle, and the stresses it has. Again, I am sorry and I apologize.

Re:eWeek and Spencer the Cat (4, Insightful)

dbcad7 (771464) | about 6 years ago | (#24012585)

Having had a girlfriend who was diagnosed as schizoaffective, I know that you probably go through hell. I do want to tell you something related to the post you linked to.. It is highly doubtful that anyone "hates" you for any post. The thing about discussion boards is it can end up with people trying to show each other up and trying to prove how much smarter they are.. and true there are going to be times when you may say something someone else doesn't like, but to say they "hate" you would be incorrect.

In your situation, discussion boards can be good for you.. but.. Just make sure you don't over anaylise peoples responses.. and remember this really doesn't mean squat in the big picture of life. Mod points and karma won't get you a nickel off a burrito at Taco Bell... and people don't sit at home thinking about what Orion Blaster posted that they did or didn't agree with.

Although you may not be ready to go to work, you might consider using your skills at home to help some open source projects, or even just starting you own project (even if for fun).. just keep things as manageable as you want, and work when your feeling good, and concentrate on your health when your not feeling so good.

Best of luck to you, and hang in there.

Re:eWeek and Spencer the Cat (2, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#24011779)

PCM2 (aka Neil Mcallister) is right.

Here's an excerpt from one of his articles [] at Infoworld, entitled "Schwartz doesn't get Linux".

Schwartz really had me going there - right up to his next line. "And frankly," he said, "its principal competitor is none other than Microsoft Windows." Huh?! That's like a company that sells nothing but certified, purebred cocker spaniels claiming that the principal competition for its product is a purebred cat. But then, Sun has never been able to own up to the elephant-size mutt in the room. Say what you want about Microsoft's business practices, but at least give Redmond credit for giving up on pretending Linux doesn't exist. If you look at Sun's public statements about Linux over the past few years, you can sum up its competitive strategy in three easy steps:

      1. Equate all Linux with Red Hat
      2. Trash-talk Red Hat, its pricing, and its business model
      3. Point customers toward Solaris

That may be a clever way to run a sales call, but Schwartz can't honestly believe that's how the thought process works in real life - can he? "We will be one of the consolidators of the open source industry," Schwartz went on to say, "as well as, certainly, in the open source operating system industry." Consolidators? Can he be serious? I know that, what with all the buzz around Oracle recently, buying up small open source companies is in vogue. But at least Larry Ellison is smart enough to recognize that it's hard to buy and sell what you cannot own.

While I read the roughlydrafted article pointing to Oliver Rist as a shill, at least we can be sure Neil does NOT shill. In fact, the whole article was anti-fud. Neil, you're on my friends list now. Keep up the good work.

Re:eWeek and Spencer the Cat (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | about 6 years ago | (#24011799)

Sure changed my mind as well. Though I had been influenced by IWETHEY in the past, that left Infoworld's forum and web site over matters like that.

I admit to being wrong and making a mistake, Neil Mcallister, you are one of the good ones and you earned Infoworld new respect from me.

Re:eWeek and Spencer the Cat (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | about 6 years ago | (#24012707)

disregarding the issue if infoworld editors are getting paid in some way for writing positive articles, I just checked the site to see if maybe I would be prejudiced about infoworld's quality.

Guess what, browsing to opens a page with *just one single huge dell ad*, and a link "skip this ad". Sorry, I do not take any site seriously that has to resort to those tactics. I even stopped going to the Onion when they started that, and that site wasn't serious to begin with ;)

The layout of the site seems to be inspired by that of english tabloid, a huge amount of "information" and useless links, combined with an absence of a clear structure.

I can't say if maybe the articles are of good quality, because it's hard to keep interest in a site that looks like that.

Re:eWeek and Spencer the Cat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24011709)

But, as a former senior editor at InfoWorld, are you getting a kick out of these replies?

Re:eWeek and Spencer the Cat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24011717)

I've personally brought favourable reviews in software publications in exchange for advertising, so perhaps individual journalists are not corrupt, but the whole magazines are.

Re:eWeek and Spencer the Cat (1)

yomegaman (516565) | about 6 years ago | (#24011927)

I used to work at a clone vendor way back in the 386 days, and I remember one time prepping a computer for a magazine review. My boss told me we already had editor's choice locked up because we were about the only outfit that advertised in this particular rag, and sure enough that was the case when the issue came out. It was some scuzzbag magazine that I can't even remember the name of, so I don't mean this to imply that everybody does it, but I have seen it happen before also.

Re:Obscure stuff (2, Informative)

jonah82 (1317291) | about 6 years ago | (#24010379)

Seeing as Xandros is the default eeepc distro I'm guessing quite a lot of people are using it. As to why asus decided on it, that, I agree is perplexing.

Re:Obscure stuff (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | about 6 years ago | (#24010853)

I bought Linspire 5.0 but did not upgrade to Linspire 6.0 and I went to Fedora and Ubuntu instead. I went to Ubuntu after Linspire started to be based on Ubuntu.

Linspire had a Freespire version which was like Linspire but had all of the commercial code and software removed and nothing but GPLed software for critics of Linspire that said it was too commercial and because it cost $50 it was not true Linux unless it was given away free. Freespire was the core of Linspire just like Darwin is the core of Mac OSX.

But I guess all Linspire users will be given an option to upgrade to Xandros at a discount, I guess? Too late I moved on to Ubuntu.

Re:Obscure stuff (2, Interesting)

SydShamino (547793) | about 6 years ago | (#24011179)

My first home server ran Xandros. After a failed attempt many years ago with Redhat, then a half-way working attempt with Debian, I found Xandros (2.0 at the time, I think) to be something that "just worked". I kept that server running for a few years, before I switched to Ubuntu.

At the time it was $99 well spent, since it made Linux work for a non-user, hardware engineer. Since then Ubuntu (and OpenOffice) have filled that gap well and it's just not necessary to buy a distribution for those benefits.

the geek's short attention span (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | about 6 years ago | (#24011299)

I think Linspire users must be as rare as hen's teeth, I've certainly never even heard of a single person using it, other than the guy who reviewed it for distrowatch

The OEM Linspire PC could be found at Walmart.

Linspire carried the torch for OEM Linux - Linux as a direct competitor to Windows in the consumer market.

Linspire irritated the FOSS purist because it believed the installed and licensed proprietary media codec and player was essential to delivering a commercially viable product.

It sold commercial software through its CNR [] repository.

Bitstrean fonts. DVD players. Games like Postal.

To this day, Walmart and Consumer Reports find it necessary to publish a disclaimer whenever they expose a newcomer to OEM Linux:

This is a Linux based PC and will not perform completely like a Windows based machine. It can perform basic activities such as E-mail, Web Browsing, Music and Pictures.

To this day, the mass-market Linux PC remains firmly anchored among the bottom-feeders. To this day. Linux hasn't broken through to a 1% share on the consumer desktop. Operating System Market Share []

Re:Obscure stuff (2, Interesting)

Sleepy (4551) | about 6 years ago | (#24011485)

Xandros? I used it, and installed it for like 5 people.

That was, of course, WAYY back when it was "Corel Linux", an innovative desktop for sure (and yes, they fell behind because they forked KDE... but man it was SO COOL being able to resize your display rez without restarting X... yes, Linux was THAT bad back then).

The other distros were all neat back when Red Hat was IGNORING the desktop. They still are, but Ubuntu has steamrolled and consolidated this space... and deservedly so!

Re:Obscure stuff (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | about 6 years ago | (#24012807)

I think Linspire users must be as rare as hen's teeth, I've certainly never even heard of a single person using it, other than the guy who reviewed it for distrowatch. Same goes for Xandros. though I did download that one once to check it out with a windows-stranded friend in mind, but saw no advantage over Ubuntu.

I think it was meant as a half way house between Windows and Linux. So good for transitioning, but not really something that is for long term use. I know one person who used to use it, but she jumped ship around the time of the Microsoft deal, and is using Ubuntu on one of the Dell laptops last I heard.

Re:Obscure stuff (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about 6 years ago | (#24014345)

Though I am a Slackware user and have been for years, Xandros does appear to be the best distro for the OOB experience FOR A DESKTOP. Not the best solution if you want to set up a server, router, firewall or such, but for a destkop Xandros really does make a lot of things easy.

I have the Eee PC and have tried almost all the available distros (Debian, Eeedora, Puppeee, Breezy, Slaxeee (my favourite "other" Eee distro), Eeexubuntu...), with some of them I spent several days of serious work, but in the end, Xandros works the best. WLAN? Best choser, most mature and bug-free setup of all. 3G modem? Among the only distros to support devices like the Huawei and similar. Webcam, application add/remove for beginners, automount that works, good file browser (well integrated with the system!) etc. etc. Xandros ticks so many boxes, even the most rabid Slahsdotter SHOULD give it some credit.

Re:Obscure stuff (2, Interesting)

stm2 (141831) | about 6 years ago | (#24014601)

I am former Linspire user, now I use Freespire.
You can see a picture of me using Linspire here: []
(rather old picture anyway).
My main cmoputer iss an HP Pavilion dv 5000 laptop. Ubuntu prior 8.04 didn't recognize the wifi card (unless you do extensive hacking, to have a sub-standart result). With Freespire it works "out of the box" (using NDISwrapper). Everything work very easy, even easier than Ubuntu (my wife machine, a Sony VAIO VGN-CR220E, uses Ubuntu).
But I tried the 8.04 liveCD in my HP and a wizard downloaded the driver for my wifi, so there is no need to keep on using Freespire, but I didn't found time to make the change, yet.
CNR is a big selling point of Freespire/Linspire, but it will be available to Ubuntu AFAIK. (see []
Freespire were releasing several products every month at the beginning, but now they are somehow without to much activity.
If you value your time, Linspire is not a bad choice.

Used Freespire (And Lindows) (4, Interesting)

s0litaire (1205168) | about 6 years ago | (#24010339)

Never liked them much. Xandros is on the way out too. Only thing it has at the moment is that it's shipped on the Eee PC by default (apart from XP). But Given that people then stick their own flavour of Linux on an Eee (Like Ubuntu). Once the UMPC version of Ubuntu is release,d it might take over Xandros's place on the Eee PC's

Re:Used Freespire (And Lindows) (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | about 6 years ago | (#24010707)

Its got more than that, there are some refinements they did to their system that make it easier to use.

Re:Used Freespire (And Lindows) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24010821)

right, but the shame of admitting to running ubuntu?

Re:Used Freespire (And Lindows) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24011315)

And what about the shame of admitting to acting like an elitist prick?

Name change idea (5, Funny)

mrroot (543673) | about 6 years ago | (#24010397)

Might I suggest... Lindows?

Re:Name change idea (4, Funny)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 6 years ago | (#24010563)

Since I'm a Mandriva user, in the spirit of Mandrake + Connectiva = Mandriva, I vote for Xandros + Linspire = Xanspire. Or maybe Lindros, but I think that may give people a concussion.

Re:Name change idea (1)

ydrol (626558) | about 6 years ago | (#24010987)

I vote for Xandros + Linspire = Xanspire. Or maybe Lindros, but I think that may give people a concussion.


Re:Name change idea (4, Funny)

ydrol (626558) | about 6 years ago | (#24010995)


Darn, domain is taken.

Re:Name change idea (1)

robbie_n (612767) | about 6 years ago | (#24013023)

This is more like when Mandriva bought out Lycoris about six months after the Conectiva merger. They subsumed the whole of Lycoris and there was nothing left afterwards.

Re:Name change idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24013541)


Re:Name change idea (1)

dgbraun (1181519) | about 6 years ago | (#24013981)

Why not be cryptic and call it "Eric"

Re:Name change idea (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24010575)

d00d, you got two "Reply To This" strings at the bottom of your post.
But the upper one doesn't work.
This interface is teh suck.
I can't even figure out where to file a bug report.

Re:Name change idea (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 6 years ago | (#24010719)

Oh that's easy. You can file a bug report [here].

(actually there is a bug in slashcode that will affect this thread - if GP ever changes his sig, all of his old messages will have their sigs changed too so this thread won't make any sense. I believe this is since /. does a realtime lookup rather than storing the sig in the message itself. )

Re:Name change idea (1)

mrroot (543673) | about 6 years ago | (#24011551)

I don't get it, what are you guys talking about?

Re:Name change idea (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 6 years ago | (#24011765)

Ooooh... Why you just- .... oooooh

Re:Name change idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24010731)

d00d, you got two "Reply To This" strings at the bottom of your post.

d00d you're drunk

Re:Name change idea (1)

ya really (1257084) | about 6 years ago | (#24010851)

d00d, you got two "Reply To This" strings at the bottom of your post.

d00d you're drunk

And it takes a "special" kind of drunk to use the wrong form of to

Re:Name change idea (1)

nullchar (446050) | about 6 years ago | (#24011747)

And it takes a "special" kind of drunk to use the wrong form of to

I am drunk but I still have no idea what you are talking about. Clearly reply too this and reply two this are not the correct options.

You're obviously too sober.

Re:Name change idea (1)

dedazo (737510) | about 6 years ago | (#24010969)

Following the Madrake-Conectiva lead which gave the world the term "Mandriva", maybe they could name it Xanspire. Or Linsandros. Or maybe Spiredros? Drospire?

Re:Name change idea (1)

i_love_unix (1123543) | about 6 years ago | (#24011103)

What about Lindros?

Re:Name change idea (1)

2muchcoffeeman (573484) | about 6 years ago | (#24011609)

What about Lindros?

Covered previously in the discussion. Besides, most people would wonder why a former NHL player [] is distributing Linux.

Linspire was a pretty awful name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24010421)

As a made-up name, Linspire will not be missed, you couldn't say it without either smirking or looking away in disappointment. Maybe whoever came up with the name also decided that Mr. Carmony ("Karma" plus "Harmony") would be a good fit to run the company.

Of course, a shell company non-name like "Digital Cornerstone" is ten times worse. It just conjures up images of scads of lawyers and finance people talking too loudly on their phones as they glance ostentatiously at their Movado watches.

Re:Linspire was a pretty awful name (1)

yomegaman (516565) | about 6 years ago | (#24011951)

Xandros is no great shakes either. It sounds like some kind of phony aphrodisiac cologne advertised in Hustler.

Linspire... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24010525)

is the America online of Linux distrobutions. In other words, it's for people who don't know any better. The only difference is that it lacks a marketing department.

Re:Linspire... (4, Informative)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 6 years ago | (#24011011)

I'd agree, but no one knows about it in the first place. I have followed its development, only because Micheal Robertson's Micheal's minutes blog posts were so wrong they were funny. They required you to pay to use the beta that required you to run the system as root. That's so freaking sadistic, its hilarious.

Forrest Gump moment... (0, Offtopic)

certain death (947081) | about 6 years ago | (#24010551)

Stupid is as stupid does...and stuff!

Re:Forrest Gump moment... (1)

Brain Damaged Bogan (1006835) | about 6 years ago | (#24010561)

Life is like a box of Linux Distributions...

Re:Forrest Gump moment... (2, Insightful)

2muchcoffeeman (573484) | about 6 years ago | (#24011043)

... filled with an infinite series of choices.

it is like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24010619)

one turd swallows another turd, all you got is a bigger turd...

Re:it is like this (5, Funny)

clampolo (1159617) | about 6 years ago | (#24011207)

one turd swallows another turd, all you got is a bigger turd...

You are a true poet.

Re:it is like this (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | about 6 years ago | (#24013357)

one turd swallows another turd, all you got is a bigger turd...

You are a true poet.

Psh. Everyone knows he's just ripping off Poe.

heh turd. (0, Troll)

nawcom (941663) | about 6 years ago | (#24010685)

Buying out Linspire is like paying up big bucks for a polished turd. Also note how they "reportedly" bought out Linspire. Obviously they didn't want the publicist to report that Linspire Execs were found on the front porch of the Xandros' Andreas Typaldos' house begging to submit to Xandros.

By the way, wasn't Xandros one of the distributions that paid the M$ tax? []

turd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24010929)

You wouldn't happen to know a fella named twitter?

Re:heh turd. (1)

ameyer17 (935373) | about 6 years ago | (#24010931)

By the way, wasn't Xandros one of the distributions that paid the M$ tax?

Yes. and so did Linspire.
Your point is?

Re:heh turd. (1)

2muchcoffeeman (573484) | about 6 years ago | (#24011035)

By the way, wasn't Xandros one of the distributions that paid the M$ tax? []

That's why I mentioned it when I submitted the story. :)

So Linspire goes the way of AmigaOS (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | about 6 years ago | (#24010923)

and gets bought out by a rival and then shelved or made irrelevant but die hard fans will still stick to it and use it anyway.

The same thing happened to BeOS and OS/2. I think there is a lesson to be learned here on how to market your product better than just nickle and dime marketing and why third party driver and software support is really really important and you should not mess that opportunity up.

I still remember the Linspire 1960's Marketing, with a Gogo Girl dancing to "Come on baby light my fire" but instead the lyrics said "Come on baby switch to Linspire", lame.

sellout buys sellout (1)

Vexorian (959249) | about 6 years ago | (#24010939)


Commercial Viability (3, Insightful)

jasonmanley (921037) | about 6 years ago | (#24010983)

I am still stunned that any company can make money on a desktop linux product. There are so many GOOD free options available to the end user that I just cannot see where the potential revenue stream is. I use Mandriva 2008 Spring. It HAS and DOES everthing that I need on a desktop. Now maybe this is because I am using it in a private capacity and maybe it changes the moment I put it into a commercial workspace - maybe someone can enlighten me. Is it the support agreements? is this where the money is? How much revenue can desktop support genererate?

Re:Commercial Viability (2, Insightful)

gujo-odori (473191) | about 6 years ago | (#24011477)

I'm not sure why anyone would mod this Insightful when it's nothing of the sort and may be just a troll, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and answer.

Yes, the money to be made from offering a Linux distro comes mostly from support contracts. Red Hat Enterprise Linux costs what it does not because it's better than free versions such as CentOS - which is an unbranded version of RHEL, recompiled from the RHEL source packages - but because RH provides enterprise-level support for RHEL/RHAS licenses. That includes, I suppose, the theoretical "who do we sue if something goes wrong" that more than a few people fantasize they can do when they buy software licenses. Good luck with that; notice that people have sued Microsoft for a lot of things, sometimes successfully, but not - AFAIK - for software that failed, even if it did so in a way that cost them real money out of pocket.

For many years, Red Hat sold a boxed version of the old Red Hat distro (up through 7.3, at least; maybe 8.0?), but they eventually stopped doing it because there was just no money in it. Now they offer Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and also sell support and professional services. There's a lot of money to be made there; IBM, for example, has a huge professional services division, and I'm sure you've heard of EDS, one of the oldest names in the professional services, AKA outsourcing, business.

Red Had has GPLed every piece of software they've written - or acquired - and they still make money. There is a solid business model for making money in the Linux business, and Red Hat seems to be better at it than anyone.

You're right about Free solutions, though. There are too many free and Free Linux distros that get the job done, and get it done well, for people to make much money trying to sell Linux distros to end users, or even to sell proprietary Linux applications. Mandriva ekes out a living, but they had to merge with Connectiva to have enough critical mass to keep that going. Red Hat get out of the boxed set businesses. Linspire failed to make a go of it. Xandros seems to be pretty much dead on the vine; I was actually surprised to hear they were still enough of a going concern to pick up what was left of Linspire. The Kompany was an abject failure at selling proprietary Linux apps. I'm sure I'm leaving out someone important here. And of course, there's Corel/SCO, the poster child for how not to do a Linux business. Free solutions are not only good enough for most Linux users, even in the enterprise, but they keep getting better all the time. I dual-boot Kubuntu on my MacBook Pro; most things work perfectly, and are most of the way as good as Apple's stuff. The things that don't work perfectly at least partly work, and in a year or two I expect that everything on this machine will pretty much just work under Linux. At that point, I might find myself spending more time in Kubuntu than in OS X.

Re:Commercial Viability (1)

jasonmanley (921037) | about 6 years ago | (#24011633)

Wow you really came out gun-a-blazin' at me didn't ya? Never mind I shall take the high road and explain that although your post was very interesting, I already understood how the Enterprise/Network/Server services model works for Linux, but, as stated in my question, I am not familiar with how the business model works for Desktop Linux - which is what Xandros and Linspire are targetting.

Re:Commercial Viability (1)

Miseph (979059) | about 6 years ago | (#24012303)

I think, and the GP can correct me if I'm mistaken, his point is that it doesn't work. He seems to be saying that Linspire/Xandros have a business model which is largely broken and unworkable. This would seem to be at least partially borne out by the fact that Linspire has been bought out in the way described.

Re:Commercial Viability (3, Interesting)

gujo-odori (473191) | about 6 years ago | (#24012493)

Precisely. I never expected Linspire to succeed, partly because of what they were trying to do, and partly because of who it was that was trying to do it, and partly because of when they were trying to do it - long after the ship for Yet Another Proprietary Linux Distro had already sailed.

Xandros had, in their day, a better shot at what they were trying to do. When Xandros came out, they put some user-friendly wrappings around Debian and took extra care to make it integrate easily and well into a Windows network. The problems they face, as I see it, were:

1) Xandros was too expensive.

2) Very slow release cycle. Xandros releases tend to come so far apart they make Debian look downright speedy.

3) They had proprietary bits, and that tends to make you unpopular with much of the Linux community.

I actually spent a little time with Xandros; my dad had bought a copy of it. Xandros has a lot going for it, but I found it to be inflexible, in large part because of the aforementioned slow release cycle. They were way behind pretty much everyone, and you couldn't point Xandros at some other repositories and bring it up to date without breaking all sorts of stuff. If Xandros had been on the kind of aggressive release cycle that Ubuntu has followed, they might well have been a major success, even allowing for points 1 and 3.

Re:Commercial Viability (1)

gujo-odori (473191) | about 6 years ago | (#24012567)

I apologize if I came on too strong; my ire was mostly really directed at the famous /. clueless moderators. OTOH, the writing was already on the wall for the untenability of the Linux boxed set business model back when Red Hat stopped selling it in 2001 or 2002 and moved to the RHEL model, so I found it at least a little bit hard to believe that someone was really that in the dark about it. Again, I apologize if you weren't trolling.

When I got my first look at the first version of Linspire, I pronounced them DOA for a number of reasons. First, the distro itself was not only not very good, but had failed to deliver on its main selling point, a claim that it would seamlessly run Windows applications. They backed way off of that claim during the beta period and what they released was just regular old WINE with a little window dressing on it. It turns out they'd had some kind of deal going with Code Weavers but it fell apart.

Second, while it was very user-friendly it was also extremely inflexible, something that made me (and a lot of other experienced Linux users) hate it.

Third, by the time they got it out the door, Ubuntu was also getting itself out the door, and was putting its own more user-friendly face on Debian, and it was free.

Finally, there was the "who" of it. Robertson never struck me as someone who "gets" Linux at all. I would have been far more surprised if Linspire had succeeded. It's failure was something I predicted from the first time I tried a beta.

Re:Commercial Viability (1)

indi0144 (1264518) | about 6 years ago | (#24012685)

People who needs a Linux version that works (tm) so you pay for not having to learn to use the console of avoiding "kernel panic's" and codecs and Win like stuff, AFAIK. More like what Ubuntu does now, just that Ubuntu sells support not the distro itself. But as Linux is getting better theres no market for a non free distro that does what free distro do equally or even better. The target it's people or business that want to save the hassle to deal with eventual Linux issues, something that work out of the box.

Re:Commercial Viability (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | about 6 years ago | (#24012269)

I am still stunned that any company can make money on a desktop linux product. [...] Now maybe this is because I am using it in a private capacity and maybe it changes the moment I put it into a commercial workspace - maybe someone can enlighten me.

Yes, it's because of that.

If all you want is to download a desktop Linux distro and run it at home, you don't need anything else, Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE etc. are great for that.

However, if you're doing anything else, then things are different. If you're installing 100,000 desktops in your company, you might want to pay for support. Sure, your in-house tech guys might figure out any hitches you run into, but it might take less time and cost less to get quick answers from the people making the product.

Another case is where you want some customization. You might want to install a distro, but with non-standard menus/applications/security settings, or something even more complex. Again, you can have your in-house programmers do it, but it might be cheaper and faster to outsource to the people who make the product (this was mentioned as a significant source of revenue for Ubuntu, for example, in an interview with Shuttleworth).

yuo nFail it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24011083)

eulogies to BSD's dirEct orders, or

You can't spell 'acrimony' without 'Carmony' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24011135)


it's really a shame (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24011147)

more linsux crap going the way of the dinosaur. who woulda thunk it?

linsux is dying like it's aids infested faggot users.

VA Research/Linux/Software 2.0 (1)

heroine (1220) | about 6 years ago | (#24011527)

Glad that's over. Maybe they should rename it Perspire. Don't let your Linspiration become your Perspiration.

Re:VA Research/Linux/Software 2.0 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24011621)

Glad that's over. Maybe they should rename it Perspire.

Or Expire...

News reel at 11. (-1, Troll)

Zencyde (850968) | about 6 years ago | (#24011867)

One crappy Linux company buys another crappy Linux company. News reel at 11.
Seriously, though. Does anyone actually care? I mean, who pays for Linux?
Note: I AM a Linux user. I just don't support companies that charge money for the product.

Remember all the Hype? (1)

asv108 (141455) | about 6 years ago | (#24013851)

Want to have a good laugh, do a Slashdot search for Lindows [] .. The original pitch was that it would be a Linux distribution that could run Window's applications just as easily as Linux applications. Most people here recognized that it was, b.s. from the getgo, since the technical challenges of doing such a distribution were much greater than Lindow's developer resources. Plus, the Lindows CEO Michael Robertson was more of a "pitch guy" than someone who actually knows how to deliver a robust software product.
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