Xandros is Buying Linspire

Competitor Xandros Linux is buying Linspire Linux! Wow! This is pretty amazing!

Linspire, the former Lindows, will become part of Xandros

“According to announcements this morning, enterprise Linux distributor Xandros will purchase consumer Linux maker Linspire, in a move that had been rumored for several weeks with little details coming from either company. According to Xandros, the deal was officially signed on June 19, but it appears both companies tried to slip the announcement under the rug. Linspire is a Linux operating system that closely mimics the basic Windows GUI and was most popular among low-cost Linux PC bundles offered in Wal-Mart and Fry’s. But with similar product offerings from Ubuntu and Mandriva Linux, the company has had a difficult time as of late competing with other Linux distributions. The same features that were designed to help lure users from Microsoft Windows to open source Linux are now available in the more popular competing Linux distributions. Though Xandros has lately positioned itself as a business Linux provider, its Linux distribution has, at one time or another, competed with Linspire and similar Linux flavors. It received the most publicity after being used in the low-cost Asus Eee PC notebook and similar product offerings. In the agreement, Xandros will receive all of Linspire’s assets related to Linspire, Lindows, Freespire, and Click ‘N Run, and will change its name and trademarks after the deal is completed. Xandros will continue to create and market the Linspire and Freespire operating systems with full vendor support, while there are no concrete plans to merge the Linspire products into the Xandros OS. Furthermore, Linspire’s CNR.com — a tool that allows users to run applications from other Linux platforms — will also continue to operate under its own brand name in the future. This portal for downloading software from other vendors, including Debian, OpenSuse, Fedora, and Ubuntu, helped originally make Linspire popular after it was released. New Linux users can easily find and install Linux software without the headaches and strong learning curve that typically plague first-time Linux users.”

As a Linspire “Insider” I also got this message from Linspire founder Michael Robertson:

“July 2nd, 2008

This week Xandros Inc. is buying Linspire. Xandros has done more than any company to put Linux in front of users by powering the innovative eee PC so I’m excited to see the Linspire, Freespire and CNR technology go to a worthy competitor. Linux is going through some healthy and necessary consolidation which will give resulting companies greater assets and size to deliver on larger initiatives so Linux can touch more people.

I started Linspire several years ago to bring desktop Linux to the mass market and some much needed competition for Microsoft. To accomplish this we made an easy to use Linux without the religious zeal and crazy terminology which spooked new users. Non-technical people could install it in about 5 minutes on common PC hardware and have it immediately be on the Internet, playing videos, music, etc. (The 5 minute install is still an impressive achievement – checkout freespire.org to witness it.)

One deficiency of Linux is that it’s difficult to find and install new software. To address this shortcoming, Linspire built CNR Technology which I’m more excited about than ever. CNR is a marketplace where users can browse for software programs (free and commercial), download and install with a single mouse click. More than 10,000,000 Linux software programs have been installed via CNR which now works for Ubuntu, Debian and other Linux versions. New systems like eee PC need CNR which is why Linspire marrying Xandros makes sense.

I’m proud of what we tried to accomplish at Linspire. We spent considerable money and supported important initiatives like Mozilla, KDE, Wineconf, Gaim (Pidgin), Nvu, Debian and more. Although there’s a loyal Linspire and Freespire audience there’s no denying we did not succeed in bringing Linux to the masses as we intended to do. Even with Ubuntu’s success, Linux on the desktop is still the domain of software engineers and technical people.

Over the last 2 years, I have come to know Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos. He’s an impressive businessman with considerable success. Most impressively he came from the humblest of beginnings as a Greek immigrant unable to speak the language. Now he’s running Xandros. He’s shared with me his grand plan for Xandros — it’s ambitious and goes far beyond the operating system to applications and management. I’m confident that Andy will lead Xandros to success and that is why the sale of Linspire makes sense. I believe Xandros will maximize the value of Linspire’s brand, engineers and technology such as CNR.

–Michael Roberston”

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