Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Oct 2006 22:08 UTC
Oracle and SUN Here is OSNews' review of Xandros Desktop Home Edition Premium version 4.0 (a mouthfull). Xandros Systems was so kind as to provide OSNews with the top of the line version of their product, which includes, among other things, complete copies of Versora Progression Desktop, CrossOver Office, and various non-Free drivers and utilities. Read on for the complete review.
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Keramik
by Adam S on Thu 5th Oct 2006 23:24 UTC
Adam S
Member since:
2005-04-01

You're right Thom, Xandros 4, under the hood is fantastic. Why o why did they ditch Plastik for Keramik? Is there ANYONE who thinks Keramik is preferable to Plastik in the year 2006??

Reply Score: 1

RE: Keramik
by RandomGuy on Fri 6th Oct 2006 00:30 UTC in reply to "Keramik"
RandomGuy Member since:
2006-07-30

Yes, there is.
I think Keramik looks great, it's actually one of the first things I change from default KDE.

Not just to contradict you but really, I cannot stand Plastik, not in 2006 and probably not even in 2060.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Keramik
by twenex on Fri 6th Oct 2006 16:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Keramik"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Keramik took a long time to grow on me, but now I think I would be happy with either.

And unless Xandros doesn't provide Plastik, as we all know, You Have The Choice[TM]

Reply Score: 1

RE: Keramik
by dylansmrjones on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:12 UTC in reply to "Keramik"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I'm with Thom as well. Xandros looks like a good distribution for somebody migrating from Windows - but that look!? .. eek...

Reply Score: 1

Re...
by Anonymous Penguin on Thu 5th Oct 2006 23:43 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

"Is your grandmother still running Windows 9x/ME? If so, Xandros 4 might be a perfevt choice, as it gives them a solid Linux distribution, which will play nice with all their Windows files and even programs (through Crossover Office). The inclusion of Versora also facilitates the switch.

However, for more experienced users like you (I guess?) and me, Xandros is simply not the best distribution you can get."

Exactly my feelings.

Reply Score: 2

File Manager
by jcpinto on Fri 6th Oct 2006 00:14 UTC
jcpinto
Member since:
2006-08-30

Auto-working SMB in File Manager doesn't make it the best...
I bet there are many things I can do with Nautilus or Konqueror that can't be done with it!

P.S: I'm only betting since I never tried it ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: File Manager
by miro on Fri 6th Oct 2006 12:27 UTC in reply to "File Manager"
miro Member since:
2005-07-13

What? Their File Manager it is still Konqueror, even if a little bit tweaked.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: File Manager
by MechaShiva on Fri 6th Oct 2006 19:26 UTC in reply to "RE: File Manager"
MechaShiva Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, that's not true. It's written with the kds libs and uses a few kparts but it's not konqueror. When they acquired Corel Linux, they also got the corel file manager in the deal. This was a custom piece of software that xandros has continued to develop over the years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xandros_File_Manager

Reply Score: 2

Curious ...
by WorknMan on Fri 6th Oct 2006 00:40 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Based on this review and some others like it, it seems that commercial distros seem have an easier time with hardware detection and overall just making sh*t work than the free distros. Why is this? I mean, it's all still Linux underneath, right?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Curious ...
by twenex on Fri 6th Oct 2006 00:50 UTC in reply to "Curious ..."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Commercial distros can include commercial software and closed-source drivers. It's a short-term convenience: 10 or 12 years ago Linux didn't have LVM; then someone took the (closed-source) HP implementation and built a work-alike.

Edited 2006-10-06 00:51

Reply Score: 1

RE: Curious ...
by pollycat on Fri 6th Oct 2006 05:21 UTC in reply to "Curious ..."
pollycat Member since:
2006-06-27

For me, the main reason I would pay for a Linux distribution is to have more things "work out of the box" and not to have to fiddle around setting up various basic functionality myself.

Sadly, this is not the case with Xandros - you pay a hefty price and still things don't work (e.g. DVD playback, multimedia playback within the browser, etc.) There are hacks to get these things working in Xandros, but if you still have to do this then you may as well just hack around in Freespire or Ubuntu for free.

As also noted in the review, Xandros is badly behind the times in terms of its choice of packages and software, most are not the latest versions and therefore lack much of the functionality that other very stable distros with more up-to-date packages can offer. If you try to update to the latest stuff within Xandros, you seriously risk breaking the many customizations and tweaks Xandros have made (e.g. the Xandros File Manager).

Then there is that whole issue of "product activation", which leaves a nasty taste in the mouth for many.

Given the great strides being made by distros such as SLED and openSuse, Fedora, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, Freespire, Ubuntu, etc., I don't really see what Xandros has to offer which would justify the high entry fee they charge. Maybe most of the "cost" is covering included commercial software like Crossover Office and Versora, but then it makes more sense to buy independent copies of these which can then be installed on any distro and are not just tied to Xandros.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Curious ...
by Anonymous Penguin on Fri 6th Oct 2006 05:31 UTC in reply to "Curious ..."
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Not necessarily the case. Kanotix, for instance, has one of the best hardware detections and yet it is free.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Curious ...
by dagw on Fri 6th Oct 2006 10:28 UTC in reply to "Curious ..."
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Making things work out of the box is generally long tedious work that requires access to a large collection of test hardware. Basically it's the type of work that volenteers working for free can't do as well as companies how can afford to buy lots of different hardware and pay people to do the boring work.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Keramik
by davidiwharper on Fri 6th Oct 2006 00:57 UTC
davidiwharper
Member since:
2006-01-01

It's only the window decoration which is Keramik, the rest is still Plastik. The windows stand out more that way; I actually don't mind the way they've mixed the two.

Reply Score: 1

Hey...
by Tuishimi on Fri 6th Oct 2006 03:29 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

"However, for more experienced users like you (I guess?) ..."

What do you mean "I guess?"!!! Why I oughta!

Reply Score: 5

Activation.
by egon_spengler on Fri 6th Oct 2006 04:35 UTC
egon_spengler
Member since:
2005-11-20

Xandros does indeed make Windows refugees feel quite at home. They even include Activation. I picked Xandros over Lindows for my mother's WinME machine OS replacement, found out about the Activation, and immediately returned the product for refund.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Activation.
by pandronic on Fri 6th Oct 2006 06:19 UTC in reply to "Activation."
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

... found out about the Activation, and immediately returned the product for refund.

I really don't get this ... Why would you dismiss a perfectly good product because of activation?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Activation.
by Troels on Fri 6th Oct 2006 09:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Activation."
Troels Member since:
2005-07-11

Because he feel it is wrong and refuse to support the companies who implement such features? I think it is nice to see someone put their money where their mouth is for a change, instead of the many who just moan without doing anything.

If everybody who grumble about the Windows XP activation scheme and the WGA scheme actually voted with their wallet instead of simply grumbling, then it is not entirely unlikely that they would have taken it out.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Activation.
by sbergman27 on Fri 6th Oct 2006 13:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Activation."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""I really don't get this ... Why would you dismiss a perfectly good product because of activation?"""

I can understand the sentiment. I used to have to work with software that required activation. In fact, I still do, but not nearly as often.

A significant amount of time (time that my client was paying for) went into activation, registration... and the inevitable *problems* with activating and registering. (When things go wrong, and they do, it can take *hours* to get the problem resolved and the program "activated" so that the customer can start using the thing that they have *ALREADY PAID FOR* and are now paying more for, by the hour, in support time!)

The companies requiring the registration are saying, in a rather explicit fashion, that they care more about the possibility that someone might steal from them than they do about inconveniencing their own customers.

So, while I find the concept of "activation" distasteful, I also have purely practical reasons for disqualifying any product that requires it... *if* I have an alternative.

As it happens, right at this moment I have a client that I set up with software that requires activation. I registered and the activation key was supposed to have been emailed to me two days ago. It wasn't. Time to get on the horn and get the company, which in this case sells accounting software, to cough one up.

I shouldn't be upset, I suppose. It's all billable time...

Edited 2006-10-06 13:35

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Activation.
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 6th Oct 2006 16:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Activation."
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

(When things go wrong, and they do, it can take *hours* to get the problem resolved and the program "activated" so that the customer can start using the thing that they have *ALREADY PAID FOR*

++

I've jumped through the hoops due to a valid XP license failing activation on more than one occasion, with client's computers. But if it had been one of my own computers, then my reaction would have been "Flush 35 minutes down the toilet because of a broken anti-piracy system, or find an Anti-WPA crack... tough call."

and are now paying more for, by the hour, in support time!)

No kidding. I recently gained a small organization as a new client because several of their copies of *a certain popular Anti-Virus suite* kept de-activating themselves (and refusing to re-active, naturally). The response they got? "You're past the end of your free support period. If you want us to attempt to resolve this for you, that will be $35 minimum." They might as well have added "Oh, and would you like the number of our nearest competitor?"

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Activation.
by egon_spengler on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Activation."
egon_spengler Member since:
2005-11-20

Because I paid for the program and the activation is an insult to me that I refuse to accept. Her machine currently runs Freespire. The only thing they have is an EULA left over from its Lindows roots.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Activation.
by Adam S on Fri 6th Oct 2006 13:21 UTC in reply to "Activation."
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

This is really lame. Xandros is commercial software. If you think you're being tracked and refute that, fine. If your beef is with commercial software, you shouldn't have been using WinME. But if you don't like activation in general, then I submit that you're being suspicious -- are you a thief? Why is activation bad?

Either go for free software, or accept that people who sell legal commercial software have a right to protect their product.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Activation.
by twenex on Fri 6th Oct 2006 14:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Activation."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

There are two facets to this. Firstly, why should people have to "activate" a product they've already paid for? Would you accept Toshiba coming to your house to check whether you're only viewing legally-obtained DVD's on their player you just bought? Or Epson coming to "activate" your printer, or to check that you've not been printing off copies of "Pride and Prejudice"? No? I sure as hell wouldn't.

Secondly, why should customers trust companies who don't trust their customers? It's not as if they're whiter than white. In fact in their quest to "make money" they will do things that are unethical, immoral, and illegal, quite happily, and quite often. Check the recent news stories on Enron, Apple, HP and Microsoft for evidence.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Activation.
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Activation."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You'd have a point if we were talking Microsoft or Apple; they're HUGE multinationals to whom one more or less legal copy would mean fairly little.

Now, however, we are discussing a small company, one that falls into complete insignificance compared to Microsoft/Apple. Hence, they have every right to defend their probably smal revenue stream. Without this activation thing, it would be extremely easy to pirate Xandros and leech off of the work of others.

In fact, I am happy Xandros is doing whatever it takes to ensure revenue. They owe it to their shareholders as well as to their customers, because no revenue = end of company = you as customer are f--ked.

People should learn that NOT all companies are the same, and that there is more to think about than just yourself.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Activation.
by twenex on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Activation."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

You'd have a point if we were talking Microsoft or Apple; they're HUGE multinationals to whom one more or less legal copy would mean fairly little.

Sorry, I disagree. There shouldn't be one rule for small companies and one rule for big ones, even if you switch 'em so that unlike now, small companies get the better part of the deal.

Now, however, we are discussing a small company, one that falls into complete insignificance compared to Microsoft/Apple. Hence, they have every right to defend their probably smal revenue stream. Without this activation thing, it would be extremely easy to pirate Xandros and leech off of the work of others.

I have no objection to any company "protecting it's revenue stream". What I object to is what I see as them putting the law into their own hands and going WAY over the top. As a private citizen, if someone steals from you you go to the police; you don't demand the right to sneak onto the property of everyone you know and everyone who lives near you to check whether they've stolen something, without even checking whether something has been stolen.

In fact, I am happy Xandros is doing whatever it takes to ensure revenue. They owe it to their shareholders as well as to their customers, because no revenue = end of company = you as customer are f--ked.

People should learn that NOT all companies are the same, and that there is more to think about than just yourself.


Any company that mistrusts its customers, in the absence of any evidence of wrongdoing, is in my view JUST as bad as MS. They have the right not to trust them, I suppose; but we have the right not to trust those companies, too.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Activation.
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Activation."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

n the absence of any evidence of wrongdoing

So there is no evidence that piracy in the software world exists?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Activation.
by twenex on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:42 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Activation."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Thom, don't be silly. There is evidence that software piracy exists, and that crime exists. That doesn't mean you or I can legitimately accuse the other of being a software pirate, a thief or a rapist without any evidence that the other has in fact pirated, stolen, or sexually assaulted some{thing,one}.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Activation.
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:48 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Activation."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Thom, don't be silly. There is evidence that software piracy exists, and that crime exists. That doesn't mean you or I can legitimately accuse the other of being a software pirate, a thief or a rapist without any evidence that the other has in fact pirated, stolen, or sexually assaulted some{thing,one}.

So let me get this straight-- by having an activation scheme in its OS... Xandros accuses me of being a pirate? I'm sorry, but that makes no sense.

In The Netherlands, students get subsidised by the state. The amount of this depends on whether I live with my parents, or alone; when I live alone, I get a lot more money from them. The government checks whether I *really* live on my own. Does that mean the government thinks I'm a fraud?

Of course not.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Activation.
by sbergman27 on Sat 7th Oct 2006 05:35 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Activation."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Thom,

In a community this cozy, if you treat your customers right, and show them that you trust them, there is every reason to expect that they will deal straight with you. Possibly even sending a little more money than required.

By requiring activation, Xandros is setting the tone for the relashionship. And it's not a good tone.

I'll admit there is a gamble involved. Xandros is on the conservative, conventional side of the gamble. But, in this case, I suspect it is also on the losing side.

-Steve

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Activation.
by egon_spengler on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Activation."
egon_spengler Member since:
2005-11-20

I paid completely legitimate US currency for a product, and then activation is required to fully use this product in its intended way. No, I refuse. And I submit that your implication that I am a thief is uncalled for. Either accept that something I paid for should work fully, or I get my money back.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Activation.
by Adam S on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Activation."
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

When you buy Tivo, you have to activate it to get the schedules.

When you buy music from iTMS, you have to connect to Apple's servers.

When you get a credit card, you have to call to activate it.

This is life. Activation of commercial software is OK in my book.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Activation.
by egon_spengler on Sat 7th Oct 2006 05:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Activation."
egon_spengler Member since:
2005-11-20

I do not own a television. I would not RENT DRM-infected files. A credit card requires activation to ensure that the individual to whom the line of credit is granted is reasonably assumed to have received the card. I am NOT buying a credit card. Indeed, it is life. I refuse to activate software.

Edited 2006-10-07 05:58

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Activation.
by sbergman27 on Sat 7th Oct 2006 06:11 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Activation."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""I do not own a television"""

Glad to meet you!

I have a TV. It's a 27" Magnavox. Once or twice a year there is something compelling enough that comes to my attention that I decide to fire it up.

It's almost like putting up the Christmas Tree. I've got to get it all plugged in, make sure the cable service is working, etc. I usually start a half hour before the scheduled start time of the program.

Come to think of it though, the last time I did this was a year and a half ago, when "Enterprise" did a "Mirror Universe" episode in which the original "USS Defiant" came to life again.

Suffice it to say that I'm not a big TV fan! :-)

Reply Score: 1

h3rman
Member since:
2006-08-09

... it had a Celeron 466Mhz and 256MB ram.

Suse/Gnome was way too slow but everything worked, Debian Stable/Xfce suffered from X-crashes, so did DSL, and Feather. Fedora somehow didn't get its kernel loaded, nor did PCBSD, and all *Buntus failed to load completely.

(All of the above installation media had been installed perfectly elsewhere.)
When I started thinking the laptop was no good, I downloaded and installed Xandros - something I never really considered (not fond of KDE) and everything works absolutely flawlessly. It's not even way as slow as I feared. BTW that's the "Open Circulation Edition", which is free and doesn't have all kinds of activation stuff. If you still want to end up paying for services, you can do that via a desktop icon saying "Xandros Networks". Admitted, that feels a little scary for a Fedora user.
;)

I gave it to my dad, who didn't realise it wasn't Windows for quite a while.

Edited 2006-10-06 05:54

Reply Score: 2

I like Xandros...
by Smurf42 on Fri 6th Oct 2006 06:33 UTC
Smurf42
Member since:
2006-09-18

but just like windows, you have to wait for a few updates for them to get everything right. I will not be getting 4 because I just don't need all the fluff at the moment. I use the Xandros OCE 3.01 version, and by adding some codecs and k3b I can do whatever 4 can....

Reply Score: 2

v Disgusted...
by Wolven on Fri 6th Oct 2006 09:55 UTC
RE: Disgusted...
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 6th Oct 2006 10:56 UTC in reply to "Disgusted..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

osnews-crew@osnews.com.

Reply Score: 1

Activation
by Devilotx on Fri 6th Oct 2006 14:09 UTC
Devilotx
Member since:
2005-07-06

I've been involved with Xandros since Version 2, I beta tested the lot of them, and recently Beta Tested Server Edition.

They offered me 4 for 30 bucks or so, I declined, the activation thing goes against everything that moved me from Windows to Linux in the first place. I don't appreciate being treated like a criminal for the things I "Could" be doing with the software.

Ming Poon offered me a complementary copy to review (as I have in the past) and I declined, I cannot support a company that wants activation. While the OS will function fine without activation, you don't get updates or anything without it.

When Activation Cropped up on the Xandros Server, I could understand that, server space is the Linux bread and butter, if you wanna protect your investment there, that's good, because if people are using Xandros for server, they want the support, but the desktop? you're supposed to be introducing people to the advantage of Linux, not more of the same.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Activation
by kiz01 on Fri 6th Oct 2006 17:57 UTC in reply to "Activation"
kiz01 Member since:
2005-07-06

Odd that activation causes such a stir. You know you have to activate (they call it register) Red Hat and you have to activate Suse as well. This is so that only paying customers get support. I have no issues with it and, after playing with the trial version, will be getting the premium edition soon.

To each their own.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Activation
by twenex on Sat 7th Oct 2006 19:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Activation"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I have SuSE, and I did not need to activate it. What version do you mean?

Oh, I reread. Well, yes, but many people get by without free support, either on Linux or Windows. Besides, you don't have to register everytime you need to add hardware or reinstall the bloody thing.

Edited 2006-10-07 19:58

Reply Score: 1

ubit
Member since:
2006-09-08

drives. It frustrates me to no end..xandros gets it right with Xandros File Manager, I agree.

Reply Score: 1