Home > Oracle and SUN > Xandros: A Desktop for the Masses? Xandros: A Desktop for the Masses? Eugenia Loli 2003-04-19 Oracle and SUN 18 Comments MadPenguin features a review of Xandros Desktop accompanied by screenshots. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 18 Comments 2003-04-19 4:50 pm I think it’s funny that all his Cons are basically “it’s old.” That tends to happen with time. 2003-04-19 4:57 pm Wow.. finally a “display settings” diagbox that makes sense (eventhough it’s KDE 2.x), good stuff! 2003-04-19 5:15 pm Eugenia. Perhaps you could ask reviewers to always do a “dual boot” install. From reading a number of reviews there does not appear to be any problems when the whole disk is given to Linux: but not so with dual boot. 2003-04-19 5:46 pm Yes, but it was using old packages even at its release. 2003-04-19 5:57 pm I had installed Xandros myself. It worked fine with 10 more OSes on that machine and it did not overwrote my boot manager., 2003-04-19 6:12 pm I agree that Xandros Network should update its display to remove previously installed components either by default or as an option. However if you do attempt to install something more than once you’ll notice that XN will say that there is nothing to install and won’t actually perform a reinstall. There are reportedly some updates coming, hopefully soon, including an update to Mozilla. While I’d like to see frequent updates I don’t want to give up any functionality or stability to get them. I’d right have it done right than done fast (though both would be nice). 2003-04-19 6:12 pm If they have kernel 2.4.19, why did they put KDE 2.2.2 in the OS? Other distros take a hint from these guys. 2003-04-19 6:59 pm I’m running Xandros right now. I have tried out a lot of Linux distributions, and I have to say that if it weren’t for Xandros, the Linux desktop would still be a couple of years away. Unlike the others, Xandros knows to design toward the users needs, that UI must be clean and simple, that details matter and that things just have to work. Even Xandros isn’t quite ready, but I can feel comfortable in it. Some problems: * Hardware detection isn’t perfect. I can’t burn or scan, for example. * I would prefer a more unique look than Windows 98. There are other themes, but they don’t integrate as well as the default look. * KDE 2.2 is a problem – I can’t use programs that require 3.x I believe the 2.0 version is coming out before the end of the year. I expect that this version will be the first Linux distribution to rival Windows in simplicity and functionality for ordinary (non-tinkering) users. 2003-04-19 7:18 pm I can’t understand those prices which such a product. Especially for a product with an expected lifetime of one year. And too expensive for a system available, in other places, for free. Furthermore, it’s a KDE distro. Well, matter of taste in some point of view, but thanks, i don’t want anything related to KDE. 2003-04-19 7:26 pm >I can’t understand those prices which such a product. Especially for a product with an expected lifetime of one year. Nope, it is 40 bucks without the Codeweaver stuff. It’s worth the money – believe me. http://shop.xandros.com/ 2003-04-19 11:21 pm ” If they have kernel 2.4.19, why did they put KDE 2.2.2 in the OS? Other distros take a hint from these guys.” Its a specialized version of KDE 2.2.2 that was released with Corel Linux, Since Xandros bought Corels Linux division, you are seeing everything that Corel had done. The main problem with Corel was that it never submitted its changes back to the KDE organization, so the only reason you never saw the cool features that corel and Xandros have in the main KDE tree is that they did not submit and by the time Corel decided to share it was too late and the KDE developers couldnt work the changes in, I do not know how Xandros is but hey. They keep it in-house, even though it uses KDE 2.2.2 the functionality is still there and Xandros functions smoothly and has some very nice features. Fine distribution 2003-04-19 11:58 pm Looks like they’ve done what Apple has done with MacOS X. Similar concept. Xandros is one of my last alternative Linux distros I can try and hopefully keep it and not delete it within 30 minutes after installation. However, I think I am going to wait until version 2.0 before I give it a try. 2003-04-20 12:52 pm >They keep it in-house, even though it uses KDE 2.2.2 the functionality is still there and Xandros functions smoothly and has some very nice features. Xandros is commiting changes back to KDE: http://lists.kde.org/?l=kde-cvs&w=2&r=1&s=xandros&q=b I expect more changes will follow closer to the release of version 2.0 However, they keep the filemanager and hardware detection (I think) proprietary. I believe Corel had a significant influence on KDE back then, because they hired a usability expert who advised a lot of changes to KDE. Some, developers even got angry over it (of course) . 2003-04-20 2:28 pm I don’t understand why Xandros (and others, like Lindows) are not free, they should use the free OS/charge for support other distros are using. This is likely to slow their diffusion (unless Xandros also comes pre-installed on cheap PCs like the Walmart Linux boxes?) 2003-04-20 3:16 pm I don’t think anyone has found the answer the problem of a business model for distros quite yet. It doesn’t help Xandros if they have a bigger diffusion if they don’t earn money on it. So one way of doing it is to charge money for the product and try to provide sufficent value to make enough sales. Mandrake has large diffusion but no real business model, and will probably go bankrupt before long. Red Hat can sell services to the server market, but that option is not available to Xandros. My guess is that they also are targeting large replacements of Windows desktops in an organization, and are perhaps selling a complete “solution” which includes support and consultancy to this end. Since it is indeed likely that a market like this is emerging, and no other distro is better suited for this task than Xandros, it might just be a good idea. (If they can stay afloat long enough to become profitable). Lindows’ business model based on subscription is very interesting and I guess that a lot of people is following this experiment closely. Robertson is also experimenting with the using Lindows as an “enabler” technology for a media-computer and such things. Certainly also an interesting strategy, but time if he can really pull it off. There is a small possiblity that Lindows might be very big player a few years from now. 2003-04-20 4:26 pm Xandros shipping with KDE 2.2 should not give a reviewer a right to give it lower points because it should not be the case. The review should view an OS as a whole. The rating should be based on the over all satability and cohisiveness of the OS. by the way, the KDE that shipped with Xandros should not be considered dated because it is not even stock KDE 2.2! It is a cotumized KDE unique to Xandros and is completely deffernt from stock KDE 2.2 and as such should even give it additional points! Come to think of it, Xandros KDE when compared to KDE 3.1, feature wise are just equal, in their pros and cons! I am really fed up with reviewers of Linux Desktop OS’s deducting points because of dated KDE in them ( like Lycoris). cant they realize that the KDEs in Xandros and Lycoris are costumized versions and are completely different from stock KDE? 2003-04-20 7:17 pm Atleast Xandros isn’t afraid to target normal everday computer users, I know most of the linux comunity will hate them for making a easy to use linux. It is about time though & I hope they do well, the next step is to advertise on everyday tv & in everyday computer magizines. 2003-04-21 1:41 pm One of the things this reviewer missed experiencing was one of Xandros’ best features: its ability to work happily in a Windows networking environment, including the ability to log into (on boot up) a Windows network authenticating server. True, you can use Samba in other distributions to connect to Windows, but none do it so easily and seamlessly as Xandros does. This is probably not something the reviewer needed to use, so he didn’t review it, but he’s missed one of Xandros’ best features. For more info, go to their homepage: http://www.xandros.com and check out the press coverage links they have on the right side of the screen. DesktopLinux and Distrowatch both have some very well-researched reviews of Xandros 1.0 that include better coverage of Xandros’ excellent networking ability.