Today we feature a mini but interesting interview with Xandros executives, Dr. Frederick H. Berenstein (Chairman & CTO) and Ming Poon (VP of Software Development). Read on for more.
Q1. Laptop sales are set to slowly overpower in sales desktop systems. How important is it for Xandros to offer good support for laptops and engineering-wise, how easy/difficult is to support every bit of a given laptop hardware configuration? Does Xandros uses extra patches for better laptop support?
Dr. Frederick H. Berenstein: Laptop sales are indeed expected to overtake desktop sales in the next few years. Since laptops usually cost more than comparable desktops their respective revenue streams are, in fact, currently even. It is very important for Xandros to offer great support for laptops and desktops.
Ming Poon: All editions of the Xandros Desktop OS provide complete support for both desktops and laptops. For example, if you have a laptop without a built-in CD-ROM or floppy drive, you could install a USB, PCMCIA, or Firewire CD-ROM or floppy drive ever since Version 1 of the Xandros Desktop OS. Most of our competitors have problems with this kind of ‘bare bones’ laptop but it is a breeze for Xandros users. Some of our desktop users don’t have built in CD-ROM drives in their desktop systems either. They can take advantage of this feature and install from their USB CD-ROM drive.
Another example is power management. In laptops the power level is automatically detected by our hardware detection engine, and a battery indicator shows up in the taskbar. The indicator won’t appear if it is a desktop system, so things work for both laptops and desktop systems from the same CD.
Many of our users have both laptop and desktop systems, so this means that they don’t have to pay twice to get comparable functionality for both platforms. Our goal is to continue to make our hardware detection engine smarter and generalize things so the same CD will fit both the desktop and laptop world.
Q2. How was Xandros 2.0 received from the customers worldwide so far? Does it sell better than Xandros 1.0 and how would you place Xandros in terms of Linux market share today? (E.g. Red Hat is no1 with about 40%, SuSE/Debian/Mandrake second with ~12-18% each etc)
Dr. Frederick H. Berenstein: Xandros 2.0 has been received enormously well everywhere we are selling it – here in the U.S. and Canada, overseas, and in Australia. It has already received at least a dozen great reviews and is selling at six times the level that version 1.0 was during the same time period. Although I am not sure of the exact percentage, Xandros 2.0 is probably tied for third place in terms of market share.
Q3. Which was the biggest business and engineering challenge with the development of Xandros 2.0?
Ming Poon: We did not run into many business development challenges as many other ISVs and technology partners were very eager to work with us. The only challenge was to set stringent standards for selecting our partners. We
spent a lot of time in evaluating a many software packages from potential partners to make sure that they were ‘ready for prime time’ with desktop users before even considering them for our software bundles or Xandros Networks offerings. In a number of cases we gave feedback to the ISVs and continue to help them address the issues so that we can move forward with them. We want our users to have quality time with Xandros and we certainly don’t want them to waste a lot of time in downloading tons of junk that does not measure up to the Xandros experience. To us, quality matters more than the quantity that you can find in some fee-based Linux software warehouses out there.
On the engineering front, one of the biggest challenges in V2 was to come up with the design and implementation of our built-in CD-Writer software in XFM (Xandros File Manager). We wanted to have a very simple and intuitive interface that my mom could use, yet make sure that we did not lose any advanced features for power users. We burned through literally tens of thousands of CD-Rs in the development and QA cycle and went through hundreds of different CD-RW models together with our large beta testing group. In the end, I think that we make everyone happy. With Xandros, we make sure that you get quality products.
Q4. What kind of Xandros-specific software (like Xandros Networks) are you going to develop for the next Xandros version to differentiate your product from the competition?
Dr. Frederick H. Berenstein: We intend to continue to develop Xandros Networks and greatly enlarge the software available through it. You will also be seeing improvements and new features in the Xandros File Manager. And we have a number of extremely exciting software applications which we will add to our product stack which will be exclusive to Xandros.
Q5. There was supposed to be a free Xandros demo for users to try your product out. After this was announced some months ago we haven’t heard about it again.
Dr. Frederick H. Berenstein: Although we had hoped to have it available by now, it is still definitely in the works…
I really wishes theese guys all the luck they can get.
They are doing their best to give people a good desktop Linux-system and they are doing it with style and quality. You can even install Photoshop 7 on their OS!
But having used Linux at desktop since RH6.0 I finally gave up and after I got fed up with WinXP which I found to be too uncreative. After Eugina had given us what she thought was the best desktop OS last year I made the “switch”. (Think of a fruit-companys commercial and you will know what I mean)
I hope that Xandros will be waiting for me when I return to the x86-family in a distant future!
I’m glad Xandros is doing what they can to make a user friendly linux distro, but is their software GPL’d? Are they contributing work to the scene they are tapping for their income? I wish them the best, but i don’t expect to ever buy their software.
Cool to hear from them, but this interview was way too “mini”. None of the questions really probed into the behind the scenes actions going on over there. I was able to correctly guess the gist of all the answers before I read them.
It’s true that a little controversy goes a long way toward stirring interest. With all due respect, this reads like a pre-written press release. No offense intended. It just doesn’t dig into anything that Xandros might be reluctant to answer.
I still miss one thing in Xandrso and that is a dutch
user interface is holding me back of putting it on users desktop like we do with Lindows.
Secondly i get crazy of all passwords you have to put in for every network share samba or NFS if oyu select the option connect and disconnect at login in the mount menu.
its so much more easy to just edit /etc/init.d/mount_shares..
>”A little too mini”
That’s what they said about the Cooper and nowadays it’s a classic. 😀
I’ve yet to see a distro that would install flawlessly on most laptops, especially the newer ones. I know the story so no need to remind me… it’s just that if Xandros achieves this with some degree of success I know a lot of Linux users would be really glad.
Just checked linuxcertified.com for the laptops advertised with Xandros… all I can say is — Coooool!
Is Xandros in the blacks, or in the reds? Is their cash flow positive or negative? Are they achieving profitablity? I’m just wondering. I hope they do, this company is a remarkable company with a clear vision, a clear market focus, and great products.
bxb32001: I’ve found LindowsOS to have the best laptop support. It is the only dist where acpi, hibernate on lid-close and my synaptic touchpad has worked with scroll area out-of-the-box. Centrinos are supported as well and wireless network cards.
Rajan R: As I’ve understood it Xandros had some serious problems with cash until 2.0. Xandros 2 has sold very well though and they should now how enough cash for operating for quite a while – hopefully they’ll make it to 3.0 without any hiccups.
In fact I’ve heard Xandros has recently hired more people and opened a new office…
Ok, Xandros and Lindows seem to be doing well. Now what about Lycoris? Seems they have problems delivering new technologies on the desktop and though I believe a stable and mature product weighs heavier than bleeding-edge, I do think you get to a point where it’s not defendable anymore.
Lycoris must leave the KDE 2.2/GTK 1.2 era now or they’ll be doomed on the desktop!
The interview is just a marketing Gag and a waste of time to read-
Lets face it: Xandros Inc. has not done a good job in Europe. Why? Xandros hired some German distributor to sell Xandros 2.0. The did and invested some Money front up for Marketing and PR. But without informing the Europe Distributors, Xandros made a Deal with Linuxland AG – a Publisher for Linux Magazines, enabled Linuxland do spread more then 60.000 Standard Xandros 2.0 Version as a DVD Supplement for free to they’re Reader. More over, Linuxland also sold this Magazines including DVD in Germany, Austria and Swiss. So, the long term Distributor are upset, very upset and they going do quit there Business with Xandros Inc. BTW: I don’t know what Mr. Pon Ming is talking about. Fact is: Since Version 1.0 the Europe Distributors are keep telling Xandros that for Europe ISDN-Support is a MUST not a nice do have Feature. But still Xandros comes whiteout ISDN Support at all. Furthermore, particular in Austria we have some Brand Laptop which are not sold in US – but although Xandros knows about that – no Support. In all Reviews we read that there will be a Free Download CD. And now there is still no Download CD. The guys talking about “carefully” selecting Business Partner. I could hit the roof, while reading this. The General Manager of Sales for Europe is from Greece, he has not proven Record and made Mistakes over Mistakes. He is the one who made the Deal with Linuxland – afterwards he said, “I didn’t know that Linuxland was doing Promotion with Full versions I always thought this are Demo-CD”. Great. Xandros Inc. lost income from around 60.000 Licences.
Xandros is not making any money right now. The are deep in red. So big pressure comes from the VC. Xandros Inc. is working on a Business-Edition, great! But why not putting a bug free Version (Oh yes, Xandros 2.0 is still buggy)in the Market, gaining some Market share and then move on with the Business-Edition. Step-by-step Strategy. Another Issue: No Xandros Inc. announced a SP1. But what will the SP1 include?
Business Edition is supposed to address Business I guess. But as of now there is no ISP who would go in to that Business. And I can assure that no Manager will go for Xandros if he cannot be sure do get Support from a Austrian or German Company. Or will the Developer from Xandros comer over to Austria and customize and support Xandros 2.0 Business Edition?
I could continue about the mis-mangemement here in Europe. Yes it is a good Product, but Xandros has to do lot more than just talking and making wrong Decision. Here in Europe this is Suse Country, if Xandros will get some Marketing Share they have to do better in any way.
As far as I can see : the two top distro in France are Mandrake and Debian…
Mandrake has the best langage support in regional region from french to wallon, breton, basque, catalan and so more…..
All the hype about lindows, lycoris and xandros is non sence since you can’t just by them in usual resellers….
I’ve heard that the most downloaded distro in us is mandrake, is that true ?????
According to the official Sales #
3. Red Hate
Sales no doesn’t prove who’s the biggest. SuSE isn’t for free as mandrake and redhat and debian isn’t for sale at all.
Btw, where did you get those official sales #?
In Austria, Germany and Swiss you can get this # from montly Polls done by the popular leading Linux Magazins.
You can also get a BOX-Version of Mandrake or Debian amoung otheres via Web shop see http://www.linuxland.de/katalog/01_linuxdistri_bs/mandrake/liste
’cause not every one has a fast broadband Internet connection.
“We burned through literally tens of thousands of CD-Rs in the development and QA cycle”
Literally tens of thousands of CDR must mean at LEAST 20,000 CDs and lets say that each takes just 5 minutes to burn with one minute in between to take out old disc and put in new that would be 120,000 minutes. We’ll divide that by 60 to get 2000 hours. If they have 2 computers burning CDs for 10 hours a day NON-STOP (no breaks for lunch or otherwise) it would take 100 solid days of work. If they worked 5 days a week, that would be 20 weeks or more than 5 months.
The above number don’t strain credibility, they snap it in two. Might as well say you tested it on a million CDRs.
And why does it take 2 people to answer these powder puff questions?
I’m a windows user since 1995 but time to time I go ahead and try other operating programs just to see how do they doing against giant “microsoft”, so far I’ve tested Mandrake, gentoo, suse, redhat and latest was Xandros; I must say there is a huge improvements on the software but still some weird things happening and somehow I just cant get answer from xandrossupport department providing that my xandros version 2.0 and registered to xandros network..
-I’ve installed opera browser from xandros network then I’ve try to get short cut for this application to my desktop and I did, but application stop responding and so far no one knows why.
-Build in palm pilot application just did not worked they suggest I should use serial connection. I’ve have usb connection cradle that I can not use; why, no one knows.
-I tried install thirth party application which call Jpilot for my palm “by the way I’ve got this application from debian site” I’ve folow their instruction and I did instal but somehow application got disappear and no one knows why.
For modern operating systems this kind problems should not be issue but with xandros does!!!
So XANDROS that does not worked..