Xandros has just announced the release of an Open Circulation Edition of the Xandros Desktop OS, which comes with features like the ability to dual-boot with Windows XP, the Opera browser and email package, and access to Xandros Networks. To accompany this exciting release, DesktopOS.com has published an exclusive interview with Rick Berenstein, Xandros Chairman & CTO, Ming Poon, the VP for Software Development, and Stephen Harris, Director of Marketing & PR.
Xandros Debuts Open Circulation Edition
Submitted by Jason Prince 2004-06-09 Oracle and SUN 31 Comments
…when I realised it is also going to be crippled. I might still and give it a shot, but stuff like XFM is limited to your slowest CD burner speed is never nice. I can get free and better CD writing software for Linux for free, why should I pay for this.
I think I will still download it anyway, to give it a spin.
Now off to create some HD space.
But this distro seems a bit weak for me, I might still give it a shot though, I have enough extra space for it.
I justed installed Debian and I can dual boot (set up automatically) and I also have an email package. If I wanted to, I could even download Opera. Oh.. by the way, Debian was free.
Yes, I know the open circulation version is free as well, but there has to be some catch.
The only reason Xandros are giving away there OS is becuase it requires a larger market share than it has got at the moment. In the last 8 months the Linux OS market has been very fast moving with new players comming in and established ones raising the game (which is all good news for us the customer) I know that Xnadros is having a small spot of bother with some sort of litigation, and that its product doesnt seemed to be any different from the jungle of OSes, So in my own opinion its doing a last ditch attempt to get some customers back on board.
But Hey the OS is free so download it and give it a go.
for example (from their site):
“CD burning speed in Xandros File Manager is limited to the minimum burning speed of your CD burner. To get the maximum burning speed out of your hardware you can either become a Premium subscriber to Xandros Networks or Upgrade to the Standard, Deluxe or Business editions of the Xandros Desktop OS”
I justed installed Debian and I can dual boot (set up automatically)
Maybe, but with Xandros, you can do the same thing with about 4 mouse clicks. Try that with Debian. I’m not singing Xandros’s praises here, but there is clearly a market out there for this kind of distro.
Great news, Xandros is my favourite Linux distro
Xandros 2: Buisness edition has been happily chugging away on my laptop since I got it in the mail.
Its a great workstation OS, and I’m glad to see a free release for the “Free Beer” Linux users, if only the CDwrite speeds are pared out of this version(and the crossover apps), then its a great deal for anyone to try out, yes its debian, yes you could dowload and install it somewhere else, but for running in a mixed OS invironment, Xandros takes the cake and has a permanent home with me.
concerning cd burning speed. I’m only guessing here, but this may only apply to the Xandros file-manager/burner. You can probably just download another burner….
Yes it only applies there, but I currently write my cds at 24 speed minimum. That is for rewritables. It kind of defeats the purpose to have to download another cd writing app. Besides, soon there will be plenty alternatives for us anyway.
The truth is that no one is really biting. They need to be more aggressive than that, let people have it all except for Networks and their other licensed stuff, much like Lycoris does it. Besides, not having a large community, they are already disadvantaged in that third party apps will not be easy to find. You can use debian repos but it might/will break your system, and then its all pointless.
With all respect, Xandros is trying to sell Linux to ordinary people, i.e., people who want to buy a CD, stick it in there PC, click on a few icons, and have a working system with all their peripherals set up and configured.
These are people whose expectations about comouting have been established by Windows and Apple. These people will never see a reason to fool around with something like Debian, no more than thay would consider building a television from scratch.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Computers are meant to be used. Spending time learning how to install Debian (or any OS) and then noodling around with configuration files and not-quite-perfect GUI tools trying to get your peripherals to work is, for a lot of normal perfectly sane people, a large waste of time.
Finally, the “free as in beer” aspect of Debian just isn’t that important to people who aren’t on a starving student budget and who don’t plan to try a different Linux flavor every month just for the fun of it.
Whether or not Xandors can make money selling Linux to these people is debatable. After all, once installed, all Linuxes are pretty much all alike. Differntiating your desktop product from the competition is difficult.
B. Subject to the terms and conditions contained herein, Xandros hereby grants to You a non-exclusive license to use the Software Product:
for your personal, non-commercial use;
and for internal business purposes only and only if You are a Developer; where a “Developer” means a person who uses the Software Product in connection with the development of a software application or component.
What about it?
I believe Xandros, with its “just works” philosophy and thorughness to usability and simplification actually does differentiate itself from, say, Mandrake or Red Hat, but I have two objections to their present course.
The first is that they seem to have lost a little bit of their original focus. The first versions (including Corel Linux) really did “get it” when it came to simplification and thinking like the user. But the second version seem to bear the signs of having lost their core competence at this: there are only small changes and what there is actually going in the wrong way. I just can’t stand to work in the unpolished mess of most present Linux distributions, and unfortunatly Xandros 2 has some of that. One such thing is the use of different fonts in different sizes, which is completley unforgivable from a typographic standpoint. I used to look incredeously at the red norwegian flag they put in the task bar to notify that I was using a norwegian keyboard. On the sacred alter of hard choices you need to make with regard to available visual information, they chose to put a red flag in taskbar… I really can’t get over that. And many more such things. They have “lost it” to some extent, that that is a part of the reason people are not excited over it. They should have continued on the same line – providing an all-grapichal boot sequence and such things..
Another objection is that they try to look like Windows, and that makes it hard for it differentiate itself from other distros/Windows. This sounds right in theory (“users want familiarity”) but I believe it is actually wrong. It signals that this looks like Windows, but isn’t quite as good. The right direction ahead for these distros is to compete on visual uniqueness…
I was thrilled about this announcement for about 10 seconds. Not only is cdburning crippled, but it dosen’t even come with cross over office! Those are the two thinks I like about xandros, without them, it’s average.
Only CD burning from XFM is slowed down. You can install any other CD burning app and it’ll work fine. And you didn’t really expect them to give you a $40 3rd-party software package for free did you?
I agree with msot everyone else. Crippling CD burning is a bad idea.
And you didn’t really expect them to give you a $40 3rd-party software package for free did you?
What are you talking about? K3b is free, silly! What $40 CD burning software exists for Linux? AFAIK, all of it is free. $40+ in Windows maybe (Nero, etc.)
This is something I never understood. Why do developers/marketers think “crippling” a product will help them sell more copies. If I have a crippled XFM which cannot burn CDs at full speed, then the “click to burn” feature of XFM suddenly becomes useless. I don’t say, “Well, I guess I should upgrade to Standard.” I just download k3b and change my ways. But suddenly, Xandros loses that extra bit of usability it got from integrated CD burning.
With nautilus’ CD burner getting better and better (and I assume konq has CD burning integrated in some way too), there’s no real advantage to XFM over free counterparts, so you might as well give it away.
I think Xandros isn’t _made_ to be free. It’s biggest advantage is emulating the look-n-feel of Windows, and then improving upon it. Xandros relied on Crossover Office for this. The idea was that Xandros could be put in front of an office worker and with 0 learning curve work on Word documents, Excel, and browse the web, while avoiding virii, instability, etc. Xandros is good because Crossover is integrated well. In the free version, this major boon becomes moot as well.
Bad move, IMO. I’m all for free tryouts, but not like this.
Xandros executives shouldn’t have compared their own product to a virus. Did they really have to compare its propagation to that of Nimda, Sasser, and other malware ?
They released their crippled version through BitTorrent. Strange move, considering that many firewalls are configured to block that kind of software. Countless mirrors exist on the Net, why not transfer an iso there ?
Suse (a commercial distro) provides free FTP access to everybody. Many distros are also available free of charge. Therefore, how can Xandros attract a lot of people with their idea ?
Last point, some posters will laugh at those who are on a student budget and can’t pay for most software. My question is : if developers say that their software is free to download or modify, why do you feel bad that people do so ? When will you ask corporations to send checks to opensource groups as a sign of gratitude ?
Gee wiz, everyone wants something for nothing. I think the purpose of this free version is not for people to use as their regular OS but for people to try to see if they like it. Then maybe you will or maybe you won’t buy it but at least you will know if it work or not.
And yes Xandros tries to look like Windows etc. But I must say 2 things.
1. When it is up and running with crossover or Star Office it’s easy for a first time user to get on and figure out.
2. The business edition has the BEST configuration of Samba I have ever seen. No other Linux version comes close nor does OSX. I mean you can put it into active directory just like a Windows machine. And when you get it in and log in as a regular user it will even map (mount) your home directory that is listed in your active directory user account! SWEET!
That alone makes grabbed me. I was able to get all my buddies at work to go to Xandros because of it. Today my boss went and e-mailed all the Windows 2000 and XP users who had admin privlages and told them they would be revoked. Then he came to me and asked me if I got the e-mail about the admin privlages! I laughed and said no, I am not using Winblows! No worries about anything because my domain account is not a local admin and doesn’t need to be! WOOOOO HOOOOO!
Oh and using K3B will cause some other things to act funny because of the way they have their CD burner software configured. (I tried it before)
>What are you talking about? K3b is free, silly! What $40 CD burning software exists for Linux? AFAIK, all of it is free. $40+ in Windows maybe (Nero, etc.)
As I said, you can replace XFM’s CD burning capability with any other CD burner and it’ll work fine. It’s ‘crippled’ yes, but it’s a real non-issue.
My comment “And you didn’t really expect them to give you a $40 3rd-party software package for free did you?” was in reply to Mad Echidna’s objection:
“it dosen’t even come with cross over office!”
Of course it doesn’t come with Crossover Office for free and it shouldn’t be expected to.
I already have a copy of Crossover Office that I can install, and I’ll be installing XCDRoast and K3B on this system tomorrow. This system looks very functional, and clean.
This may be replacing LindowsOS on the computer I gave my father.
I’ve always liked the look of xandros XFM and wanted to try it. Can I just grab it from this and install it on my distro?
Actually, the installer said “We have found another operating system, do you want to add this to your lilo configuration?” I clicked OK.
I used to look incredeously at the red norwegian flag they put in the task bar to notify that I was using a norwegian keyboard. On the sacred alter of hard choices you need to make with regard to available visual information, they chose to put a red flag in taskbar… I really can’t get over that. And many more such things. They have “lost it” to some extent, that that is a part of the reason people are not excited over it. They should have continued on the same line – providing an all-grapichal boot sequence and such things..
I like the flags because they give me instant knowledge of wether or not the Norwegian or German keymap is enabled. Using both alternately can be a mess and seeing the flag makes it easier. It’s not like you have to sit and watch it all day, you know.
Of all the Linux’s I’ve tried to come to peace with, Xandros is the one that made life easy. It does what it is supposed to do. It offers the best browser and e-mail client Opera 7.5, the best Office alternative OpenOffice.org, support for my IBM X24 Thinkpad wireless lan card and so much more.
id expect them to release a ‘basic xandros’ version and a professional one for purchase…
one of the downfalls of the linux OS market is that there are already many many many alternatives that are probably better and most of them will probably be free… so its even harder to make profit selling a linux desktop.. might as well try selling support serices to the hundreds of linux distros instead.. it really does require a limited amount of employees to create a linux distro though, maybe even just 1 person if they are qualified enough might as well give it a shot.. hundreds have already
because xandros is based on debian, can i use apt (and debian reps) with it to get programs like xine etc.?
if yes, is apt installed by default or do i have to get it somewhere (as well as a sources.list)? if it isn’t, how and where to get it?
yes, xandros is based on a former debain sarge snapshot. and yes you might use apt-get 🙂
e.g. enable debian sarge for stuff you won’t find in xandros repository…. BUT be carful with some stuff – especially “k”-apps (KDE;koffice,…)… main problem here is that debian sarge is a moving target while xandros took an snapshot last year and did its own QA here…
Maybe have a look at forums.xandros.com and search for “apt pinning”…
I just installed Xandros OC and it’s actually rather slick. As far as limiting the CD burning speed, etc, they had to do *something* to give you an incentive to upgrade from what is essentially a complete desktop system.
I purchased version 1.0 for $99 and some of the best features of that system are on this FREE edition. XFM (Xandros File Manager) lets you browse Windows networks (and NFS) and print to Windows network printers much more easily than Linux users are used to. I can also access files on my Windows XP NTFS partition.
I know I know Xandros/ Defunct Corel OS was good at a point of time no more. Were they smoking Crack when they thought by crippling the speed of CD writer. I mean how hard is to install K3B and burn CD’s full speed. I guess Xandros is missing the Whole point about open source despite carrying Linux. Open up or be obsolete, give me one good reason to upgrade from freely available distros and I will switch.
i believe xandros is intended for integrated desktop system. Now they give it for free, it’s nice, since thus far there are less of this type available for free ( maybe only mandrake or knoopix)
lets applaud this idea, why nt give it a try. Is linux ready for desktop?