Xandros has announced the end of Linspire. The company says that it had too many for-pay distributions running around in the company portfolio, so one was bound to be cut. Linspire didn't make it. "Xandros purchased Linspire, the company, earlier this summer. This week, the company announced that it was going to revamp community distribution Freespire, basing its next version on Debian instead of Ubuntu, and using it as a precursor for Xandros Desktop Professional, in much the same way Red Hat uses Fedora and SUSE uses openSUSE. But the company didn't need multiple for-pay desktop distributions, so Linspire is getting the boot."
"Former Linspire CEO Kevin Carmony was pretty gung-ho about the company's upcoming release back in June. He said it would 'fill some key holes in our current offering'. Unfortunately Linspire 6, released last week, lacks the refinements you'd expect in a distro you pay USD 50 to download. It drops some key distinguishing features, and in return gains only some Microsoft technology as spelled out in the Microsoft patent covenants Linspire agreed to. This release seems to be about deferring to Microsoft."
"Freespire, the free as in beer version of the Linspire Linux distribution, this month released Freespire 2.0, the first version of the operating system based on the popular Ubuntu distribution, and the first to contain proprietary codecs and drivers. Despite its attractive appearance, it left me with mixed feelings."
"In an interview today with Linux-Watch, controversial Linux leader Kevin Carmony confirmed rumors that he had resigned as CEO of desktop Linux vendor Linspire on July 31. Carmony said he plans to work on several of his own business projects, and on Mitt Romney's presidential campaign."
Kevin Carmony, CEO of Linspire, writes: "With the recent news of several Linux vendors entering into partnership agreements with Microsoft (Novell, Linspire, Xandros), there has been much debate recently about two factions of Linux forming. Saying that Linux is going to be torn in two, makes for good press and lively debates, but this is certainly nothing new for Linux."
Linspire has announced an agreement to license voice-enabled instant messaging, Windows Media 10 codecs, and TrueType font technologies from Microsoft for its Linux distribution. Additionally, Microsoft will offer protection to Linspire customers against possible violations of Microsoft patents by Linux.
"This week, Microsoft laid out the next chapter in their plans regarding patents and open source Linux software, by going public with the claim that Linux infringes on some 235 of their software patents. The first chapter in this story began back in November of last year, when Microsoft entered into a agreement with Novell. These events, in my opinion, form the most important dynamic today as to the future success of Linux. How will all of this affect open source software and Linux? What should the open source community do? And... What will Linspire do?"
"Freespire version 2.0 Alpha2U (1.2.49) is now available for download. This is the second alpha build based on Ubuntu that might not be good for the health of a production machine. Expect improvements as future builds are released. Some of the release notes: automatic boot menu management does not always work, do not install if you are not experienced at repairing GRUB configurations and MBRs; no upgrade path available from Freespire 1.0 or previous versions of Freespire 2.0 alphas; NVIDIA and ATI drivers are not automatically installed; Jack has been removed - any applications which do not use ALSA may not work properly."
After the recent switch to the Ubuntu code base, Freespire has restarted their development process with the first alpha release of Freespire 2.0: "Freespire version 2.0 Alpha1U (1.2.42) is now available for download." The new release uses the latest Linux kernel 2.6.20, X.Org 7.2 and KDE 3.5.6, but many Freespire-specific features have yet to be implemented.
"Linspire CEO Kevin Carmony says his company is opening up its CNR software download and management service to other Linux distributions because "Linux really needs an easier way to find and install software, regardless of which flavor of Linux you're using." According to Carmony, Linspire has been working on this project more more than a year. To find out more about how this bold new program is going to work - and how it benefits everyone involved - Desktoplinux.com conducted the following short Q&A with Carmony via email."
"Linspire announced plans to standardize software installation across Linux distributions by expanding its popular CNR digital download and software management service to support several of the most popular desktop Linux distributions in 2007. Previously available only for Linspire and Freespire desktop Linux users, the CNR Service will begin providing users of other desktop Linux distributions a free and easy way to access over 20000 desktop Linux products, packages and libraries."
Freespire 2.0 Alpha2 (1.1.73) is now available for download. "Merged Upstart boot scripts, improved boot time noticed; updated ATI Drivers to current version; enhanced Nvidia support; added knetworkmanager; and much more."
The first development build of Freespire 2.0 has been released: "Freespire version 2.0 Alpha (1.1.57) is now available for download. New features: KDM login manager; KDE 3.5.5 with user switching and SuperKaramba; kernel 2.6.18; desktop directory names (no spaces); Lbrowser with Flash Player 9 beta; Lmail including FreeLinuxEmail; Gaim 2.0.0 beta4; OpenOffice.org 2.0.4."
In the midst of the busy semester here at school, my fiancee's laptop, running Windows XP SP2, picked up some friends - adware, trojans, etc. It was a pretty nasty sight. I worked on it for at least two hours every couple of days, wiping it clean, doing my best to lock it down, and so on. Avast! and Ad-Aware had their limits it seemed, for only a day or so after I cleaned it, pop-ups and weird stuff would show up again. She was getting sick of it. I was getting sick of cleaning it, so I suggested, offhand, installing a different operating system that is a bit more impervious to those nasties. To my surprise, she agreed.
In a move that some may have sensed was coming, Eric S. Raymond - one of the co-founders of the open-source movement - has joined the Freespire Leadership Board. Raymond believes desktop Linux is entering into a critical period, noting that historically, users have shifted operating systems during periods of fundamental changes in hardware platforms. He believes the PC vendors' embrace of 64-bit computing will provide desktop Linux a unique window of opportunity, which if missed, may not come along again for many years.
Linspire launched a revamped partner program on September 14 that will pay system builders a percentage on all commercial Linux software and services purchased by users of either Linspire or Freespire pre-installed desktop and laptop computers using the company's CNR technology.
"Linspire/Freespire is real Linux, and if you are hoping to convert someone loaning them a Linspire PC might be the way to do it. If you are a regular Linux user, you don't need it, but it makes a great set of training wheels."
Linux.com reviews the Koobox Linspire-based mini-PC, and concludes: "If you want a mini-PC form factor that's Linux-compatible, the Mini Koobox seems to be one of the best values on the market. It's small and quiet, and its performance is fine for normal desktop use. I might recommend ditching Linspire and installing a different distro once it's in your hands, but if small is your thing, I'd recommend picking up a Mini."
DistroWatch has brought to light an apparant fraud by Freespire. "Several readers have emailed us to let us know that Linspire has launched what can only be classified as an attempt to tamper with our page hit ranking statistics by trying to artificially inflate the page hit ranking figures for its new community distribution - Freespire. Upon investigation, it turned out that both linspire.com and nvu.com had been deceivingly redirecting visitors to the Freespire page on DistroWatch and that the default home page of Firefox in the latest build of Freespire had also been set to the same page." A thread on the Freespire forums about this issue is quite heated.
Starting today, Linspire does not only offer a free OS, but also its CNR Basic service. " Linspire, Inc., developer of the commercial desktop Linux operating system of the same name and Freespire, the free community desktop Linux operating system, announced the immediate change in pricing for its popular CNR Service from an annual subscription fee based offering to a completely free service." CEO Carmony said: "We're thrilled to now be in a position to offer this excellent service to desktop Linux users absolutely free. CNR really makes using desktop Linux easy, and we want everyone to have access to this quality service."