Xandros debuts Linux desktop OS

Xandros, a new entrant in the Linux market, released its first OS on Tuesday, claiming ease of use, installation and functionality as its greatest drawcards.

Xandros Desktop 1.0 is built upon Linux kernel 2.4.19, XFree86 4.2, Debian 3.0, and enhanced KDE. The OS also features CodeWeavers' CrossOver technology, that allows users to run both Windows and Linux applications simultaneously without the need for the Windows operating system.

This latest in a long line of Linux distributions was initially developed by Corel. Xandros licensed Corel's Linux distribution in August 2001 for $US2 million after receiving seeded capital from Linux Global Partners, an incubator that has financed several Linux software makers, including Ximian which provides open source products and development tools for GNOME.

One of the main drawcards for the new distribution is its ease of use, according to Xandos developer Ming Poon. The software is claimed to install in five mouse clicks. Additionally, Xandros applications look, feel and operate much like Windows said Poon.

Xandros supports NTFS partition resizing during installation. NTFS is the default file system for Microsoft Windows XP and is also used on Windows NT and Windows 2000. Other features include automatic hardware detection and configuration (popular winmodems are supported), automounting of existing Windows and Linux drives, hot plug and play USB device support, and Windows networking integration including domain level authentication.

Unlike most Linux distributions, Xandros comes with a price - $US99 per user, with corporate and OEM discounts also available. The product ships with Xandros Desktop installation CD; Xandros technology preview CD with KDE 3; 250 page manual; CodeWeavers CrossOver Office and plugin; registration card and serial number; and 30 Days free installation technical support via e-mail. No download version is being planned said Poon.

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