Lindows upgrades OS, preps for general release

Renegade software startup Lindows.com Inc. released the 2.0 version of its Linux-based operating system (OS) this week, offering users features such as tabbed browsing, pop-up ad blocking capabilities and boosted networking support.

The release is Lindows' most significant product announcement so far, the San Diego, California, software maker said, although the 2.0 version is only available to users who have purchased LindowsOS computers.

The company plunged into the retail market last June, striking a deal with Walmart.com to sell low-priced computers, ranging from US$199 to $599, featuring the LindowsOS. Users of the LindowsOS computers can download the 2.0 version for free at http://www.lindows.com/warehouse.

A general release of the software, LindowsOS 3.0, is due out later this year.

Indeed, Lindows has grabbed more headlines recently for its court battle with software mammoth Microsoft Corp., which sued the startup over the similarities between the Windows and Lindows names.

Lindows, whose OS allows users to run applications designed for Microsoft's Windows as well as the open source-operating system Linux, has been staking out its own market, however, saying that it wants to offer a lower-priced OS alternative.

Lindows 2.0 features a new, graphical user interface, improvements to the e-mail and browser offerings, as well as bolstered operational features, such as laptop power management and battery controls. Also, the company's "Click-N-Run" technology, which loads software programs onto LindowsOS machines, has been optimized to perform better over broadband and dial-up connections, the company said.

Furthermore, the new OS has added support for over 800 printers and allows users to configure wireless Internet cards.

Lindows was founded last year by former MP3.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Michael Robertson. The company hopes to ride the wave of growing support for Linux systems while still offering users the ability to run seemingly ubiquitous Windows applications.

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