Desktop Linux shakes hands with Windows

Desktop Linux operating system vendors made news last week as Xandros reintroduced the Linux operating system formerly developed by Corel with a release called Xandros Desktop 1.0. Meanwhile, Lindows.com Inc. announced it would ship the final build of its operating system some time next month.

Lindows.com, in San Diego, in the past year has fended off a lawsuit by Microsoft Corp. and tested and tuned its software for final distribution. It is expected to ship a general release of the software, called LindowsOS 3.0 Membership Edition, in the middle of November, the company said in a statement this week.

Although Lindows.com launched its business on the promise that its low-cost Linux operating system would allow users to run applications built for Windows, the company has since backed away from that effort and instead focused on an offering called Click-N-Run Warehouse, which gives users access to a free library of Linux applications they can download to their desktops.

LindowsOS 3.0 Membership Edition comes with a one-year subscription to the Click-N-Run Warehouse. Customers will receive lifetime licenses to any applications downloaded during the life of their subscriptions. It is priced at US$129 plus shipping and handling for a hard-copy version of the software and user manual and is also available from the Lindows.com Web site. The operating system costs $119 when downloaded off the Web.

Xandros has picked up where Lindows.com left off. The Ottawa company is bundling with Xandros Desktop 1.0 an application called CrossOver, developed by CodeWeavers Inc., that allows users to install and run Windows programs on their Linux machines. Crossover plug-ins for a variety of Windows applications, including Microsoft Office, IBM Corp. Lotus Notes and Intuit Inc. Quicken, ship free with Xandros Desktop. However, users will have to pay extra for licensed customer support, the companies said.

Xandros Desktop 1.0 is priced at $99 and can be ordered from the company's Web site. PC manufacturers and corporate customers can receive discounted pricing, the company said.

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