Xandros CEO hopes free Windows alternative succeeds

"Open computing is coming of age, and every desktop user should know that there's a full-featured Windows alternative out there," said the chairman and CTO of Xandros Inc., as he announced the release of a free Linux desktop he hopes will establish itself as the whole world's alternative to Windows.

"We want the Open Circulation version of the Xandros desktop to replicate like a virus," said Dr. Frederick H. Berenstein, Xandros chairman and CTO, as he announced Thursday the release of a new edition of the Xandros Desktop, downloadable at no charge from the Xandros Web site.

Individuals can install the software for their personal use and pass it on to their friends through download mirror sites or by copying the installation CD.

Berenstein continued: "Open computing is coming of age, and every desktop user should know that there's a full-featured Windows alternative out there, and they're going to love it!"

The aim here, of course, is to plant the seed that the Xandros Desktop OS provides a Windows replacement for a global audience.

"Many desktop users who toy with the idea of ditching Microsoft are not aware that switching to Linux means getting the best of both worlds," added Ming Poon, Xandros VP for software development. "They have a more stable OS, free of all the Windows viruses out there, and can still access all their Windows files and office documents. They also find out that the Xandros File Manager has an integrated CD Writer that is even simpler to use and yet more powerful than the one that comes with XP."

According to Xandros, the Open Circulation Edition "provides a secure, stable Windows replacement with all the features the great majority of users need, including an office suite, Web browsing, e-mail, and multimedia facilities."

Ming Poon notes in addition that Xandros is just a four-click install with automatic disk partitioning. Further features:

- Dual-boot installation with Windows XP

- Industry-leading hardware detection and configuration

- Drag-and-drop CD burning in Xandros File Manager

- Seamless file and print sharing on Windows networks

One additional note: the Open Circulation license is strictly for non-commercial use and e-mail installation support is not included.

"We wanted to give something back to the community -- not just to the kernel developers, KDE, OpenOffice.org and a myriad other projects, but also to the beta testers, reviewers, and thousands of users who have enthusiastically received and supported our products, said Stephen Harris, Xandros marketing director and community relations spokesman.

On Friday, in a follow up to the release of the Open Circulation Edition, Xandros has also announced the availability of premium memberships to the Xandros Networks single-click update service and community store.

Registered users of the Xandros Desktop Operating System automatically obtain a free Basic Membership to Xandros Networks, the company explains, to receive free fixes and patches for their version of Xandros Desktop OS, but the new Premium Membership will offer "instant access to the latest desktop Linux features and enhancements and guaranteed top discounts on version upgrades and third-party products and services."

"What youre seeing is another element of our business model," says chairman Berenstein, who adds: "Just as our Open Circulation Edition is vastly expanding our user base, Premium Memberships to Xandros Networks will strengthen our core community and provide a more continuous revenue stream."

"People like to talk about kernel numbers and version upgrades," adds Ming Poon, "but our desktop OS is improving all the time. Premium Members can now experience many new desktop features and application updates the minute they pass Xandros Quality Assurance. We also set up a special forum where Premium Members discuss future directions and in some cases vote on which features we should work on next."

So in other words Xandros enthusiasts can participate in development decisions. In any one of the 51 languages, presumably - including Upper Sorbian we hope!

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