Linspire Announces 'Freespire' Version of Their Popular Linux Operating System Freespire Community Project to Offer Unique Mix of Both Proprietary and

Open Source Options in Free Linux Operating System



    SAN DIEGO, April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Linspire, developer of the popular
 commercial desktop Linux operating system of the same name, today announced
 plans for a no-cost version of their operating system called Freespire.
 Kevin Carmony, Linspire's President and CEO, unveiled the Freespire project
 in his keynote address this morning at the 4th Annual Desktop Linux Summit,
 running today and tomorrow in San Diego. In his remarks, Carmony explained
 how Freespire is a community driven and developed project, but unique for
 open source Linux distributions in that it will allow users the choice to
 download a version that is 100% open-source or one that includes
 proprietary software.
     Freespire is venturing into new territory by offering a free community
 Linux operating system that includes the option for legally licensed
 proprietary software pieces in the core distribution. The Freespire
 community project and Web site are now live at www.freespire.org, with the
 first beta release of the operating system to be made available for
 download in August. The release will mark the first time Linspire is making
 such a free version of their Linux operating system available to the
 public. For more details on the Freespire project or to sign up for the
 Freespire community mailing list, visit www.freespire.org.
     Linux has found broad acceptance on servers but has met with some
 resistance from desktop and laptop computer users, in part from its lack of
 native support for some hardware, file types and multi media formats.
 Freespire addresses this hurdle by offering proprietary drivers and
 software as a choice, and gives desktop Linux users the option of
 "out-of-the-box" legal support for MP3, DVD, Windows Media, QuickTime,
 Java, Flash, Real, ATI drivers, nVidia drivers, Adobe Acrobat Reader,
 third-party fonts, and so on. Other Linux distributions do not include
 these pieces of proprietary software in their core free distributions.
     Once released, a list of all the different proprietary codecs, drivers
 and software used in Freespire will be available at
 www.freespire.org/home/trademarks, along with the detailed licensing
 information needed to help assist others in the modifying and
 redistribution of the core Freespire open source code.
     In his remarks at the Desktop Linux Summit, Carmony discussed how the
 open source Linux community needs to become better educated on how to
 legally and successfully incorporate proprietary licensing in those
 instances where there are not yet good open source options available.
     "Freespire is about choice," Carmony said. "The user should be free to
 decide what software they want to install on their systems, be that
 proprietary or open source. Linspire fully embraces and supports the open
 source model, but if Linux is to gain mainstream acceptance, it needs to
 work with iPods and DVD players, and fully support hardware, such as 3D
 graphic cards, Wi-Fi, sound, and printers. Until there are viable open
 source replacements, Freespire sets out to at least provide the option of
 legally and easily using certain proprietary codecs, drivers and software."
     According to Carmony, the Freespire project has six major goals for the
 advancement of Linux and open source software: 1) Provide users freedom of
 choice by making available a "free marketplace" for all Linux software,
 including proprietary, open source, free and commercial products, plus
 provide easy access to this marketplace with open sourced tools such as CNR
 and apt-get. When necessary for the user experience, include proprietary
 software as an option in the core distribution, which will always be
 available for download at no cost; 2) Offer a very easy-to-use, yet
 powerful, Linux distribution; 3) Provide exceptional "fit and finish" with
 a professional and polished operating system; 4) Create a Linux that can
 expand more broadly to the masses; 5) Create an active community of
 developers and users; and 6) Include worldwide language support. A more
 detailed discussion on the Freespire mission can be found at
 www.freespire.org/about/vision.
     As part of the Freespire project, Linspire's flagship CNR (click and
 run) technology (a one-click download and install software management
 system), will be open sourced to facilitate the building of a truly "free
 marketplace" for all Linux software, including proprietary, open source,
 free, or commercial. Many proprietary codecs, drivers and software will be
 offered in Freespire's core distribution, while a few that have a larger
 per-unit licensing fee, such as DVD, must be purchased and installed via
 CNR.
     The Freespire project will be open to community development, comment
 and contribution. A community forum is now live on the Freespire Web site,
 and the community project will be governed by a Leadership Board that
 includes prominent members of the Linux community. For more about the
 Freespire Leadership board, visit www.freespire.org/community/leadership.
     As a company, Linspire will continue to develop and release new
 commercial versions of its industry leading desktop Linux operating system
 Linspire OS. While Freespire is more accessible by developers and those in
 or curious about the Linux community, Linspire will continue to be geared
 towards the consumer and novice computer user, offering more ease of use
 and premium support. In addition, the Freespire project will help to
 improve the commercial version of the Linspire operating system, as many of
 the improvements to the Freespire operating system will be incorporated
 into future releases of Linspire.
     A detailed FAQ on Freespire is available at
 www.freespire.org/support/faqs.
     About Linspire, Inc.
     Linspire, Inc. (www.linspire.com) was founded in 2001 to bring choice
 into the operating system market. The company's flagship product, the
 Linspire operating system, is an affordable, easy-to-use Linux-based
 operating system for home, school, and business users. Linspire pioneered
 CNR ("click and run") Technology, which allows Linspire users access to
 thousands of software programs, each of which can be downloaded and
 installed with just one mouse click. The more than 2,400 software titles
 available in the CNR Warehouse (www.linspire.com/cnr) include full office
 and productivity suites, games, multimedia players, photo management
 software, accounting tools, and more.
     For more information, please contact:
 
     Heather MacKenzie
     Linspire, Inc.858-587-6700 x263
     858-587-8095 Fax
     pr@linspire.com
     Linspire, Freespire, CNR, and CNR Warehouse are trademarks of Linspire,
 Inc. All other marks herein are property of their respective owners.
 
 

SOURCE Linspire, Inc.

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