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
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
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
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
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:
Linspire, Inc.858-587-6700 x263
Linspire, Freespire, CNR, and CNR Warehouse are trademarks of Linspire,
Inc. All other marks herein are property of their respective owners.
SOURCE Linspire, Inc.