Xandros bought Linspire.

Posted on 14 July 2008, Last updated on 11 November 2019 by

Remember Lindows? A controversially named company that worked to bring a simpler Linux experience to the consumer. They ended up renaming as Linspire after Microsoft went after them and went on to create CNR which is a cross-distribution (works for Ubuntu and Novell distro’s apparently) marketplace for easy-install Linux programs. Badly needed!

Last week, Michael Robertson, the man that started Linspire, announced that it’s being sold to Xandros. Xandros, as many of you know, create and manage the Linux distribution that you find on the Eee PC’s. I feel sure that this is the focus of attention right now. The opportunity for Linux is obvious.

My only worry is that as many of the Linux distributions move to the Moblin core model (rpmapt-based, Intel-optimised) that they will push CNR as the software repository for all netbooks. That could shortcut any attempt by Intel to provide a channel that goes down to not only netbooks but also down to MIDs running their Moblin core. On the other hand, I don’t see Intel putting many procedures in place for 3rd party developers yet. Maybe Intel/Moblin would do well to adopt the CNR model for Moblin software distribution and to invest in enhancing it and promoting it as the main distribution channel for all Linux distro’s on all hardware. It would fit well with the user base (it’s designed to be easy) and could be expanded to a pay model where the smaller 3rd-party development companies would be encouraged to contribute.

With Linux netbooks outselling XP netbooks (ASUS) there’s a multi-million end-user market out there for the sort of apps that make day-to-day computing fun and fruitful. Fixing the software distribution issues will help Linux a lot.

Via MichaelRobertson.com

7 Comments For This Post

  1. Anonymouse Reader says:

    1- Is this a typo:
    “Moblin core model (rpm-based, Intel-optimised)”
    Hmmmm, Are you sure it is rpm? As Ubuntu is part of this group and they are using deb based debian stuff)?

    2- Also – my guess for doing this deal, or the advantage to Xandros, is as follows. Remember the historical assets of Linspire? Ones that would be most likely is the target of this deal (other than CNR)?

    Microsoft Codecs maybe? Also CNR store had ability to download a legal DVD player as well?

    Here is a list of Linspire advertised compatibility features:


    AND remember this too:

    Microsoft lost it’s historic case vs Lindows!

    “The judge denied Microsoft’s request for a preliminary injunction and raised “serious questions” about Microsoft’s trademark. Microsoft feared that a court may define “Windows” as generic and result in the loss of its status as a trademark. In July 2004, Microsoft offered to settle with Lindows.[3] As part of this licensing settlement, Microsoft paid an estimated $24 million cash (for a case that Microsoft itself brought), and Lindows transferred the Lindows trademark to Microsoft and changed their name to Linspire”.

    So – There was a question if, as part of the cash in the pocket of Robertson (Linspire) settlement with Microsoft, where MS sued Lindows (now Linspire, and now part of Xandros), …IF then, as part of the settlement, that Linspire had access to use of Microsoft codecs? As soon after, if you remember, then both Linspire and FreeSpire THEN included the Microsoft Codecs in those Linux distributions for FREE?

    Now – my guess is this, that if it is true that Linspire had rights to use Microsoft codecs, that Xandros has purchased those rights to use all those Microsoft codecs via this purchase of Linspire? If so, then these same Microsoft codec rights they can now offer to, and transfer to, folks like Asus, for use in the EeePC! If Asus, vs moves to Ubuntu based Moblin, if Asus stays with Xandros, then Asus would get those Linspire rights and the CNR as well as options for the use of those Linux users of these devices)?

    For companies like Asus, having a clear path to using Microsoft monopoly protected codecs and other IP… will allow for more “legally” compatible offerings to be bundled in their hardware offerings… (when compared to Windows offerings), AND THIS might be a reason to now stay with Xandros vs going with an Ubuntu offering that does not have the same IP rights?

    Of course, it would be possible if others used CNR (click n run) for their users to then use CNR to buy those rights from a CNR store. Meaning that Ubuntu/Moblin based netbook and umpc devices, could have customers use the CNR store to gain rights to use certain “IP”…? BUT – ONLY IF Xandros allows other distros to use CNR like Linspire, as Linspire had made a deal with Ubuntu to allow CNR to run on Ubuntu/Moblin? Hmmm, Maybe Ubuntu can still use CNR due to the previous deal with Linspire… we will have to wait and see if they will, or if Xandros will terminate the deal with Ubuntu (if they can at this point)?

    This Linspire and Xandros deal has many layers… and now we will wait to see what Xandros is going to do with whatever assets they acquired from Linspire? And more important will be if Xandros will continue to be interested in having CNR run on other distros?

    My guess is that they will not, and will instead, try to keep CRN as an Xandros ONLY option that will be offered to a huge base of EeePC users (a base of users with a number that Linspire never had, so Linspire was trying to get CNR more available so made the CNR deal with Ubuntu)!

    What will be interesting to watch is if Xandros, now confident with a huge LINUX base of users, will try to keep the codec related IP assets gained from the Linspire purchase for the EXCLUSIVE use of only Xandros customers? Time will tell.

  2. chippy says:

    Anon. YOu are right. Its a debian based (apt). I’ve been messing around with too many distros this weekend.

  3. Anonymouse Reader says:

    If I were Intel… I would buy Xandros! Then, combine the IP gained from that purchase, with the entire Moblin family code base offering (for the use of those who use and support the Intel Moblin direction, like Ubuntu)! AND allow these IP rights to then be ONLY used with ONLY Intel processors running the “Moblin optimized for Intel Processors” core code. Then Intel customers, would have the same compatibility with the Moblin family of Linux distros AS XANDROS has now!

    AMD customers would not be extended these rights of course (because they were not Intel’s customers and this deal would be an Intel Moblin version deal exclusive to Intel’s customers ONLY).

    Meaning, that by having the entire IP asset portfolio in hand, INTEL could offer the IP rights to any that use the Intel Processor in their Netbook or UMPC designs.

    Just a thought.

  4. davetweed says:

    Umm, is it obvious that the bulk of the media people care about are in Microsoft format rather than other protected formats? Maybe it’s me, but I’ve come across maybe two or three things that I’ve wanted to watch/listen to in Microsoft formats, whereas DVD/mp3/quicktime stuff (where there is dispute about the legality of clean-room implementations) is much more common. I suppose in future all this “silverlight” web-content might be there, but at the moment what’s out there worth looking at in Microsoft patented codecs?

  5. davetweed says:

    Oops, forgot what may become the biggest one: AACS encoded Blu-ray stuff, which again has legal encumberances but not with Microsoft.

  6. Viyyaman says:

    Maybe that’s why Xandros and Viyya haven’t yet finalized their agreement to contract on the EeePc. Back in May they signed a letter of intent that was suppose to be done in 30 days. They must be looking at a bigger deal… as in Intel?

  7. Tiffaney Stigall says:

    Hi, I came across this blog article while looking for help with fixing Microsoft Silverlight. I’ve recently changed internet browser from Safari to Internet Explorer 7. Now I seem to have a problem with loading sites that use Microsoft Silverlight. Every time I browse site that needs Microsoft Silverlight, my computer freezes and I get a “npctrl.dll” error. I cannot seem to find out how to fix it. Any aid getting Microsoft Silverlight to work is very appreciated! Thanks

2 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Linspire (Lindows) goes XandrOS! | zero.gr says:

    […] [via] […]

  2. IDF Fall 2008. Mobile computing Warm-Up. | UMPCPortal - The Ultra Mobile Computing reference site says:

    […] on netbook, mid and smartphone devices or are the OEMs and distributors going to get in the way by providing alternative software download mechanisms. Moblin has some huge potential to help Linux get a hold in the consumer market but it needs to set […]

Recommended Reading

Top Ultra Mobile PCs

Dell Latitude E7440
14.0" Intel Core i5-4200U
GPD Pocket 2
7.0" Intel Core m3-8100Y
GPD Win 2
6.0" Intel m3 7Y30
Viliv S5
4.8" Intel Atom (Silverthorne)
Acer Aspire Switch 10
10.1" Intel Atom Z3745
Lenovo Ideapad Flex 10
10.1" Intel Celeron N2806
HP Elitebook 820 G2
12.5" Intel Core i5 5300U
Acer Aspire E11 ES1
11.6" Intel Celeron N2840
Microsoft Surface Go
10.0" Intel Pentium 4415Y
LG G8X THINQ Dual Screen
6.4" Qualcomm Snapdragon 855