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America Online

AOL: Lindows Is Misleading People 175

jgeelan writes "According to this breaking news item, AOL has apparently said over the weekend that it is going to ask Lindows to change its promotional material after concluding that Lindows is misleading people into thinking that it has a strategic relationship with AOL."
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AOL: Lindows Is Misleading People

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  • As if calling it Lindows isn't misleading enough already.
  • um.. I don't get it. AOL is actually trying to divorce itself from software that requires quite a bit of tweeking to work right?

    • by zapfie ( 560589 ) on Monday September 30, 2002 @07:47AM (#4358503)
      The issue is totally independant from the software. The issue is that Lindows is claiming strategic partnerships with AOL and Netscape, when in reality all they did was "fill in a one-page form on Netscape's web site and click the 'I Agree' button. So have 70,000 other resellers under the Netscape Browser Distribution Program. The software is free.". Whether the OS was Linux-based or not, the issue is that you can't just go around claiming partnerships with any company you want just to get yourself 15 minutes of fame or credibility.
  • umm (Score:2, Funny)

    by cshor ( 111947 )
    concluding that Lindows is misleading people into thinking that it has a strategic relationship with AOL...

    So that's how they got so popular with the /. crowd!
  • by Adrenochrome ( 555529 ) on Monday September 30, 2002 @07:45AM (#4358494)
    Lindows CEO Michael Roberts, formerly CEO of mp3.com, was reported as saying "We have great faith in AOL's ability to fund me with another $100 million in venture capital, and I'm really sorry about that whole mp3.com blowout thing. Anyone want to go for a ride on my new yacht?"
  • by danamania ( 540950 ) on Monday September 30, 2002 @07:46AM (#4358496)
    For their next trick, having pissed off Microsoft and AOL, Lindows will be renaming to iLindows, just to attract attention from Apple

    Lawyers - collect the set.

    a grrl & her server [danamania.com]
  • I wonder... (Score:5, Funny)

    by chegosaurus ( 98703 ) on Monday September 30, 2002 @07:46AM (#4358498) Homepage
    ...just how hard is it to mislead potential AOL customers?
    • Well... A good start is to tell them that AOL is number one because it's so easy to use.

      AOL is number one because you can't open a subpoena without finding an AOL startup disk inside.
      • Well, come on. AOL IS the Internet! I heard it on a commercial, it must be true!

        And I can use it to IM my friends when I'm grounded and can't use the phone, too! (Ohh, that one's real smart advertising!)
  • I suspect the main reason Aol is doing this is to distance themselves from being a possible competitor to Microsoft.

    After all, they wouldn't want to do anything to weaken the M$ monopoly notion would they?
    • Such as a merger with Netscape?
    • I suspect the main reason Aol is doing this is to distance themselves from being a possible competitor to Microsoft.

      Um, it's a little late for that. :)

      As Gates is quoted stating to Steve Case in a meeting with AOL in 1993: "I can buy 20 percent of you or I can buy all of you, or I can go into this business myself and bury you."

      Microsoft has perceived AOL as a threat for a looong time now.. I'm sure other readers can post fun examples of other Microsoft-AOL clashes.
  • why be suprised? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 30, 2002 @07:49AM (#4358509)
    Nothing surprising.

    Lindows is misleading everyone and everything. When you read their PR, it's like they claim to invent everything. It's always something new, something better. Just marketing, nothing much behind
  • This is what happens when marketing is the sole reason for a company's existence. They just get more and more 'creative' in their quest for dollars, with no substance, i.e. anything innovative, to back it up.

    After all, history has shown us that this never works, right? Right.........
  • by duffbeer703 ( 177751 ) on Monday September 30, 2002 @07:53AM (#4358526)
    That Lindows is a really shady operation? Everything they do seems a litle scummy.

    Reminds me of AIMster.
    • That Lindows is a really shady operation? Everything they do seems a litle scummy.

      It really shouldn't be all that surprising, look at mp3.com's history. Even the whole lack of creativity in naming the OS rings the same bell, after all, if you're going to make a website that hosts mp3s, mp3.com would be the first to come to mind, and I'm sure he paid a pretty penny to someone for that domain name.
      • IIRC wasnt mike roberts (whatever his name is) from MP3.com the one who immediately went out to register MP4.com when all that legal stuff happened ove MP3?

        it was a while ago - and I didnt pay much attention, but I believe this is what happened with him
    • Naw, most of the industry is a little scummy. Lindows just doesn't seem to understand that you can only BS so long before people stop listening to you.
    • Yes, I got that impression too, when I first read about it. Encouraging newbie users to run everything as root, that's just bad. Why bother not using Windows when you're going to do all your Linux activities as root?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    esp. since most of the people buying these boxes will think it can actually run Windows apps, which is what killed OS/2.

    Linux will never get anywhere, never, until it stops acting like it owes people something and makes its own headway without emulating anything.
    • Linux doesn't need to get anywhere. It is not a company. Even if all the Linux companies went bankrupt tomorrow, yeah, Linux would lose a lot of resources, but Linux started as a free effort by individuals and it will always stay that way as long as there is interest.
  • The Napster Model (Score:1, Redundant)

    by cperciva ( 102828 )
    I think Lindows is trying to follow the Napster model:
    1. Create a product (it doesn't have to be any good).
    2. Get everybody to sue you.
    3. Take advantage of the publicity you've received by selling the company for a few million dollars.

    Obviously, they haven't done (3) yet, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if AOL announced that they were buying Lindows.
    • Re:The Napster Model (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Spazholio ( 314843 ) <slashdot&lexal,net> on Monday September 30, 2002 @08:05AM (#4358604) Homepage
      I think Lindows is trying to follow the Napster model:
      1. Create a product (it doesn't have to be any good).


      Oh, that's right, Napster *was* a crappy product, despite the fact that it was one of the first of its kind, and managed to almost single-handedly change the face of music online. Napster was the cream of the crop when it started, despite the fact that it started to tank later on in its life.

      Lindows has no such claim to fame. From what I can tell (not having used the OS), it just seems like a sloppy distro, made to look pretty, with a name that (erroneously) implies that it'll run MS products. It very well may do more harm to the Linux (GNU/Linux, whatever) cause than good.
      • Oh, that's right, Napster *was* a crappy product, despite the fact that it was one of the first of its kind, and managed to almost single-handedly change the face of music online. Napster was the cream of the crop when it started, despite the fact that it started to tank later on in its life.

        Napster was written by a teenager, and his inexperience showed through. Most of the problems (like clipping the last few kB from most downloads) were fixed toward the end, but the architecture still left much to be desired.

        The most obvious one that remained until the end was the fact that searches were done by un-escaped strings. Try searching for a song that contains double-quote characters (") in the name. Good luck.

        I think that's the point of the poster you replied to - Napster, though it sparked a revolution yadda yadda, was not in itself a very good product.

        See the AudioGalaxy client for an example of a system that worked well. Improvement was still to be had, though, and soem of the systems out now are quite excellent; definitely better than Napster ever was. In fact, better than Napster ever could be because the old mistakes held them back.
  • Bad Reporting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AstroMage ( 566990 ) on Monday September 30, 2002 @07:58AM (#4358562)
    Why, it even had MSNBC talking about Lindows 2.0 as "AOL's new Netscape OS."

    So this wasn't just a case of Lindows stretching the truth- it was also a case of bad reporting by MSNBC, without whom the "AOL-Lindows" link would never have been brought up (or at least, it would not have been as hyped as it was).
    But what if it wasn't just "sloppy reporting"? You have to wonder- why would a site associated with MS hint at a non-existant connection between Lindows and AOL?

    I smell a conspiracy here... ;-)
    • Well considering MSNBC reports on security flaws and bugs in MS products, I don't think there's any conspiracy...

      Believe it or not, MSNBC usually seems to throw dirt on Microsoft...
    • Re:Bad Reporting (Score:4, Informative)

      by zapfie ( 560589 ) on Monday September 30, 2002 @08:06AM (#4358608)
      Um.. if you bothered reading MSNBC at all, you would see that they are not [msnbc.com] MS [msnbc.com] biased [msnbc.com] in the least.
      • by Anonymous Coward


        you had better give people the right links, after all you wouldnt want their cookie sharing exploits to get in the way

        http://msid.msn.com/mps_id_sharing/redirect.asp?ww w.msnbc.com/news/create_p1.asp?URL=www.msnbc.com/n ews/792040.asp [msn.com]

      • And if anyone bothered to look at the links in this post they wouldn't have modded it up +5 Informative, it would have been modded -5 Bollocks.

        I really can't believe that so many people in such a big country can happily listen to, and believe, news as written by your biggest for-profit corporations...

      • Hmmmm.... they're all ASP pages, I'm sure that means they would never use an MS solution if there were something more secure and free...

        Hey, wait a second... what kind of servers do ASP pages usually run from...?
      • What's not biased about those articles? The first article about email spying software fails to mention the underlying weakness in Microsoft software that makes it possible. It also fails to mention that software runs under windows, assuming that all the world runs that crap. The second article pumps up comercial Linux Zarus as a great little thing that won't scych well with your M$ computer with it's "clunky" sync software. Would that tend to dampen sales of a M$ competitor? The third article praises AbiWord as wonderful for someone that only uses one tenth of a word processor's features but who wants a supposedly desirable M$ Word like program. See any problems with that advert for M$ word? I do.

        M$ bought a news outlet so it could shape the news. No news there, people have been doing that forever. It's a problem with comercial news. The fewer news outlets people have the more subject to abuse those news outlets are. The stronger the power of advertisers, the weaker the news organization. You can't get a weaker news organization than one that has litteraly been bought by one of it's cheif sponsors. Did you miss the news that M$ was going to spend more than a billion dollars to promote Windows XP? That kind of spending buys lots of favors at comercial news outlets. A free internet may take us away from that as the power of advertisers goes to zero as the number of news outlets goes to infinity.

        The thread is correct to suspect that MSNBC might intentionaly create controversy between AOL and Lindows. Trouble in either house is good for NBC and M$.

    • Re:Bad Reporting (Score:2, Informative)

      The last press release from Lindows.com contains the 'word' AOL 20 times in the first 5 paragraphs, including the phrase 'AOL computer' and claims of a partnership with AOL/Netscape.

      Exactly how would that be MSNBC's fault, except that MSNBC should've contacted AOL for comment?
      • PainKilleR-CE wrote:

        > The last press release from Lindows.com contains
        > the 'word' AOL 20 times in the first 5 paragraphs,
        > including the phrase 'AOL computer' and claims of
        > a partnership with AOL/Netscape.
        >
        > Exactly how would that be MSNBC's fault, except
        > that MSNBC should've contacted AOL for comment?

        Any moron can write a press release about anything (one hopes it contains some kernel of truth, but that is not guaranteed). Any moron with $7 (in Missouri) can get a name for their business and write press releases about it. And, according to Lindows, any moron who clicks a button on the web has a "strategic partnership".

        It is the job of a reputable news organization to check stories and do real reporting. Blind regurgitation of any old press release is *not* reporting.

        "What I'm thinking is different from what you are."
        Belabera, "Mothra 3" 1998
    • With all the printer drivers included in Lindows 2.0 I was able to set up my trusty old H-P LaserJet 6mx within seconds. There's also new compatibility with laptops, power-saving software, etc., that I've yet to test. As for the Microtel hardware, everything works as advertised except for the CD-ROM drive, which I haven't been able to get sound from yet.

      I'd bet $20 that the Microtel PC doesn't have one of those pass-thru wires from the CDROM to the sound card.

      But does MSNBC's target audience know that? Nope. It's entirely possible people will think that Linux doesn't support playing audio CD's.

      • Gimme $20.

        I have one of those $199 Microtel PCs (scrubbed Lindows from it, obviously, as I'm a Slackware person.) It's properly set up, including (if you really want to do it that way) a cheap old analogue link between the CDROM and the "sound card" (actually, it's a VIA motherboard with the sound hardware built in.) I opened it up very early so I could put in my TV card and an old SCSI card with a DVD drive.

        Actually I really can't fault the way it's set up. The only annoyance I have (and it may be the way I'm doing things) is that the 800MHz VIA C3 CPU doesn't seem to be faster than my old 300MHz PII Laptop when it comes to decoding DVDs, which is to say not fast enough (using Xine and MPlayer 0.90pre8) I don't understand that, as everything else whizzes in comparison.

        A bargain, and worth getting IMO. But install a proper Linux on it, Lindows is neither a great Linux, nor a terribly usable Windows.

  • Breaking News.. (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by glh ( 14273 )
    Oh how true!

    "Error Occurred While Processing Request " :)
  • I thought that Lindows had a strategic relationship with AOL. Good thing that's all cleared up now. Whew.
  • by PD ( 9577 ) <slashdotlinux@pdrap.org> on Monday September 30, 2002 @08:02AM (#4358587) Homepage Journal
    Richard Stallman, director of the Free Software Foundation, wrote a 43 page letter to Lindows telling them why they should NOT call their operating system GNU/Lindows.
  • by sethadam1 ( 530629 ) <adam@first[ ]e.com ['tub' in gap]> on Monday September 30, 2002 @08:03AM (#4358591) Homepage
    Imagine this in the future, grom Ask Slashdot:

    "Hello. My name is John and I'm having problems with my new PC. The AOL daemon (AOLd) keeps crashing. Anyone had this problem before? Thanks!! u r so cool if u can help!"
  • Hurm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jippy_ ( 564603 ) on Monday September 30, 2002 @08:11AM (#4358629)
    Lindows is misleading people into thinking that it has a strategic relationship with AOL...

    This just in.. Company changes its name to AOLindows. Claims it's just an amazing coincidence.

    =-Jippy
  • Strange statement... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zakabog ( 603757 ) <.moc.guamj. .ta. .nhoj.> on Monday September 30, 2002 @08:19AM (#4358663)
    Everything inside Lindows 2.0 is improved. Not perfect, but improved. The graphics are better and there's an overall feeling of a professional OS inside, rather than geeks-only software. The KDE desktop looks and feels like Windows, with a few exceptions.

    Jeez I don't know where to start...

    There's an overall feeling of a professional OS inside, rather than geeks-only software.

    Ummm I'm just reading this and my head begins to hurt. I use linux and I believe it has always been a professional OS. By professional I mean, well it works, it's extremely advanced, can be used for just about anything and it's very customizable. Not because it isn't "geeks-only" what kind of stupid statement is that? If I give my cousin a fisher price computer thingy with those plastic crappy cards that have different games on them, I don't call it a professional computer because it's not. It isn't "geeks-only", but that doesn't make it professional.

    When I want a professional OS, I don't install Windows Me, that isn't professional, it isn't "geeks-only" either. I would install Linux (or FreeBSD which I have started to use these past few weeks.) When I use Linux it does have a "geeks-only" feel to it, that's one reason why I like it. It's stable, secure (well most of the time), small, powerfull, and all this stuff is what makes it professional (in my opinion), I don't call something professional when it isn't "geeks-only." I don't want a little paper clip to hold my hand when I compile a kernel, I don't want a little dog to help me updatedb and locate | grep. I want a raw OS, one that's powerfull and secure, not one that's designed with my grandmother in mind. The things that make it professional are the same things that make it feel like it's "geeks-only."

    The KDE desktop looks and feels like Windows, with a few exceptions.

    Why does everyone try to compare desktop managers with Windows? Isn't the whole point of installing Linux to get away from Microsoft? Out of the 6 billion people in this world (yeah they're not all comptuer geeks but still at least one should be good enough) is the Windows desktop the most creative and easy to use interface we can come up with? I'm sure there must be something better out there to use. Why do we keep making Linux more and more like windows in all these Distro's. Well I guess it's to make the transition into Linux an easy one, but people seem to learn how to use Mac OS just fine and that's far from windows (at least from what I've seen it is, I could be wrong, not a huge Mac user.) Anyway that statement about Lindows being more professional because it isn't "geeks-only" really pisses me off, and also the comparison to windows.
    • Why does everyone try to compare desktop managers with Windows? Isn't the whole point of installing Linux to get away from Microsoft?

      If you're installing Linux to get away from MS, then you're used to Windows, and having a system that works that way is a Good Thing.

      If you don't want Linux to work like Windows at all, then you're not installing it to get away from MS--you're installing it to be geeky / because you like Linux.

      • Since they change the look and feel with every release, and move important functions around so that you have to search for them.

        I wouldn't have touched XP yet, except that an artist friend of mine just upgraded from a hand-me-down machine to a new one. That was his first comment, why did they change everything? He's thinking about returning it and spending a little more on an Apple.

        I loaded the Windows version of the GIMP to give him a chance to get away from Photoshop. I'm trying to convince him that it is worth his time to learn GIMP rather than Photoshop which will continue to cost him money that he doesn't have. Unfortunately, I'm not experience enough with any of these tools to be able to say that the GIMP has all the features that he will want from Photoshop, or to help him learn it.

        • Since they change the look and feel with every release, and move important functions around so that you have to search for them.

          The changes aren't that bad unless you're tweaking. Right-click still brings up the same menu, all the windows keys still work, and everything still has the same names it did in 2000.

          I wouldn't have touched XP yet, except that an artist friend of mine just upgraded from a hand-me-down machine to a new one. That was his first comment, why did they change everything? He's thinking about returning it and spending a little more on an Apple.

          An apple would be good if he's doing Photoshop or graphics.

          But if he just wants Windows to work the old way, he can finally make it work however he wants. XP, without installing anything, lets you use the new or old start menu, the new or old GUI theme, and you can customize the start menu.

          The changes in XP are up there, but they're hardly "change for change's sake." I was considering using a differnet shell, but I haven't found one that works in Win32 as well (usablity-wise) as XP's Explorer

          I loaded the Windows version of the GIMP to give him a chance to get away from Photoshop. I'm trying to convince him that it is worth his time to learn GIMP rather than Photoshop which will continue to cost him money that he doesn't have. Unfortunately, I'm not experience enough with any of these tools to be able to say that the GIMP has all the features that he will want from Photoshop, or to help him learn it.

          GIMP does not have everything Photoshop does, nor is it an easy transition. I get to play with Photoshop & a few other Acrobat programs at work (comes from being the only geek in the office) and there's a world of difference between GIMP and photoshop.

          If he doesn't have the cash for a full version of Photoshop, he might want to look at the dumbed-down version. It's rather crippled, but it might be closer to what he needs than GIMP. (Then again, it might not--I don't know what he needs, and I haven't played around with the dumbed-down version.)

          As for Photoshop costing money... it's perpetual licensing, so he can stop upgrading at just about any time.
      • I think you have those roles reversed.

        Someone who's trying to get away from Windows usually has a reason for doing so. An OS that looks and acts the same is "not trying to get away from Windows", it's just being different for the sake of it.

        Why bother getting away from Windows if you're just going to end up with exactly the same problems you were trying to flee from? Or is the Windows GUI now supposed to be so perfect it's the only thing someone would want to keep on leaving? Because if that's the case, I think I'm living in bizaroworld.

    • Anyway that statement about Lindows being more professional because it isn't "geeks-only" really pisses me off, and also the comparison to windows

      I think they meant that it looked like a professionally-designed/made/whatever OS, rather than it looked like an OS a professional would use. A professional might care what their OS looked like, but it'd be secondary to getting the job done. An OS built by professionals would be built with a target market in mind, which is usually NOT other professionals. Finally, anyone that knew what they were doing could make Linux or Windows look like just about anything, including each other.
    • by ShinmaWa ( 449201 ) on Monday September 30, 2002 @09:13AM (#4359008)
      Ummm I'm just reading this and my head begins to hurt. I use linux and I believe it has always been a professional OS.

      And rightly so. However, being professional and giving the feel of professional are two very different things. I could make a distrubution of Linux that had only sh and ed for a shell and editting support. Same very powerful (and professional) operating system under the covers, but does it give the feeling of professional? No. It gives the feeling of a college classroom project... maybe high school.

      Also, you have to keep in mind the audience that the author was writing for. For him and his readers, a professional OS is not one that you can recompile a kernel on, its one that you can do professional work on. In this arena, professional work is using various Internet tools and writing stories in a somewhat robust word processor. To prove my point, read the article again to see what the author found to be his most valuable applications (Outlook, Office 2000, and IE).

      Why does everyone try to compare desktop managers with Windows?

      Given that the product name is LINDOWS, a comparsion to Windows doesn't seem too outlandish, does it? But in either case, look at the audience again. Windows is the de-facto standard for windowed environments. Everyone (even Mac users), knows the Windows look-and-feel. Its a natural base of comparsion.

      is the Windows desktop the most creative and easy to use interface we can come up with?

      Say what you will about Microsoft and Windows, but their usability research and development is world-class. There is certainly room for improvement, of course, but Microsoft is very good at making intuitive interfaces.

      Why shouldn't Linux developers use those same techniques (and possibly improve upon them) rather than reinvent the wheel? Linux developers would quite likely come up with a lesser interface since most don't have the time and money to do it right (Windows took years of usability testing, analysis, and research costing many millions of dollars.)

      Isn't the whole point of installing Linux to get away from Microsoft?

      I certainly hope not. If Linux can't stand on its own (rather than being "its not Microsoft"), then it has serious problems. Fortunately, this is not the case.
    • You're lucky I don't happen to have mod points at the moment. -1: Slashbotting

      But seriously your argument about why desktop managers should not look and feel like Windows is flawed, or at the very least you don't understand why at least some similarities with Windows is necessary for the continued success of Linux.

      One of the main goals of this site, I would venture, is to promote Linux as an OS that is both innovative enough for geeks, and practical enough for everyday users. Like it or not, most everyday users use Windows. And like it or not, the only way you are going to get most Windows users to switch to Linux is to provide them with a familiar, comfortable environment.

      Put your elitism aside for a minute and you will realize that for now, at least, providing a desktop environment similar to that of Windows is a Good Thing (TM). Unless, of course, you feel that your ego is threatened by the idea of the everyday dumb Joe-user preferring your 'l33T OS.

    • They call it a "Professional OS" for the same reason that Lincoln and Cadillac refer to their leather and sunroof equipped SUV's as "Professional Grade" and why Drain-O calls itself "Professional Strength". It's so people wouldn't think that they're buying something made specifically for the mindless consumer masses. It's that simple. Lindows is billed as a "Professional OS" to blow smoke up the asses of people who would buy a "no user servicable parts inside" PC from the likes of Wal-Mart. Try not to be offended by the "non-geek" label. These people are trying to make sales, and calling things "Grandma Friendly" isn't going to work nearly as well as stroking people's ego.

      The reason for comparing KDE, or anything else for that matter, to Windows is because the "average non-geek" doesn't have any computer experience besides Windows. It gives them something familiar to relate to. Comparison and contrast are very effective means of explaining things to people... "Doing A is like doing B." "A looks like B, except with regard to C, which is sort of like D and E, and totally different than F." Giving people a common, familiar reference such as Windows is, actually, doing Linux a service, because (the more observant) people who consider buying a PC from Wal-Mart are now being informed that Linux is a Windows-like alternative to Windows. Wherever they get their PC, hopefully they'll take that factoid with them.

      So, it's purely marketting. "Linux people" aren't used to having things sold to them with hype (except for Mountain Dew and crap from ThinkGeek), but it works for just about every other kind of consumer.
  • That being said.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tikiman ( 468059 ) on Monday September 30, 2002 @08:21AM (#4358669)
    Why shouldn't AOL team up with a linux distribution to make some kind of "AOL-Linux"? It would be a niche product basically for people who use their PC's exclusively for AOL and web browsing. A 50% tax on perfectly usable hardware ($200 bare bones at Walmart, $300 for same system with windows) is quite excessive.
    • Why shouldn't AOL team up with a linux distribution to make some kind of "AOL-Linux"?

      Because in the real world it's much easier to:

      1. Sue the little company out of business
      2. Buy up the remnants
      3. Profit!!!

      Notice the lack of "???".

    • When the original MSNBC article was up, lots of people were pointing out this: AOL 7.0 Lindows client preview [lindows.com]. If there is no AOL/Lindows partnership, does this suggest that this AOL client will work on all Linux distros, not just Lindows? Or is this article going too far in completely denying the existance of any significant teaming up?
      • To me it suggests that they've got the AOL client running under Wine, and there's not AOL for linux or AOL/Lindows connection at all. That graphic from that page was probably made by lindows.com.

        Lindows is such a dumb name.
      • There is no Linux (or Lindows) AOL client.

        Lindows included Netscape in their default install, which includes AIM and some links to public AOL pages, and called that an AOL client. The whole thing was a complete marketing fabrication.

        Once again: there is no Linux AOL client.

    • Bares Bones vs. With Windows.... exactly. Windows OEM and upgrades will cost roughly $90, and a new version is out about every 2 years. Being a Lindows Insider is $99/yr. 50%? Don't be ridiculous, call it what it is.
      • Being a Lindows Insider is $99/yr. 50%?

        Thats not what I said... being a Lindows insider gives you access to games, apps, etc. I'm talking about a AOL-only Internet appliance you can plunk down in front of grandma so she can see pictures of your kids. An AOL-subsidized Linux distribution on a bare-bones PC could easily retail for $200. AOL ran fine 5 years ago when top-of-the-line was half (or less) as powerful as a bare-bones systems nowadays.
    • There's a great article [wired.com] in this month's WIRED about why AOL should re-envision itself as a broadband provider. (The argument largely being that AOL is 95% dialup, and dialup is slowly but surely going the way of the dinosaur.)

      An AOL brand of Linux could really complement this strategy. AOL could offer even lower cost computers with a broadband commitment, the same way cellphone service providers offer discounted cellphones when you sign up for a service plan.

      For all the grandmas, moms, dads, and technophobes out there, an 800 Mhz box for $100 with a broadband connection could really drive some upgrades, if AOL did it right.
    • with Gateway. Here's the first hit [go.com] from Google.
  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Monday September 30, 2002 @08:29AM (#4358707) Homepage
    That MSNBC article [msnbc.com] reminds me very much of the early days of micros... when nothing worked but nobody would admit it. An attitude that has, alas, to some extent been internalized into the whole PC industry.

    In the late seventies, an acquaintance of mine used to rave about his Northstar system. I asked about reliability and he said it had been perfect, never any problems. I asked for a demo. He said he'd love to give me one but he couldn't right then, as the power supply had burned out. I said "I thought you said you hadn't had any problems." He said, "Oh, the problem is just in the power supply. The computer itself is fine."

    The MSNBC article has that flavor to me. "As for the Microtel hardware, everything works as advertised except for the CD-ROM drive, which I haven't been able to get sound from yet." Right. It's not as if sound were an important function.

    He says "I mentioned that Lindows was originally touted as being able to run Microsoft Windows programs. Guess what? IT CAN." (Capitals his). That's what he says first. It's only a little later that he mentions "[in Office the] Open New Document icon; ... doesn't work. Outlook almost works (it can't find my e-mail server at work) and Internet Explorer works sometimes. I haven't tried other Windows software titles, but I'm told some do work."

    Yeah, right. It's not as if you'd ever want to create a NEW document, editing existing ones should be good enough for anyone. It's not as if it matters that the email program can't talk to your email server. And, yes, I'm so picky that I expect IE to work more often than "sometimes." I demand nothing less than "mostly," and you should, too.

    Lindows... "IT CAN" run Windows software. And my friend's Northstar computer wasn't broken.
    • These two niggles are indeed minor, only you failed to understand them.

      Sound from the CD-ROM is broken means you can't directly listen to Audio CDs. Other than that, sound is fine.

      The Open New Document Icon in Office is completely redundant; there are about four other ways of creating a new Office document.
    • I'm not defending the article or arguing against your humorous post or anything, but when he says the Open New Document icon doesn't work, I guessed he was referring to that pointless "New Office Document" link that MS Office 2k puts in the system Start menu--presumably if he meant you couldn't make new documents that would be a much bigger deal.

      And with the e-mail server, my suspicion is that the reviewer just didn't know how to configure things inside msnbc's intranet...

      IE isn't really a big deal either--I'm sure Mozilla works just fine. ;)

  • Heck, IE only works sometimes under Windows 98 as well, so it's not any more broken there as it is under Lindows!

    Perhaps the problem is not the OS but IE?

    Hell, I'd care more about IE crashing and killing the entire computer (as it often does with mine), than if IE only worked some of the time under Lindows.

    My current problem with Windows is that I have to start Outlook 2000 in "safe" mode if I want to actually open and read Emails. Otherwise, opening mail in it's own Window locks up the computer and I have to pull the plug out of the wall to shut it off. That's how good Windows works -- so if Lindows isn't any better, than it's as least as good as Windows!

  • I read the article (imagine that around here) and it seems to me that the author (MSNBC payroll) of the article is the one that makes claims that there is a relationship between Lindows and AOL.
    • Come on. If MSNBC was acting on behalf of MS, they wouldn't even bother to publish the story since this system could undermine Windows. This is an example of hate and distrust of MS overriding common sense.
  • And who broke this news? Maureen O'Gara, that's who. "Reporter" (the quotes are important) for LinuxGram, a Linux "news" (again, quotes are important) source. And it is, of course, an OSDN site. How convenient!

  • I looked at the article again. There was no credible quote from Lindows saying they had any kind of agreement with AOL. This was entirely a PR spin from M$nbc timed for the anti-trust remedy.
    • I also read the press release and it did not claim anywhere that they had a Strategic Partnership Agreement with AOL. They did however use the word "Pact" to describe their license agreement with AOL. Which of course was stretched out of context by several self serving online news outlets.
  • well...im glad that lindows didn't stoop and actually CREATE a relationship with aol...whew
  • ...they're going to have to learn how to play the game.

    I've read the reviews and it would appear that there's a lot of potential in Lindows 2.0. However I have a problem with the fact (or at least the perception) that the driving force behind Lindows' marketing is deception.

    Say what you will about it's differences, 'Lindows' CAN imply a connection, or at least a similarity, to the popular Microsoft offering. This latest news only strengthens the perception that Lindows is trying to achieve success/market share by deceiving it's target customers.

    If Lindows is going to gain any credibility, it has to be a little more careful about the face it shows to the public. It would be a shame if a great product (who can't like a $199 computer system?) is never realized because it's creators can't play by the rules.

  • by Connie_Lingus ( 317691 ) on Monday September 30, 2002 @09:05AM (#4358955) Homepage
    ..AOL is misleading people into thinking that it is actually a ISP.
  • What sort of market are they going for, anyway?

    Let's try and get the aol crowd!
    Hi! It's in a tin so it must be important!

    No, let's try and get the geek crowd.
    We use linux! We can recompile a kernel on a whim, bow before us!

    No! We can get both! Aol likes linux, linux is geeky, linux can be in a tin! You should like linux too! (Our distribution in particular)

    Those that have found serious logic problems with the above should take comfort in the fact that they aren't alone.
  • Please Michael, just go away. From your involvement with MP3s to this it's quite apparant that like a mosquito you're trying to suck the lifeblood out of whatever trend geeks are into. Please stop. Go away, don't start an OGG company or a DIVX company next. Just go get a job, stop pissing off the suits and embarassing Linux.
  • How many people actualy buy a lindows pc to use Lindows? It seems to me that most people I've talked to buy low cost lindows PCs and install a pirated copy of Windows. In the short term this benifits Lindows since they will profit from the sale of the pc, but in the long term it would seem that Microsoft will come out ahead, since even tho the copies of Windows are pirated, Microsoft is expanding its user base [slashdot.org] as Lindows user base dwindles.
    • at least on my backup machine..I have to admit coming from Windows to Lindows was relatively painless, easy for a user of Windows since Version 2 (or was it 3?) Anyway it was easy, much easier than Windows, and a damn site easier than learning Linux (for a lifetime Windows user)
  • Lindows *does* have a strategic agreement with AOL/Netscape.

    1. They *did* agree to AOL/Netscape's terms for licensing Netscape in such a manner.

    2. They did so as a part of their overall strategy.

    3. You *can* customize how Netscape looks/feels on PCs with their Client Customization Kit or whatever their calling it nowadays.

    So? They spun it a little bit. Nowhere did they say "We are now butt-buddies with AOL/Time-Warner." What's the big deal?

    *shrug*

    Much ado about absolfrickinlutely nothing.

  • I wish WebMD [webmd.com] would request AOL to stop implying that they have an exclusive relationship.
  • What do you call the claims Lindows made about AOL? Marketing. What's a synonym for marketing? Lying. No surprise here.
  • From the lindows FAQ:

    Question
    Can I allow my friends to have a copy of any software I obtain?

    Answer
    The Lindows.com Insider program is designed to be exclusive to the individual that signs up. As an Insider member, we ask that you not distribute copies of the LindowsOS to other individuals and that you abide by the end user license agreement that comes with our software.

    Damn: I was looking for someone to give me a copy of KDE or GImp. I need to be l33t.
    • Yeah, I was hoping I could try out this newfangled "lindows" thing, which seems to be no more than a well-polished Linux.

      But if I have to pay for it(yearly?) it sort defeats the purpose of trying something other than Windows.
  • And what about making commercials that mislead people into thinking that sites like Ebay and WebMD are services of AOL? I can't wait for the Version 8.0 commercials, when they claim to have invented the internet.
  • It's MUCH better than Lindows, doesn't have any "strategic" product placements, and doesn't sell as a PC from Walmart...

    http://www.lycoris.com

    And it's free to download, without a ridiculous "pay to update" scheme (mine ran just fine under VMWare, without having to set up any prepaid accounts)... Or, if you're so inclined, you can buy it on CD at retailers/online retail... Even without any customer support for the downloaded version... There's also a fairly large community available for Lycoris, who'll give advice on several platforms, physical or virtual (in fact, that's how I learned how to make it work within VMWare)...

    I tell you, it's good enough to make me want to go down to Walmart, buy one of their $199 computers, format the HD and install Lycoris... And I'm a Windows user...
  • From Lindows President(Kevin) on the Lindows forum:

    As with any company, you have press that like what you're doing, and those who don't like what you're doing.

    Maureen O'Gara who wrote this article certainly falls in the "not like Lindows.com" camp. She has from day one not liked Lindows.com, and she has time and time again tried to short circuit much of what we are doing. For example, she didn't like the Wal-Mart deal and tried all she could to get Wal-Mart to kill their deal with Lindows.com. She called them, emailed them, and so on to short circuit the deal. It obviously didn't work, and to this day Wal-Mart remains thrilled with their association with Lindows.com. She's apparently doing it again here, trying to short circuit our relationship with AOL. Of course, it won't work. AOL is a HUGE corporation, and not every department at AOL may know what the other dept. is doing. Certainly, a "reporter" for the Linux press would have the least access to AOL or information about their plans.

    As we have said many times, we don't pay too much attention to this sort of thing. We simply remain focused on building a great product. This reporter has been proven wrong many times already by Lindows.com, but not by our words, but by actions and the history of this company.

    As for an "AOL Computer," the MSNBC reporter was the one who made the inference of an "AOL Computer." That's why the headline had a question mark after it. The MSNBC reporter was saying, "Hmmm...COULD this be an AOL Computer?" I think it was clear what the MSNBC reporter was suggesting, NOT reporting that there WAS an "AOL Computer," but that this could certainly be used in that way.

    We stand by our press release. It is 100% accurate.

    Kevin

    PS: I responded as soon as I saw this thread. We're very busy, as you can imagine, getting ready for the General Release. When we're not on the forum it means we ARE working! Don't give this "reporter" too much of your energy, as I'm sure it's exactly what she wanted.

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