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Linspire Makes Click and Run Free 158

An anonymous reader writes "After five years of charging an annual fee for their CNR (click and run) service, Linspire has dropped the annual fee, making the CNR service free. This combined with their previous announcement of open sourcing the CNR client, and the Freespire project, is all very big news. This means Freespire users can now have a free distro, using a free CNR service."
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Linspire Makes Click and Run Free

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  • One question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:06PM (#16008084) Homepage Journal
    How are they going to make money?
    • Re:One question (Score:5, Informative)

      by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <{akaimbatman} {at} {}> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:08PM (#16008104) Homepage Journal
      How are they going to make money?

      1. OEM installations
      2. Commission from commercial software sold on CNR
      • "How are they going to make money?"

        Only the basic CNR service is free. Linspire has a Gold service level with extra entitlements (discounts on commercial software, operating system upgrades, etc.).
    • How are they going to make money?

      I answered this [] for you! You were just too fast or I was too slow!
    • Re:One question (Score:4, Interesting)

      by cerelib ( 903469 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:10PM (#16008131)
      Linspire's goal seems to be a preload alternative to Windows. If they can score a few more contracts with consumer PC makers then they stand to make some good money.
      • Re:One question (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Duds ( 100634 ) <dudley@enter[ ] ['spa' in gap]> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:41PM (#16008389) Homepage Journal
        And to be quite frank, as a windows only computer user, Freespire is EASILY the most impressive Linux I've ever seen. Everything I wanted to work did and it highly likely to go on my next laptop.

        CNR free might have clinched that.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by speculatrix ( 678524 )
          as a windows only computer user

          sorry to be rude, but if you are a real n00b to linux, are you qualified to judge lindows, er, linspire, er, freespire beyond the install and first impressions phase?

          sadly, I think computer OS and apps are still polarised into two models:
          1/ trivial to get started, difficult to do non-standard tasks
          2/ hard to understand, easy to do your own thing".

          As a simple example, consider the humble Palm.. trivial to use out of the box, doing anything complex with wifi or bl

          • Re:One question (Score:5, Insightful)

            by GreyPoopon ( 411036 ) <gpoopon@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @01:37PM (#16008867)
            sorry to be rude, but if you are a real n00b to linux, are you qualified to judge lindows, er, linspire, er, freespire beyond the install and first impressions phase?
            Absolutely! It's one clear data point about how well Linspire / Freespire handles the transition of a Windows user to Linux. It's EXACTLY the kind of assessment needed if you want to know whether or not your product stands a chance of stealing market share from your biggest competitor. It's also important to understand that opinions of experienced Linux users are important too, but they answer a completely different set of questions about the product.
          • Re:One question (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot,kadin&xoxy,net> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @01:38PM (#16008876) Homepage Journal
            I think, as a Windows user, he's perfectly qualified to judge Linspire as a replacement for Windows. In fact, I'd say he's probably more qualified than someone who has a lot of previous Linux experience, or who isn't coming from a full-time, Windows-only background.

            Honestly, it's that "hard to understand" part that is a major problem to getting non-geeks, or even geeks who don't like spending a lot of time twiddling with their computer's software, to be interested in Linux. I'd say that trading #2 for #1 (in your post) is not always a bad thing, depending on your ultimate goals for the system.

            • by xtracto ( 837672 )
              You hit the nail!

              I have always thought when I read comments here on slashdot on all the "Linux is ready for the desktop" flamewars that, it is not us geeks the ones that have to answer the question "is Linux ready for Joe Sixpack and Grandma?", it is THEY the ones that have to answer and so far they have answered NO (it is the overall answer relfexed by the Linux adoption.

              I like doing the analogy with what happened to Nintendo. I believe it was Shigeru Miyamoto or the CEO of the company who put it this way
          • Re:One question (Score:5, Interesting)

            by liliafan ( 454080 ) * on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @01:48PM (#16008980) Homepage
            Actually I would say the parent is perfect to judge linspire, their main demographic is windows users, he admits to being a windows user and says he likes linspire since it is so easy to use.

            I have been using linux for about 10 years, my main OS is gentoo, I am a Unix systems administrator, I would never consider introducing a windows user to linux through gentoo, or debian they need a gateway distribution, I don't feel fedora fits this bill well enough the same applies to SuSE, however linspire(freespire) are ideal, they get the users used to working in an environment that is similar enough to windows for them to find their way around, when these users want to move onto something more powerful they can change distributions.

            As for:

            1/ trivial to get started, difficult to do non-standard tasks
            2/ hard to understand, easy to do your own thing".

            Are you serious?? Linux is linux, yes there is differences between distributions, yes perhaps fedora provides a nice GUI to set up wireless networking and perhaps linspire provides a nice installation method but once the user becomes experienced enough with using Linux they are usually going to learn to bypass the pretty tools anyway and get themselves into the guts of the system, in which case the distribution itself is really just a matter of personal preference.

            Once you get to an operating system that attempts to give the user the power to do advanced things in a simple way you find other difficulties and complications. There is no such thing as the perfect operating system for everybody.
            • As for:
              1/ trivial to get started, difficult to do non-standard tasks and 2/ hard to understand, easy to do your own thing".
              Are you serious??

              I was talking in general about using computers, whether word process or the bundle of apps that people think is the operating system.

              But speaking of linux, in my experience, as soon as you start to manipulate system config files directly instead of using the GUI tools, you can break the gui tools such that they can't understand your changes, and you'

              • But speaking of linux, in my experience, as soon as you start to manipulate system config files directly instead of using the GUI tools, you can break the gui tools such that they can't understand your changes

                If this is the case the GUI is broken in the first place or you haven't used valid syntax when making your changes!
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by westlake ( 615356 )
              but once the user becomes experienced enough with using Linux they are usually going to learn to bypass the pretty tools anyway and get themselves into the guts of the system

              the one certainty is that end users are never going to take more than a passing interest in the internals of an operating system.

          • Re:One question (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Duds ( 100634 ) <dudley@enter[ ] ['spa' in gap]> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @03:01PM (#16009611) Homepage Journal
            Given that's the whole point then yes.

            But thanks for being patronising. It's not that I don't use Linux because I "don't understand it". I've used it more than enough in home and business.

            I don't use it because it's an utter pig to get running, an utter pig to install things and an utter pig to manage. And that goes for Debian, Mandriva, Red Hat, Suse and even Fedora. Freespire worked.

            And actually I think Microsoft has had pefect success in that area. I've never had the slightest hint of a virus, security or crashing problem with XP behind a router. Of course I don't use IE.
          • >>are you qualified to judge lindows

            lets see shall we:
            Duds (100634)
            speculatrix (678524)

            yip - Duds has a lower id number therefore is more qualified to judge.
            I love science...

        • by Eil ( 82413 )
          Indeed. I was putting together a computer for my mostly computer illiterate father-in-law and tried the two most newbie-friendly Linux distributions I could find: Kubuntu and Linspire. Kubuntu was still in its early stages and not really suitable for daily use. Linspire was great, though. Tons of hand-holding and everything just seemed to work.

          Linspire would have ended up on the box too, if Click and Run didn't require a subscription. I would have easily shelled for a version of Linspire that allowed full a
      • Oh sure, this will happen. PC makers can offer a PC that's maybe $50 cheaper (if at all cheaper), and it'll come with bundled with hundreds of dollars of extra support costs (ie: "Where's the Start button"?).
    • Volume! (just like The Change Bank)
    • by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:28PM (#16008280)
      How are they going to make money?

      Duh, the same way everyone else does:
      2) ???
    • Another question, how much were they making before, especially this aspect of their business.
    • by gdog05 ( 975196 )
      1. Give away free software 2. 3. Profit! Why do gnomes get it when no one else does? The world needs fewer IQ's under 60 and more gnomes.
    • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:45PM (#16008422)
      How are they going to make money?
    • Easy! They're going to change their name to LinOSX, and wait. Another, oh, $25M should tide them over for a while~
  • by neonprimetime ( 528653 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:06PM (#16008089)
    according to CEO Kevin Carmony, Linspire is doing well enough from selling its higher-end products and services that it can afford to offer its basic CNR service free of charge

    Good for him, and good for us! I guess that's what happens when you become innovative and create multiple products / services!
  • Well Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MindStalker ( 22827 ) <> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:07PM (#16008096) Journal
    They are charging for most of the software you download via CNR. I never understood why they charged for the service in the first place, as any charges reduce your potential software sales customer base.
    • Actually, CNB (Click n Buy) is a vast minority of the software offerings in the CNR warehouse.
  • Quite cool (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TommyBear ( 317561 ) <> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:07PM (#16008101) Homepage
    I was a tester in the early days of Lindo... Linspire :) It was a good system then and it is still now. It's a good thing(tm) that it has been made free. They can still sell their commercial products through that chain.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by garcia ( 6573 )
      They can still sell their commercial products through that chain.

      I want to know how many users they actually have and how many of those users would buy commercial software via CNR. I just can't see them having that many total users, nevermind total users that will actually buy this stuff.
  • by Beuno ( 740018 ) <argentina@gm a i l .com> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:09PM (#16008113) Homepage
    I think that even more important then the service being free is this:
    (from TFA)
    Linspire will release a new open-source CNR client in December as part of Freespire 1.1, the next release of the company's free Linux distribution. This distribution also includes, at the user's option, proprietary software such as Adobe Acrobat and ATI Graphic drivers.
    • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
      What would really be great would be a way to have your own branded CNR site internally with all the software your user's need. User's could then install anything they needed (the privilages should be such that only things from your CNR site will install for users).
      • by sgage ( 109086 )
        "Dear old people,
        Help save Social Security, work longer or die sooner.
        Concerned taxpayer"

        Working longer, dying sooner.

        You've just summed up my retirement plan perfectly!

        - sgage (only a boyish 51 years old!)
  • by Provocateur ( 133110 ) <shedied&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:09PM (#16008115) Homepage
    /. actually showed what the acronym stands for in the summary. The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization is now complete. Dogs and Cats can now live together.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kamineko ( 851857 )
      It's alright. They told you what the acronym stood for, but not what it does or why it was charged for in the first place.
  • ...I have already switched to Ubuntu.
  • by fastgood ( 714723 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:17PM (#16008182)
    sudo with no password needed [] for the default user.

    I'd call it Lindows if that hadn't already been tried. FreeDows?

    • Ubuntu in livecd mode is the same way simply type
      sudo su
      and you are the root user.
      • Even when you install Ubuntu on your hard disk there is no
        superuser. The very first user you add during install IS
        the superuser, and he gets access via su or sudo and his

        If I install Ubuntu, I would just make the first user
        'Admin' and then add myself as the second user.
        • by ylikone ( 589264 )
          When you install Linspire on harddrive, it creates a regular default user for you. Yes, you do have the option of running it as root only, but that's just stupid.
    • great, now I'm hungry.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by horati0 ( 249977 )
      sudo with no password needed [] for the default user.

      Read some of the comments posted in that thread. Seems like running as root is No Big Deal, almost a badge of honor. These dipshits deserve whatever they get. And they will get it.
      • that is frightening
      • by gsn ( 989808 )
        Dear god one of them actually posted "what is user" with a frickin smiley - some of them have been running as root for 3 years and trust their firewalls and routers (I suppose atleast he does that)! Wait all this sounds familiar... oh yeah windows users who run as administrator. Hmm I wonder who Lindspire's primary target audience is - oh right windows users. This surprises you why? Why again do people want more Windows users to start using linux?

        disclaimer - debian at work, xp at home (gamez) but adequatel
  • by intnsred ( 199771 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:21PM (#16008210)
    For those interested in this, the community-driven Freespire project [] will likely be of interest. From their web site:

    Freespire is a community-driven, Linux-based operating system that combines the best that free, open source software has to offer (community driven, freely distributed, open source code, etc.), but also provides users the choice of including proprietary codecs, drivers and applications as they see fit. With Freespire, the choice is yours as to what software is installed on your computer, with no limitations or restrictions placed on that choice. How you choose to maximize the performance of your computer is entirely up to you.
  • An older (60's) friend of the family is wanting her first computer for basic functions like email, etc. I have an older machines that is just collecting dust and was planning to throw Linux on it (it originally came with ME), but I have been debating what distro -- obviously I'm looking for the simplest, most straight forward one I can find. I primarily use Gentoo and Fedora/RHEL personally, and I have a little experience with Ubuntu, but I'm not sure how suited they would be for total beginners (Gentoo i
    • Being a Gentoo user myself, I have found Ubuntu to be an extremely nice distro and I'd highly recommend it. My Mother's PC currently uses it and (using Automatix) she's had no problems with it. Updates are presented to the user in a very simple fashion so my Mother does all her own updates and such.
      • Agreed. Ubuntu presents updates much like Windows does.

        Ok, bad analogy. Ubuntu presents updates much like Windows *usually* does, if you tell it to prompt for updates.
    • I was in exactly the same situation, and here's what I did.

      I installed Debian Stable, plus Firefox, and Thunderbird. I wrote a few custom scripts to handle downloading photos from her digital camera, and storing them in folders named after the photo's month. A couple of scripts do similar stuff.

      I installed a RAID 1 system, figuring that she would never take the time to do backups - and remote backups through her slow ADSL connection (with limited uplink speed) would be a hassle.

      Most importantly, I w

      • by burner ( 8666 )
        Rather than mussing with the wget script, it's much easier to simply use's free dynamic dns server. Debian and Ubuntu have an ez-ipupdate package that configures using debconf that will update the name-ip mapping automatically.
      • "Most importantly, I wrote a cron job that every 5 mins or so, wget's a particular web page from my server. In this way, I can get the IP address at which the machine is running when on. I can then remote log-in, and do "apt-get update ; apt-get upgrade -u" whenever needed, as well as any other maintenance I need to do."

        I'm a Linux newb but Ubuntu Dapper tells you when there are updates and about 2 clicks later you're done. I think even a computer novice can be trained to click OK a few times. Your solution

    • by Squarewav ( 241189 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @01:25PM (#16008764)
      The main advantage of linspire/freespire is that it works very well out of the box nvidia/ati drivers, printer/network printer/ media codecs (divx/mpg/quicktime/wm/real/ect) all preinstalled wich makes it a good choice for small OEMS that want to install linux and not have to do a lot of tweeking to get the distro to work with the hardware

      as far as maintenance/updates spire follows sorta debian stable aproach in that it takes them a long time to update software unless there is a security problem (spire is not for people who want the latest and greatest)

      The major drawbacks I found with freespire/linspire
      1) Its dog slow, takes a long time to bootup, apps take longer to start compared to other distros
      2) doesnt setup the monitor corectly, requires setting the resolution and refresh rate in its controll panal, possible to set it outside the spects of the display (i.e 100 hz on a 75hz max monitor)
      3) A lot of outdated software such as kde 3.3
  • I'm sure it's of philosophical interest, but I can't believe that the elimination of a fee of $20 a year--$50 a year for the "gold" service--is going to have much effect on the Linspire software ecosystem.

    Admittedly it may look different if you're actually developing software for Linspire, which I'm not, but still... I find it hard to believe $20 annuual fee is actually stopping anyone from making software available... unless it's The Principle Of The Thing.

    Heck, it costs $20 to buy a spindle of CD-R's... t
    • by dolson ( 634094 )
      OK, great news for you! I am now renting you the air that you breathe. You have the option to breathe it for free, but if you prefer, I would gladly accept $15/year of your money. Oh yeah, I take PayPal and well-concealed cash.
    • No, but making CnR open source is big news.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kadin2048 ( 468275 )
      I don't think that the fee was really stopping anyone who was Truly Interested from getting the service, but it certainly was keeping some people who were maybe peripherally interested, but not wholly convinced, from giving it a shot.

      There is very little difference between $19 and $20. There is a huge, vast, gaping chasm between something that costs $1 and something that is free.

      If you can now play with a service at no cost, I think more people are likely to try it out, who wouldn't have even considered it
  • Perhaps now I can convince myself to actually see what is on the free Linspire disk I got from Linux Desktop Summit this year.
  • This is like crippled apt-get but NOW you dont have to pay for it?


    (goes back to bash shell under debian.)
    • Actually, it's more like an apt-get for clueless users who can't open up a terminal/commandline, and with some non-free software woven in.

      But if that scares you, Linspire, being Debian based, also includes apt-get. :-)
    • Crippled apt??? pls. explain...
    • Actually, it's more of a Synaptic clone, with a slightly nicer UI and the ability to buy proprietary software. And, to clarify, it has been made gratis, not libre. It would be nice if Slashdot would adopt the convention of specifying which is meant; it is one of the more irritating limitations to the information carrying capacity of the English language.
  • by IWorkForMorons ( 679120 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:25PM (#16008249) Journal
    I can finally see this being a good option for people I don't want to deal with helping them "fix" Windows. I knew this 5 years ago, I know this now.

    The only reason I post this is in the hopes that the geek I met 5 years ago will read this and realise how much of a stuck-up geek he is. I was at the bus terminal waiting for my bus to go to work. I saw this guy holding a PDA, casually glanced at it, and he just got all excited that someone was checking it out because he had Linux on it and wanted to show it off. So on the bus ride he's prattling on about how great Linux is, how you can do everything in Linux that you can in Windows, how much better Linux is over Windows. So I ask him if he's checked out this new disto, seeing as I just found it and thought it was a cool idea. Nice, easy, user friendly, had this cool utility that downloaded and installed software for you in a single click. "It's called Lindows" I said. "Looks cool enough, and would be nice for the average person that doesn't want to rebuild their kernel." His face dropped...he looked so disgusted. It was like I just killed a puppy in front of him. He could barely even talk. He asked for my email address to "talk about Linux", but I never heard from him. Dumbass stuck-up geek...THIS IS FOR PEOPLE WHO AREN'T GEEKS! It's so that these people bother other people to help them, or don't need help at all because the damn thing just works! It's to free up the geek's time! But he just couldn't see the potential...too disgusted that it was "like Windows"...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Omicron32 ( 646469 )
      Dude, come on. You told me you were using Lindows, how did you want me to look... Pleased?

      I was a Gentoo man then, and I'm a Gentoo man now! :)
      • Never said I USED it, just said I checked it out and thought it was a cool idea. My machine regularly has different OSes installed on it...this was just one of many that I tried at the time. It was removed and replaced with Red Hat soon after checking it out seeing as they wanted me to *pay* for software. Come on money...for software...please...
    • by krmt ( 91422 )
      Well, five years ago Lindows ran everything as root. This was, and is, a horrible idea that got them a lot of flack.

      I understand the distro has come a long way though, and from what I've heard I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to newbies today. Then again, I'm not the dude with the PDA.
  • by quag7 ( 462196 ) <> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:31PM (#16008303) Homepage
    I am curious how many people use this as their main distro, and how they got there. I have yet to run into a single person who has settled on this. Hell, I've barely even run into anyone interested in trying it.

    So if anyone is reading this and does use this as their main distro, I'm curious why you use it, and what you tried before it.

    Because I'm just not clear on the point of this distribution. Looking at free (as in beer) Linux distributions like OpenSuSE and *buntu, I just don't understand why anyone would pay for this.

    Paying for home desktop Linux just strikes me as....bizarre. ...Unless there is some significant advantage to this distribution, but honestly looking at YaST, I don't understand how much easier it needs to get. I'm sort of surprised this distribution is still around. Is the company profitable?

    (And no, I'm not a SuSE user, but I've played with it.)

    Someone step in and drop some science on this please.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by S3Indiana ( 642793 )
      Started testing the OS in late 2002, became my primary desktop in 2003, used exclusively at home and work since 2004. Everything I need works out-of-the-box; CNR is the easiest software install system I've seen. What makes this different is most file type extensions work without any further installation/configuration. Why wouldn't someone want to use it???
    • by PFI_Optix ( 936301 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:58PM (#16008549) Journal
      "Paying for home desktop Linux just strikes me as....bizarre. ..."

      I can only think of one valid reason to pay for Linux: support.

      If a company sold Linux for a reasonable price and offered competent phone support, it would be worthwhile for people looking for a Windows alternative who don't have the time to invest in getting to know Linux well enough to be comfortable with it as their only operating system.

      It's not in use at my work (except in a few dedicated roles using live CDs) because the adminstrator doesn't know Linux well enough to be comfortable with relying on it. There isn't a support structure comparable to Microsoft's; their knowledge base alone trumps any support offerings I've ever seen for Linux.
    • by intnsred ( 199771 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @01:00PM (#16008561)
      I just don't understand why anyone would pay for this.

      First, I understand you exactly and agree with your point(s).

      But to explain, I've seen quite a few people buy Linspire (and a couple even pay for the CNR access). I thought they were loons but after seeing this repeatedly I had to think about it.

      The conclusion that I came to was "consumerist training". People are taught to think like that -- just watch TV if you don't believe me. These people have a strong "feeling" that if you pay for something it has to be better. In short, they're "Americans" with "American values".

      I see the same thing all the time with Windows users. Some people actually get a certain satisfaction at buying anti-virus software and registry maintenance software and other odds-and-ends $20 or $40 utilities that are unneeded in a GNU/Linux system.

      It sounds bizarre, but I'm serious -- some people do like that to a limited extent. They always say, "It's just $30 so what's the big deal?" And it gives them a certain satisfaction because in their mind they're "helping" and "optimizing" their computer.
    • by ylikone ( 589264 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @01:01PM (#16008576) Homepage
      CNR is unquestionably the BEST software installer on ANY distro or Windows or Mac. Screenshots, description and reviews before you single-click-to-get-it-installed-with-an-icon-on-y our-desktop is hard to beat!
    • I'm sure there are many reasons for people to use this but my guess is that for a lot of people, human nature being what it is, they just like to pay for something, and not spend effort on it. I'm the "do-it-yourself-type" but a lot of people aren't. I'm not sure exactly how Linspire is distributed but if it's in stores, on a shelf and comes in a pretty box I think it's going to attract some people. And, again, I'm not sure where they are with this, but didn't Walmart sell off the shelf PCs a while ago prei
    • by AnotherCaptainTux ( 998873 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @01:06PM (#16008614)
      Hi, I use Linspire and Freespire almost exclusively (my server is CentOS) I've been a Linux user since late 2001. I started working in sales for a company that exclusively used RHL on the server and desktop. I was a bit lost as a long time Mac user and ordered a PII on ebay and started using Mandrake. I subscribed to Linux Format Magazine as well. For a newbie who had not done anything deeper than pointing and clicking for the last ten years, my learning curve was harsh. I would go to forums and mail lists for help and be told to question was always WHAT Fing manual! Where?!?!? I bought dummies books, I bought books and went to websites that promised to be helpful, they were not. It was the vision explained by Eic Raymond in "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" that kept me going and not the functionality or usability. Along the way I discovered SUSE 8.2 and thought..."Much better, but I am still using my Mac." I had read about Lindows in a review in Linux Format about version 3.0. I liked what I read. I asked some friends about it and went to slash dot and was told they are evil and kicked puppies. So, I listened to the muses that abused me into a co dependent relationship of confusion and stayed lost and continued to use my Mac. In 2004, Lindows changed the name to Linspire and had a free offer for the ISO. By this point I had grown pretty darn comfortable with the shell, RPM, YAST, etc etc. I was even a member of a local LUG and had taken some classes at a local College to get better acquainted with Linux. This is, by the way, far more than the average person would do. Anyway, I downloaded Linspire and checked it out on my box. Darn thing installed with zero effort. It had flash tutorials that explained how to do many basic things that would help newbies. There was Lsongs and Lphoto which were intuitive and overall, it just worked. Now, I still had a problem with this CNR. Paying for free software! Damn puppy kickers! But they had a 15 day trial. I figured I would try it for 15 days, download everything I wanted and cancel. HA! During that 15 day trial, I got spoiled. I go to the warehouse, read a description, read user reviews, one click and it is installed and even adds it in the menu and a pretty icon on my desktop if I so desire. Here is the kicker, if something did NOT work, I could contact Linspire and they would fix it. Customer support for 3rd party applications as long as I download it through CNR? WOW! Then I go to the forums. I see users who are new to Linux being treated with kindness, courtesy, and respect. The immediate need would be fed first and then they would be given tips and advice on how to find answers for themselves. By the time 5-0 came out, I sold my Mac. As far as other Linspire users out in the world? I know of 3 in my home town and seven in the neighboring town. I know many others on forums, mail lists, and Summits. Some are industry professionals. You know who the rest are? Senior citizens, hair dressers, stay at home parents, bus drivers, truck drivers, pilots, avon reps, librarians, and well...normal people. For newbies, Linux needs to just work and the command line is something a single mom working 50 hours a week only to be a mom and a house manager when she gets home will not ever have the interest or inclination to go to. If Linux is malleable and flexible, as well as more secure and more stable, we should be able to make it simple enough for her to use. Open source needs open arms. the open arms to newbies is one of the reasons I am with Linspire and Freespire even though it is "too simple" for me. Cheers! Patrick
      • Open source needs open arms. the open arms to newbies is one of the reasons I am with Linspire and Freespire even though it is "too simple" for me.

        Very well written and well-said. I've been using SuSE/SUSE for about two years now. I'm actually rather frustrated with the current version and the things I'm needing to do to keep it running. I wonder if it isn't time to actually try Lindows and see what it can do. My only major concern with it was the cost and the running as root. Seeing, however, that I pay

        • Thank you. The older version of KDE is a temporary thing. Sometime in the fourth quarter of 2006, Freespire 1.1 will be released with more recent kernels, KDE, etc etc etc. The Leadersip Board wanted a build out ASAP so they based it off the current Linspire build. I've been running as user since day one on Linspire and never had an issue...strike that, I CNR'd a game that sound only worked on root...the game was not all that great anyway ;).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by larryau ( 983008 )
      Actually at my job many of the desktops were switched to linspire. Worked great for many of the employees. I think the company did not mind the fee because it gave them that security if anything went wrong they could get support. The entire time I have been there they have not once had to call for support. Now granted the vast majority of the users are just using it for normal stuff like email, word processing, ...etc.

      I personally like it because it is easy to set up and use much is clear to understa
    • I set up Linspire Five-Oh for my eight year old kid to use. Click-n-Run was a nice, albeit braindead way for him to learn to search (via keywords) and then install software on his PC. Sadly, he got tired of Linspire because he couldn't play his games, so the experiment ended a couple of months ago.
      • Couldn't play his games? What more does a kid need than Tux Racer, LBreakout, Super Tux and MAME?

        Here's proof: []

        My only hope is that he tells all his first-grade friends how he kicks rear on Tux Racer and they'll want it too...

        ..okay, I can dream, can't I?

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by CronoCloud ( 590650 )
          Don't forget Nethack. If he starts playing in first grade he'll probably have his first acension by high school graduation.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dslauson ( 914147 )
      I'm using it as my main distro right now. I really want to make a clean break from Windows. The main thing that has stopped me from getting rid of that nasty NTFS partition is that I could never get my wireless card to work. I've spent hours searching the forums and messing around ndiswrapper, with no luck.

      Freespire is the first distro I've tried where it just worked, right out of the proverbial box. I've tried Ubuntu, Suse, Debian, Fedora, Knoppix, and a handful of others. My pattern would be to insta
    • I am curious how many people use this as their main distro, and how they got there. I have yet to run into a single person who has settled on this. Hell, I've barely even run into anyone interested in trying it.

      The home and SOHO user is not a system builder. He is not a free or open source ideologue. Proprietary software, binary drivers, DRM. Zero marks for political correctness.

      Linux is simply a plausible alternative to Windows. Nothing more.

      OEM Linspire has at least a minimal presence in big box retail

  • Slashdot readers will still hate them. They can't seem to get a break.
  • by ylikone ( 589264 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:41PM (#16008392) Homepage
    I had my mother-in-law running on Linspire 5.0, having switched from Windows 98. It was great as it eliminated the support I had to give every time Win98 crashed or something went wonky. I switched her to Linspire because I figured it has the easiest method of installation. You run CNR, browse the apps in the categories, see screenshots and descriptions, click to install, icon gets put on desktop. Excellent! But then the problems started. Many of Linspires default branded apps, suchs as Lphoto, just had too many bugs to be usuable. Even with a fully supported HP deskjet printer, Lphoto refused to print the way the preview windows showed. Thunderbird refused to print emails with anything other than a huge font. Simple programs that should perform simple just didn't work. I run ArchLinux and my software all works the way I expect it to... I don't know what Linpsire did to screw things up. Anyway, she sprung for paying for WinXP and I installed that for her. It seems that Linspire, while having the easiest install system, is not ready for grandma yet.
  • Information was always meant to be free anyway.
  • volume (Score:2, Funny)

    by oohshiny ( 998054 )
    It may be free, but they are going to make up for that in volume.
  • Finally I can get a legal solution for playing DVD's on Linux. I just hope that I can get it running with other distros than Linspire. hp?product_id=25183&pg=specs []
    • by smchris ( 464899 )
      Does it matter? Pay your money, keep the receipt and you've presumably got a right to have libdvdcss code on your hard drive. It's having the encryption algorithm without a license that's the hardcore felony, isn't it?

  • Wow, I just bought a Linspire machine last week that was on sale at Fry's for $129.00 + tax. Not that I'm running Linspire, of course. I dropped in my old HD with Debian on it. (Dropped in a few other things too, but that's beside the point.) But I've still got the Linspire HD, and haven't even reformatted it yet. If I don't have to pay for CNR, I might even plug it in and play with it first.

    I still think I made the right choice by setting up my aunt with Ubuntu instead of Linspire, but I might have to

"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." - Oscar Wilde