September 2, 2005 6:52 AM PDT

Linspire giving away desktop Linux OS

Linspire is giving away free copes of its Linux desktop operating system, called Linspire Five-0, until Sept. 6, the company announced on Thursday.

Linspire Five-0 normally costs $49.95, but Linspire says it has decided to give away copies of its operating system because of confusion caused by a package called Freespire that unknown parties are making available for download, Linspire said in a statement.

Both Andrew Betts, who developed Freespire, and Linspire insist that Freespire, while incorporating Linspire source code, was not a free copy of Linspire Five-0.

"The very things that were taken out of Linspire for Andrew's project are in fact some of the very things that make Linspire, well... Linspire," Linspire said in a statement. These include third-party licenses for MP3, Java, Flash, Quick Time, Windows Media, Bitstream fonts, and Real media.

To avoid further confusion Betts has decided to change the name of Freespire, he said in a statement. It has been assigned the temporary code name "squiggle."

Linspire decided to give away copies of Linspire Five-0 because they "thought it would be fun" to emulate Freespire's free availability, the company said in a statement.

This isn't the first time that Linspire has run up against potential confusion over its identity. The company formally changed its name on Aug. 31, 2004, from "Lindows" to "Linspire" after a $20 million legal settlement with Microsoft, which claimed the original name infringed on its Windows trademark.

Linspire's developers have urged people to be patient in obtaining their free copy of Linspire Five-0. "Due to the popularity of this offer, our servers are being slammed," they said. Users can obtain a free coupon for Linspire Five-0 immediately, but are being asked to "wait a few days" to download the operating system itself.

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.

16 comments

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Linspire Five-O free offer
If Linspire is offering free copies of its Five_O operating system, the link or coupon is no where to be found on their website. Is this some kind of strange sales tactic?
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where's the link?
Try this site.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://freespire.org/" target="_newWindow">http://freespire.org/</a>
Posted by (5 comments )
Link Flag
Linspire Five-O free offer
If Linspire is offering free copies of its Five_O operating system, the link or coupon is no where to be found on their website. Is this some kind of strange sales tactic?
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where's the link?
Try this site.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://freespire.org/" target="_newWindow">http://freespire.org/</a>
Posted by (5 comments )
Link Flag
$20 million
The story was a bit ambiguous about the $20 million legal settlement.

The settlement was paid by Microsoft to Lindows/Linspire, not visa-versa.
Posted by (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What do you expect
This is c|Net after all.
Posted by Nathan Lunn (113 comments )
Link Flag
$20 million
The story was a bit ambiguous about the $20 million legal settlement.

The settlement was paid by Microsoft to Lindows/Linspire, not visa-versa.
Posted by (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What do you expect
This is c|Net after all.
Posted by Nathan Lunn (113 comments )
Link Flag
Considering
Considering the quality of their product, Linspire, they cannot pay me to use it. It is utter garbage. For a *nix, there are much better alternatives.
Posted by Maelstorm (130 comments )
Reply Link Flag
hehe, a gentoo man
i've never used linspire but i've heard bad things about it being a jumped up debian wannabe. hehe CnR could never hold a candle to apt-get, synaptic and portage. ;)
Posted by Scott W (419 comments )
Link Flag
Considering
Considering the quality of their product, Linspire, they cannot pay me to use it. It is utter garbage. For a *nix, there are much better alternatives.
Posted by Maelstorm (130 comments )
Reply Link Flag
hehe, a gentoo man
i've never used linspire but i've heard bad things about it being a jumped up debian wannabe. hehe CnR could never hold a candle to apt-get, synaptic and portage. ;)
Posted by Scott W (419 comments )
Link Flag
These guys were not ready for this
This company clearly was not ready to make good on this offer. Attempting this download is an absolute nightmare. Their servers are swamped, and, if you do get through, they recommend using BitTorrent. Try it. I've gotten faster downloads with dialup. This whole operatioin appears sleazy from here.
Posted by JimCasler (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
These guys were not ready for this
This company clearly was not ready to make good on this offer. Attempting this download is an absolute nightmare. Their servers are swamped, and, if you do get through, they recommend using BitTorrent. Try it. I've gotten faster downloads with dialup. This whole operatioin appears sleazy from here.
Posted by JimCasler (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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