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Linspire Releases Controversial Version 6.0 202

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the like-free-but-not dept.
christian.einfeldt writes "Today, Linspire releases version 6.0, its first new GNU/Linux distro in more than two years. With version 6.0, Linspire is betting that its business model of including licenses for proprietary software and formats such as Quicktime, Windows Media Player, Flash, Real, and Microsoft OOXML will win enough market share among mainstream Apple and Microsoft users to offset the backlash from opponents of proprietary software and formats. Version 6.0 also includes the highly controversial Microsoft patent coverage that has incited wide-reaching negative press coverage in the Free Open Source Software press, forums and blogosphere. But from Linspire's perspective, it's all about those new GNU/Linux users. '"Today we continue the Linspire tradition by offering the choice of a better overall experience for users new to desktop Linux,'" said Larry Kettler, President and CEO of Linspire, Inc. "Linspire 6.0 further bridges the gap between open source and commercial software, combining the best from each into a single easy-to-use, familiar and productive operating system."'"
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Linspire Releases Controversial Version 6.0

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  • See this? (Score:5, Funny)

    by michrech (468134) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @12:43PM (#20928441)
    Right here? This is me not purchasing it. :)
    • Re:See this? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @12:49PM (#20928531) Homepage

      Yeah, I'm not sure what the big deal is. If you don't like Linspire's approach, don't buy it. If you really want a Linux distro with all these things built-in and installed by default, then it's good for you that someone is providing that.

      Does there need to be conflict and controversy?

      • Re:See this? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nuzak (959558) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @12:53PM (#20928593) Journal
        > Does there need to be conflict and controversy?

        Half of slashdot seems to validate their existence from it. Not excluding myself either -- I'm sorry to say I'm often drawn into it too.

        We need some kind of pledge, or at least a maxim like "Is it worth it to be right if the argument itself is stupid?"
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by AmaDaden (794446)
        I was going to say about the same thing. But check out this FUD http://www.linspire.com/products_linspire_whatis.php [linspire.com]. I don't know all the details but I run Ubuntu and allot of the stuff in there they say Ubuntu does not have I do have. CNR? I have apt-get. Is that all that diffrent? KDE? You can get it from apt-get or better yet use Kubuntu. I am all for paying for something worth paying for but it seems like they are grasping at straws here.
        • Yep, I'd second that. There's nothing in linspire that I don't have already in Ubuntu 7.04. Linspire might want to start fighting where the fight is. Think of it as a battle line. What Linspire is doing is fighting behind the lines. As if it were fighting a personal battle against someone on their own side. They should move their asses to the front lines and start fighting Microsoft--where the battle belongs.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mrsteveman1 (1010381)
          CNR seems more like a front end to me, it just happens to include the ability to buy commercial software as well, thats the basic difference.

          Something Ubuntu needs though, is the ability for users to browse to a website, say, the Ubuntu wiki, and click a single link to install software. Novell just got done introducing something like this and its a good thing to have.

          For instance, instead of writing out 2 pages of "heres how you install this package, open a terminal, blah blah" they can simply click a provi
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by goldspider (445116)
        "Does there need to be conflict and controversy?"

        Welcome to Slashdot! Please, let me take your coat...
      • Perhaps I'm wrong about this, but is the controversy over the fact that they're including proprietary software? If so, that's damnably stupid... it's like saying that you can choose whatever software you want to use, as long as it's only the software I approve of.

        Anyways, you're correct, there shouldn't be controversy regardless. Don't like it, don't buy it. Its availability doesn't harm you in any way.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mrsteveman1 (1010381)
          I can't say this strongly enough, there NEEDS to be proprietary codec and format support in Linux. The right course of action is to make the real versions available and work on FOSS implementations at the same time. We can't pretend that the world and everyone in it using Linux are going to pause until everything can be replaced with FOSS software, there must be a middle ground that includes real versions of Flash, Real media, Windows Media, Quicktime, etc. So far Adobe and Real have done very well supporti
    • by KWTm (808824) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @04:59PM (#20932319) Journal
      I had been prepared to buy Linspire, or at least get their Click&Run service. I do think that the next leg of Linux's path to maturity involves commercial (not necessarily proprietary) software that runs on the Linux platform.

      Then I go visit the Linspire web site [linspire.com], listing all the features:
      Plug'n'play drivers: yea!
      Multimedia support: yea!
      Respects Microsoft IP: --WHAT!??

      Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me. Linspire's been having sex with Microsoft.

      Oh, well. Was nice knowing you. I'll stick to (k)Ubuntu, myself.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by synthespian (563437)
        Hey, what's the name of that distro Stallman uses again? The one that's '100% Free Software'?

        Oh, yeah, UTUTO [ututo.org].(accept phony certificate).

        "El Proyecto UTUTO es un proyecto de investigación y desarrollo de tecnología informática de aplicación social, con el objetivo de incentivar y promover la generación y apropiación del conocimiento en los paises en desarrollo, reduciendo la (así llamada) brecha digital entre los países que lideran el desarrollo tecnológico a nive
  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @12:43PM (#20928449) Homepage Journal
    Didn't Mandriva just do the same - by default the download includes Nvidia drivers and PDF etc?

    http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/09/1757214 [slashdot.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ricegf (1059658)
      I believe Mandriva has provided proprietary products, drivers, etc. with their commercial offerings since at least their Mandrake name (they were sued into another name by a magician rather than a chair tosser). The philosophical difference is that Mandriva hasn't licensed Microsoft's secret 235 patents that allegedly might be related in some slight way to various undisclosed free software products. Whatever.
      • by BokLM (550487) *
        You're right, it's included in the commercial version. There's also a "Free" version which includes none of theses things. The non-free stuff is in a separate repository, which you can decide to use or not to use.
      • by imr (106517) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @01:29PM (#20929107)
        Mandriva's business model is this:
        3 situations, 3 editions

        FREE as in FREEDOM:
        "Mandriva FREE" dvd.
        All rpm inside come from main and contrib repository which are fordidden to non free software. If a rpm in those is non free, it's a mistake.

        free as in free beer:
        "Mandriva ONE", live-cd:
        you can test it all your heart content, then install it if you want.
        Proprietary drivers are in there, wifi, 3d, modems, to make easy installation for everyone.

        Commercial edition as in value added:
        "Mandriva PowerPack", dvd
        This one has the same size than the Free Edition, the same proprietary stuff than the ONE, but also has more commercial programs added, like Cedega or Lindvd, and a bunch of others (skype?).

        About the codecs problem, the solution chosen is fluendo.
        This guys are supporting gstreamer on the free software side and providing linux and solaris native solution for codecs on the closed prooprietary one.
        http://www.fluendo.com/presentation.php [fluendo.com]
        http://www.fluendo.com/press/releases/PR-2007-01.html [fluendo.com]
        https://shop.fluendo.com/ [fluendo.com]
      • I thought the Mandrake to Mandriva change was the combination of the words "Mandrake" and "Connectiva" after the two merged. In fact, lots of references to "Mandrake" are still found within the distribution. I guess I'd never heard about this lawsuit, but I found information quickly with a Google search after reading your post. It seems I was right about how the name came about, but that they changed at all was indeed prompted by the suit.

        Internet News [internetnews.com] has the story from 2005 and the info is in Wikipedia's [wikipedia.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by flyingfsck (986395)
      Yup, the difference is that Mandriva is based in Europe, where the inclusion of these things without legal controversy.
  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @12:43PM (#20928455)
    So the product is controversial because they worked with other companies (who may not be RMS's version of Open Source Advocates) to create a product that will work well with other systems and try to give features that Customers want. Life is sometimes a lot better when you decide to work with the system other then fighting it all the time.
            There is a common misconception that everyone needs to change the world, for most people they just want to get by. Without the Morality of it all Linux is a Good OS not great but good, and technically not worth all the zealotry. So for the majority of people who needs a Good OS that is inexpensive Linux is a good option if they need to pay some price for a distribution to get improved compatibility so they can get along with their lives easer then all the better.
            Microsoft, Apple, ... are not the enemies they are competitors. There is a difference between the two. Competitors you can work together for a common goal enemies you can't. Microsoft and Apple are willing to work with Linux distribution makers if they realize they can benefit from it. The Linux Zealots who have make Microsoft their enemy have loss out on a chance to expand what they can do.
            So if I can now go to a web site and view Quicktime and Microsoft Format then all the better and if it is supported my Microsoft then there is a better chance (not complete) that the next version wont entirely kick me out).
            Being a constant activist really wares people down and actually makes them miserable people. Where if you can work within the system you will feel better and probably get more good done.
    • by Otter (3800) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @12:56PM (#20928633) Journal
      (who may not be RMS's version of Open Source Advocates)

      RMS's mob of Free Software Advocates are now burning down your house for that slight. Also, you should say "GNU/Linux".

      • by ray-auch (454705)
        Aside from all the other arguments, surely this is one Linux system that should _NOT_ be called GNU/Linux because it is not a GNU system.

        A GNU system would not be based on proprietary software (which seems to be the accusation about this distribution).

        • by Otter (3800)
          I think you've got a definite Ask Slashdot there. Probably 400 comments, with Godwin's Law hit within the first ten.
      • by ajs (35943)
        Actually (though I realize you're being sarcastic), GNU/Linux is inappropriate here.

        Linspire calls itself a Linux distribution. If they wanted to call themselves a Frobnitzer distribution, that's their call. Debian calls themselves GNU/Linux. That's fine too. Names are the domain of the namer, not the public at large, nor even RMS. Some folks seem to think that naming is some sort of credit-giving game. It's not, unless the namer feels that it should be. Again, their call. I prefer to think of my OS as "AT
    • by trolltalk.com (1108067) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @01:02PM (#20928751) Homepage Journal

      > "Microsoft, Apple, ... are not the enemies they are competitors."

      "Microsoft is an enemy. Apple is a competitor."

      There, fixed it for you.

      Don't be under any illusions - Microsoft is an avowed enemy of linux and open source in general. Otherwise, why all the BS and FUD over alleged patent violations.

      Competitors compete. What Microsoft has done in the past, and continues to do, is not competition. It goes well beyond what's legal (for example, the latest FUD from the ABalmernation on patents would be a Lanham Act violation, except he said it in the UK).

      When you can't compete, you cheat. Let us know when Microsoft starts competing ...

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by jellomizer (103300) *
        But Microsoft is willing to work with friendly Linux Distribution Makers too. Linux is a strong competitive threat to Microsoft. Microsoft came to power by making an OS that can work on a wide verity of hardware and at a price that undercutted most of the competition (Sounds like Linux Now) So Microsoft has be going crazy trying adapt their buisness and their marketing towards competing in areas which they were once the market leader in. During competition things get dirty even in sports competition an e
        • But Microsoft is willing to work with friendly Linux Distribution Makers too.

          Microsoft is willing to work with ANY Linux distribution that will sign an agreement to the effect that they are including Microsoft "property" in their release.

          You might want to look at Ballmer's latest words about suing Red Hat users.
          • "Microsoft is willing to work with ANY Linux distribution that will sign an agreement to the effect that they are including Microsoft "property" in their release.

            You might want to look at Ballmer's latest words about suing Red Hat users."

            Novell has disagreed publicly about any "Microsoft Property" in linux. Ballmer is a liar and a buffoon, we all know it, and the rest of the world is slowly buying a clue about how crap Microsoft really is (Vista - the new Windows ME - relive the DOS 4 experience today

      • by noidentity (188756) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @04:21PM (#20931717)
        Just wanted to boil your good comment down more: Competitors try to make a better product so you'll choose theirs over others. Enemies (anti-competitors) try to destroy the competition so you're left with no choice but theirs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Deagol (323173)
      I just don't get it, this need for compatibility with propriety standards. Why use Linux and then bitch that you can't use Windows-centric (or non-open) codecs/programs? It really makes no sense to me, nor does the push by companies like Linsipre and those commercial WINE forks. It's like buying a diesel automobile for the gas mileage and then complaining about some of the quirks of using such a vehicle, such as having to use a block heater. Or those people who want the 80% reduction in power usage from
      • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @01:29PM (#20929103)

        I just don't get it, this need for compatibility with propriety standards. Why use Linux and then bitch that you can't use Windows-centric (or non-open) codecs/programs?

        There are some people out there who do not WANT Linux.

        They want free (as in beer) Microsoft Windows. But that takes too many words so they simply (and incorrectly) say "Linux". But what they really mean is "free (as in beer) Microsoft Windows".

        Linux is not Microsoft Windows.

        Linux is about Freedom (as in speech). But many people (and they are very vocal) do not want Freedom. They want "free" (as in beer) versions of proprietary apps to play proprietary content for "free" (again, as in beer) in proprietary formats.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jellomizer (103300) *
          Linux is about Freedom (as in speech).
          I though Linus just didn't want to bother marketing it, running a buisness, and having to pay royalitees to all the people involved and GPL was a good license for a comunity development. He just wanted to make an OS For himself and other poeple liked it too and expanded on it. The GPL is about Freedom (as in speech...Kinda sorta...Just as long as you don't talk about DRM...Working with Non GPL...etc...). Don't confuse the product and the movement. Linux made the GPL
          • by khasim (1285)

            He just wanted to make an OS For himself and other poeple liked it too and expanded on it.

            He changed the license from the original. He specifically chose the GPL. It was a conscious decision on his part.

            The GPL is about Freedom (as in speech...Kinda sorta...Just as long as you don't talk about DRM...Working with Non GPL...etc...).

            Looks like you just mentioned DRM and the GPL in a conversation about Linux.

            So it seems to appear that you can talk about them. You just did.

            Don't confuse the product and the movem

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Linux is NOT "free-as-in-beer Microsoft Windows" nor was it designed to be.

              Correct, but confusing
              People want something that works, is easy, and is not expensive. Linux (the kernel) doesn't really care about whats going on in userland. Linux ( the Gnu/Linux Distros) can be windows like and Lindows/Linspire specifically was designed to be. Most aren't, but you cant really say that Debian is somehow more linux than Suse, Ubuntu, or even And thats cool. No moral or ethical violations need occur.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              He changed the license from the original. He specifically chose the GPL. It was a conscious decision on his part.

              Though not necessarily for the reasons you assume.

              Did I say that his goal was "to change the world"? No? I didn't think I did.

              Sounds like that was an allusion to 'Linux is about Freedom', which seems an attempt to refute the notion that including closed-source packages with a Linux distro is OK. This was the original point of the thread, correct? There are two problems with this: 1) it put

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ricegf (1059658)

      Microsoft, Apple, ... are not the enemies they are competitors.

      Yep. But please hear me out as a former Linspire customer.

      The question with respect to Microsoft (particularly, given their conviction for monopolistic behavior) is, "Will they compete fairly?"

      The general consensus based on years of observed behavior is, "No."

      The concern is that deals such as Linspire signed imply that Microsoft has some legitimate patent claims against free software included in Linspire's product - a claim Microsoft

      • by babyrat (314371)
        The concern is that deals such as Linspire signed imply that Microsoft has some legitimate patent claims against free software included in Linspire's product - a claim Microsoft has made but has refused to verify.

        And Linspire's concern is to cover their ass...so they are. How's that for clear and unemotional?
    • by someone1234 (830754) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @01:30PM (#20929127)
      "Microsoft, Apple, ... are not the enemies they are competitors. There is a difference between the two. Competitors you can work together for a common goal enemies you can't. Microsoft and Apple are willing to work with Linux distribution makers if they realize they can benefit from it. The Linux Zealots who have make Microsoft their enemy have loss out on a chance to expand what they can do."

      I would suggest you to read up on the Halloween documents so you'll see how 'friendly' M$ is.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mlwmohawk (801821)
      Sadly for today's society this seems to be a majority opinion. Who cares what's best for people, industry, and the world? All *I* want is blah blah blah.

      And that, my friends is how freedom, democracy, and societies die. Apathy is exactly what allows the corruption of government, industry, freedoms, and society.

      WAKE UP, YOU HAVE A CHOICE AND A RESPONSIBILITY TO ACT. IT IS IMPORTANT. YOU HAVE POWER...USE IT.

      It may seem to be just software in this discussion, but it far more reaching. Software patents are bad.
      • So if I used a purchaded copy of Linspire and somehow used it to say reduce poverity then I am still being a bad guy because I don't care about Priority Formats vs Open Formats. Or there is also the bait and switch option... Have Linux distros that run Closed Formats. Linux Becaomes popular, knowing that enough people are using Linux they will switch to using the Open Formats Linux has available as well.

        It is about chooseing the right fight at the right time. But what is happening is we are trying to cure
        • by mlwmohawk (801821)
          So if I used a purchaded copy of Linspire and somehow used it to say reduce poverity then I am still being a bad guy because I don't care about Priority Formats vs Open Formats.


          I doubt you can really reduce poverty with proprietary formats.
          Or there is also the bait and switch option... Have Linux distros that run Closed Formats. Linux Becaomes popular, knowing that enough people are using Linux they will switch to using the Open Formats Linux has available as well.

          No logical connection between hypothesis an
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by wulfbyte (722147)
      I differ with you on a number of issues. Linux or if you insist, GNU/Linux is an excellent operating system. It does precisely what an operating system should do and does it very well. I think what you are confusing is the support for proprietary file formats and applications that are being bundled or not bundled with particular distributions. Generally, proprietary file formats are not standards at all but rather a method of confining consumers to a particular way of doing things for the benefit of the
    • Ohhh Dear.... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by asphaltjesus (978804)
      Life is sometimes a lot better when you decide to work with the system other then fighting it all the time.

      No! Commercial software is the equivalent of an innovation tar pit. You are pretending there is some kind of peaceful coexistence when no such thing exists in commercial software. They made an old movie with a fairy tale ending that illustrates the reality. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031679/ [imdb.com]

      Unless you like paying more for communicating less with others, you will reconsider your position.

      Linux is
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by rnswebx (473058)

        Unless you like paying more for communicating less with others, you will reconsider your position.

        Are you serious? In case you haven't been paying attention to the real world, proprietary formats dominate the majority of the communication markets. I'm certainly no fan of getting locked into what XYZ corporation's version oF ABC either, but that doesn't mean it's not happening...

        • Want to write a document? Microsoft dominates here. (Word) Also Pages (Apple) and Wordperfect (Corel)
        • Want to send an IM to s
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Whenever there is a choice, ethics comes to the table.

      Please do not confuse what you can or cannot do (metaphysics) with what should or should not be done (ethics).

      Let me rephrase your rant using a more obvious ethical issue, that you might see the errors in your statement with respect to ethics:

      So the clothing is controversial because they worked with other companies (who may not be America's version of No-Slavery) to create clothing that will fit well on many people and try to give styles that customers w
    • Msft strives to be antagonistic to everybody, especially msft customers. Maybe you're not away of msft's long criminal history?

      Msft claims that linux violates msft patents. Why doesn't msft put up or shut up? Msft has been making these specious claims for years. Logically, if msft had evidence, then msft would present it. Unless it's just another msft fud campaign. Right?

      Msft has been caught red-handed in *numerous* outright lies and scams: how about bald face lying to the US-DoJ?
      How about outright
  • by p0tat03 (985078) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @12:44PM (#20928457)
    I've never used Linspire, but in terms of licensing file formats such as Quicktime and Windows Media, I think they're on the right track. People want an OS that works out of the box, and that includes media tasks. If it doesn't the average user has very little patience to make it work right.
    • As a non-average user and almost Linux convert (soon as I can get it to play nice with my ATI card) I agree completely. The first distro I looked at was Freespire, simply because I have a lot of WMV files that I don't want to have to go through and convert just so I can run Linux. That's the number one thing that's making me less than excited to swap, the fact that Linux doesn't play nice with proprietary stuff. Yes that is the proprietary stuff's fault, not Linux's, but it doesn't really matter when compar
    • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @01:08PM (#20928829) Journal
      Since when is this a problem for linux? Mplayer and vlc play anything I throw at them. Maybe it's not entirely legal, but since when does the end user care? How is Linspire going to make legit codecs a selling point when the average user doesn't even know what a codec is, and why they need to be licensed?
      • by p0tat03 (985078)

        I use 'nix at work, and OSX at home, so my experience with VLC on Linux is limited to a few presentations I've had to finangle for work. On the Mac, however, VLC is a mess:

        - The release (non-debug, non-beta) version of VLC spits out debug messages like a fricking firehose. Jumping to another spot in the video with the timeline consistently (especially when playing WMVs) pops up a debug window right in front of me, showing a bunch of minor errors with the decoder. This does not crash VLC, nor does it affec

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JesterXXV (680142)

        Maybe it's not entirely legal, but since when does the end user care?
        Are you serious? You don't think an end user would have a problem with illegal software on their computer?
      • Maybe it's not entirely legal, but since when does the end user care? How is Linspire going to make legit codecs a selling point when the average user doesn't even know what a codec is, and why they need to be licensed?

        The enthusiasts who build and customize their own systems are a tiny minority of users.

        Everyone else shops for a PC in much the same way they shop for any other home appliance - they buy it retail boxed and ready to run. They buy from dealers who won't touch the illegal codec for love or

    • by Pecisk (688001)
      Quicktime is almost never included in OEM "offerings" of Winodws, at least not up to date version.
    • Come on folks, how hypocritical can we get. Although free software may win out in the long term, it's going to be a mixed world for quite a while. How many of us Linux users would want a system where you could never:

      1. Watch a DVD
      2. listen to an MP3 file
      3. View any website with Flash content.
      4. Use 3D acceleration on your ATI or NVIDIA card
      5. Use your wireless card (Unless it happens to be an Intel).
      6. Never view any websites with video content
      7. Never use any website with Java content (OK, there aren't a
  • Typical axe-grinding (Score:5, Informative)

    by oddman (204968) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @12:54PM (#20928605)
    Why no ment6ion of freespire? http://www.freespire.org/ [freespire.org]
  • Just what we need. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dotancohen (1015143) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @12:57PM (#20928655) Homepage
    I install Linux over Windows about once every three or four weeks for friends. One of the first things to do is add mp3 support, and also ATI or nVidia support if need be. This used to be a hassle with Fedora, so I switched to installing Kubuntu. Now, this may make our lives even easier. How many Linux installs get MP3, DVD, or other proprietary support installed anyway? Why should we bash a company that is willing to include it from the get-go. I'll look into the non-OSS version of Freespire this evening, RMS be damned.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by iBod (534920)
      >> I install Linux over Windows about once every three or four weeks for friends

      Holy shit! I'll bet you're running out of friends!

      Do you ask them first?
  • GNU/Linux (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Speare (84249) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @01:04PM (#20928789) Homepage Journal

    It's all about those new GNU/Linux users.

    I know it's an oft-repeated argument, about whether or not to put the GNU/ on that product or platform. But extending the usual meme slightly may shed some new light on that debate. I'm just hoping it won't produce flame instead.

    Linspire isn't just Linux. It's not even just GNU/Linux. Some might call it GNU/Apache/Qt/Linux/etc. Now it's GNU/Apache/Qt/Microsoft/Adobe/Real/Linux/etc. Pretty soon, your "free software" is going to have more corporate badges than a brand new laptop.

    • It gives some insight into the person who posted the story, and the bias they might be introducing into the article submission :) Some posts above yours were arguing the submission was pretty biased... well to someone who is truly bent on the fact that it is GNU/Linux (RMS? was that you posting?) I can imagine Linspire is an aberration.
  • by Werrismys (764601) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @01:06PM (#20928807)
    As simple as that. 99% of my Linux hassles is with proprietary, closed crap. Open stuff tends to Just Work after reading the friendly manual.
    • by netsavior (627338)
      works for you and works for the idiot who can't use a command prompt are 2 distinct things. Closed crap sucks, but most users suck more.
    • by Kjella (173770)
      Open stuff that works with open formats and open data written by itself or other open source programs, yes. But if you've ever tried to use open source software that's reverse engineered, either it's drivers or proprietary formats or data written in non-compliant ways by closed source software then you know it doesn't "Just work". If you can do without them that's great but there's no doubt that most of the time you'd be better off using the same proprietary tool/player, while you look for viable alternativ
    • by Risen888 (306092)
      They can mod you funny all day long, but you're right. My desktop problems universally revolve around shitty binary nVidia drivers (not anymore thank God, I got a new rig with Intel graphics), or only getting the audio stream on .wmv files, or my resume coming out wrong because everyone wants it in .doc format.

      To contrast: since I got rid of the nVidia card, smooth sailing. .ogg or .flac files, smooth sailing. .odf files, ditto, they look right everywhere I go. So who's got the problem here, really?
  • by EllynGeek (824747) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @01:16PM (#20928943)
    A big problem with Linspire was its former CEO, Kevin Carmony. They guy is a snake-oil salesman with no technical expertise. The idea of bundling all this closed, proprietary crud and paying to license codecs isn't all that terrible- people who don't want it have plenty of other Linux distributions to choose from. Though Linspire went overboard and ignored perfectly good FOSS alternatives in several cases. But Mr. Carmony's double-talk and criticism of Free and open source software alienated a whole lot of people. He doesn't understand the basic Unix security model, and despite his later denials, Linspire did indeed deliberately create only a root user during installation up through Linspire 5.0, and had zero documentation for educating their precious "new Linux desktop users" on the importance of security fundamentals.

    Then a bigger problem was Linspire itself was poo. It had many broken parts, and their much-hyped CNR didn't offer anything that users wanted. But you did get a genuine, time-wasting infuriating Windows-like experience with bales of crapware, nagware, and trialware that just wouldn't shut up and go away.

    To make matters worse, Carmony badmouthed FOSS principles and deliberately misstated the meaning of "free" in free software when he released Freespire. I know, the word "free" meaning "libre" is problematic anyway, and Carmony made it worse. He pretty much spit on the very community that made it possible for Linspire to exist.

    So. Maybe a new CEO will make it all better. Time will tell.

  • How does Linspire get so much press?

    Lemmesee, Linux makes up about one half of one percent of desktop systems. The top 20 Linux distros probably account for about 99% of all Linux desktop installs. Linuxspire is ranked as the 56th most popular Linux distro on distrowatch.

    I figure that means there are about four Linspire installations world-wide.

    But, I guess it's the PR stunts that really matter.

    Speaking of which, there is now a Linux distro called "Vista." Maybe Linux "Vista" will get all kinds of press as
  • I think it boils down to the issue of whether or not you believe software should be patentable. Without patents, the codecs would only have copyright to support exclusive use and that scenario is easily overcome by clean-room reverse engineering and re-implementation. However, once patents enter the picture then it doesn't matter how you re-implement the software, you are still infringing.
    I personally believe that algorithms should be patentable. Supporting this I believe that all software fundamentally
  • Seriously. Flash? one click in Ubuntu. Codecs? Few clicks, even better in Gutsy. OOXML? Not a deal braker here and I think for most of people. Adobe? Get a grip man, new KDE/GNOME PDF apps based on libpopper are much lighter and better. Even Windows users uses Foxit now.

    And ohh, you can buy Fluendo Gstreamer codecs about 5 - 15 euros, if you want to be legimite.

    Another slashadvert, sights.

    And yes, Linspire action to buying protections right was stupid and greedy. It was worth community blackslash.
    • by njfuzzy (734116)
      So your agument is that this is different, but not enough to matter to you? Okay, I'll buy that. Now explain to me how your preferences affect their strategic move to appeal to the general populace.
  • What differences would there be if I took the commercial Linspire and re-released it myself? Would the only difference be non open source software that I wouldn't be able to include? If so are there any major difference between Linspire and Linspire's Freespire (besides the non-OSS not being included of course)? Or is it pretty much the same as Linspire, simply minus the things they can't legally include due to not having the license to?

  • Micheal forgot that most Linux users are created by OTHER linux users. They will not usually view the betrayal to MS very well...so will they be installing Linspire on the newbies PC? I think not.

    Many Linux users can handle closed drivers/apps in their distro.(mandriva even gives you the choice) But almost NO ONE likes the sell out to MS. ooops, is that a problem Micheal?

    As a Longtime follower of Linspire, I noticed Micheal Robertson slipping. He started out well, hoping for a return on the investment
    • The next step for market is for people to decide on there own to try Linux.

      Linspire is exactly what is says it is, a bridge between MS to Linux. It is also exactly what Linux needs to win more converts.

      Small steps.
  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:02PM (#20929577) Homepage
    This is great. The first thing I do when I setup a new Windows/Mac/Linux machine is to install all the standard stuff that nobody includes. Ex:

    Windows: WinAmp, XVID, FireFox...
    Mac: Flip4Mac, VLC, DIVX, ...
    Linux: MP3 support for XMMS, Video drivers, ...

    I understand why Linux distros can't install this stuff. It requires licenses, and the OS is free.

    But I would gladly pay $50 for a distro that had this. Most end-users would too (many of them pay me far more than that for time it takes me to do it manually). The Slashdot editorial ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hheadline makes it sounds like Linspire paid for a Novell-like or SCO-like patent license. That isn't what the press release says. It says they included some codecs.

    Every year is supposed to be the year of "Linux on the desktop" yet whenever an article comes out about Linspire trying to make that happen, all the geeks jump on them like they are awful. Linspire is trying to make Linux easy and friendly and a pretty package. Yes, they rebranded RPM/DEB modules as "click-and-run" Yes, they pay licenses for stuff so you don't have to download it. They provide a service to the end-user, and we should be happy for every new Linux user who installs it and says "Hey, this is really great! It has everything I need" instead of complaining and making them look like Microsoft's evil twin brother.
  • by stm2 (141831) <<moc.selatigidseneg> <ta> <issabs>> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:25PM (#20929951) Homepage Journal
    I guess this post will be voted down into ovlidium. Anyway, I have to say this:
    I've been using Linspire since their first beta (when they were called Lindows). It was a pretty decent distro, like a "moderm Debian, with KDE as default desktop manager". It had the "problem" with the root issue, but there was anything that prevented root to switch to a standard non privileged user. Lets go to today situation. This version is based in Ubuntu (instead of Debian), so it starts with all feature most Linux users wants (since Ubuntu is without dispute, the #1 Linux distro). Most people I know install over Ubuntu the "automatix" or some script to install Flash, JAVA and all codecs 99% desktop people use (remeber that a base Ubuntu installation don't even play mp3). I also use Ubuntu in another machine (have 2 notebooks and 1 server), but I bought a HP Pavillon dv5000 (Turion 64 model) and Freespire was the only distro that recognized the wifi card out of the box. You can make it work with Ubuntu and the Windows drivers, after following a 3 page step by step guide. I love Linux and love learning, but there is a moment when I want to do samething else than working for my computer.
    The main difference now in Ubuntu and Linspire is the Linpire is defaulted to KDE instead of Gnome. CNR (Click and Run) is another important difference, but I guess Ubuntu will have day in the future).
    So from a technical perspective, Linspire now is not so bad (in my opinion, it is even better, but this is debatable).
    From a legal perspective, Linspire did a deal with MS not to promote MS claims on their patents as most people says, they did it to protect their clients (they are a commercial distro) and they use this fact to sell security (buy our distro, you won't be sued as some non computer companies were sued by SCO). From a commercial view, it was a smart move. I would like to see Canonical and Red Hat what they will do when MS lawyers go for them.
    Regarding open source, Linspire did a lot contributions like Gizmo, Nvu, Lphoto and now the CNR (cnr.com), they are all open source (not just free). But the most important contribution is Freespire 2.0 (www.freespire.org) that it has also most of the propietary codecs, but without the Linspire brand (for what is worth).
    IMHO, Linspire doesn't deserve to be treated as it were the LinuxOne stock scam (remember 1999?).
    • by Reziac (43301) *
      I think you're right -- if the idea is to get people to try linux, don't you want to make it easy for them, not frustrating? And if choice is good, why is Linspire's choice "bad"?? Or is your devotion to the "GNU religion" so important that you'd rather be martyrs to its political correctness than builders of bridges among OSs??

      OT... if ovlidium isn't a real word, it sure should be!!

  • I expect commercial apps on linux. Gaming companies aren't going to develop their games for free use on linux. Period. Not at least and have them competitive with commercial games.

    I use Linux all day every day. It is my primary OS. I expect to have the same level of programs as I would find in the commercial market. For the most part, with the OS itself and with the productivity apps such as Open Office, Firefox, media players, etc., I get that. It's there. Kudos to the hard working people that brin
  • Is that anything like the difficult third album?
  • I think one of the more interesting things about Linspire is that they apparently use Haskell for their system tools. Can anyone confirm this? If it's true, they clearly employ some interesting people.
  • NOT Proprietary... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by evilviper (135110) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @05:23PM (#20932647) Journal

    [...] proprietary software and formats such as Quicktime, Windows Media Player, Flash, Real, and Microsoft OOXML

    Quicktime is absolutely, 100% non-proprietary at this point... h.264, MPEG-4 (ASP), AAC, MP3, are all open standards. They require patent license fees, but so do most open standards, including the WiFi card your probably using...

    Windows Media is at least mostly open, with VC-1 now an SMPTE standard.

    Microsoft is working towards standardizing OOXML as well. It's getting a lot of heat for not being entirely free, while ODF is, but that doesn't make it proprietary.

    Real also isn't a very good example, with a player having long been provided for free use on any available Linux system.

    Of note is that only the Slashdot summary made these mistakes. TFA did not mention these as proprietary. It did incorrectly mention many other open standards as being proprietary: MP3, Java, PDF, Flash, etc. though at least Flash was proprietary in the past. It also confuses proprietary software (closed implementations) eg. Acrobat, and proprietary standards eg. PDF.
  • ``With version 6.0, Linspire is betting that its business model of including licenses for proprietary software and formats such as Quicktime, Windows Media Player, Flash, Real, and Microsoft OOXML''

    Great. Next time someone comes whining to me about some Linux distro not supporting some proprietary format, I'll point them at Linspire. There's a distro for you that doesn't care about open source purity and just supports a whole bunch of proprietary crap right out of the box. You don't have to do any of the wo
  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @10:40PM (#20935521)
    So you mean all the people using Linux without buying a distro are going to use their clout as non-paying customers to not buy Linspire too?

"It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." -- Artemus Ward aka Charles Farrar Brown

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