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Linux Business

Xandros Reportedly Buys Out Linspire 153

Posted by kdawson
from the surely-somebody's-making-money-here dept.
2muchcoffeeman writes "Former Linspire president and CEO Kevin Carmony — whose relationship with his former employer has turned acrimonious, to say the least — reported on his blog that Xandros and Linspire signed an agreement in principle for Xandros to buy Linspire June 19. Carmony includes a scan of the memo to Linspire shareholders announcing the deal, which requires the former Linspire company to change its name. According to the memo, the stockholders voted to change the company's name to Digital Cornerstone, Inc. Despite the wording of the Linspire memo to stockholders, this deal apparently came as a surprise to Carmony and other stockholders. Some here may remember that both Xandros and Linspire signed patent protection deals with Microsoft in 2007."
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Xandros Reportedly Buys Out Linspire

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  • Re:Obscure stuff (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Monday June 30, 2008 @09:25PM (#24010333) Journal
    Good points, but Xandros is the default Linux distro for the Asus EEE PC. I'd expect a sudden boost in popularity just from that.
  • Linspire... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2008 @09:46PM (#24010525)
    is the America online of Linux distrobutions. In other words, it's for people who don't know any better. The only difference is that it lacks a marketing department.
  • by jasonmanley (921037) <jman@math.com> on Monday June 30, 2008 @10:48PM (#24010983) Homepage Journal
    I am still stunned that any company can make money on a desktop linux product. There are so many GOOD free options available to the end user that I just cannot see where the potential revenue stream is. I use Mandriva 2008 Spring. It HAS and DOES everthing that I need on a desktop. Now maybe this is because I am using it in a private capacity and maybe it changes the moment I put it into a commercial workspace - maybe someone can enlighten me. Is it the support agreements? is this where the money is? How much revenue can desktop support genererate?
  • by PCM2 (4486) on Monday June 30, 2008 @10:53PM (#24011031) Homepage

    Most editors and writers got bribed by computer companies to write a good article on their product in exchange for keeping the product plus other gifts.

    As a former senior editor at InfoWorld, I request that you either substantiate that claim or keep your opinions to yourself. You obviously have no idea what you're talking about.

    For the record, I know for a fact that nobody accepts any kind of gifts in exchange for editorial coverage at InfoWorld. I can't speak for eWeek of my own experience, but I have no reason to believe they're any different.

    Incidentally, I'm sure there are plenty of people on Slashdot who will say that you're shitty at your job, too, but it's really none of their business, now is it?

  • by 2muchcoffeeman (573484) on Monday June 30, 2008 @10:54PM (#24011043) Journal
    ... filled with an infinite series of choices.
  • by westlake (615356) on Monday June 30, 2008 @11:27PM (#24011299)
    I think Linspire users must be as rare as hen's teeth, I've certainly never even heard of a single person using it, other than the guy who reviewed it for distrowatch

    The OEM Linspire PC could be found at Walmart.

    Linspire carried the torch for OEM Linux - Linux as a direct competitor to Windows in the consumer market.

    Linspire irritated the FOSS purist because it believed the installed and licensed proprietary media codec and player was essential to delivering a commercially viable product.

    It sold commercial software through its CNR [cnr.com] repository.

    Bitstrean fonts. DVD players. Games like Postal.

    To this day, Walmart and Consumer Reports find it necessary to publish a disclaimer whenever they expose a newcomer to OEM Linux:

    This is a Linux based PC and will not perform completely like a Windows based machine. It can perform basic activities such as E-mail, Web Browsing, Music and Pictures.

    To this day, the mass-market Linux PC remains firmly anchored among the bottom-feeders. To this day. Linux hasn't broken through to a 1% share on the consumer desktop. Operating System Market Share [hitslink.com]

  • by PCM2 (4486) on Monday June 30, 2008 @11:35PM (#24011373) Homepage

    So you are telling me that despite Infoworld employees being given "gifts" by vendors, it does not influence how they write their article, and just because the article written is positive and the writer and/or editor got "gifts" it is not selling out or shilling or even considered unethical?

    And I am telling you -- not just making stuff up, as you are doing, but telling you -- that it is specifically against InfoWorld editorial policy to accept gifts of any kind in exchange for editorial coverage. I say this out of firsthand knowledge. On what do you base your repeated claims? An editorial that was written in 2002 on a different topic?

    That somehow because I cited a problem in the media, it means I do a shitty job?

    No, what I am saying is that by making baseless accusations you are in effect accusing a lot of very talented, very dedicated people of doing shitty jobs. I wouldn't do that to you. What gives you the right? Furthermore, what makes you think you shouldn't be called out on it?

    If you had any kind of evidence to support your claims, you would name names, at least, and allow those people to defend themselves. God forbid you should have any actual evidence. But to just say "all the editors take bribes," without so much as naming a single name, makes you not just a liar, but a coward, too.

  • by gujo-odori (473191) on Monday June 30, 2008 @11:50PM (#24011477)

    I'm not sure why anyone would mod this Insightful when it's nothing of the sort and may be just a troll, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and answer.

    Yes, the money to be made from offering a Linux distro comes mostly from support contracts. Red Hat Enterprise Linux costs what it does not because it's better than free versions such as CentOS - which is an unbranded version of RHEL, recompiled from the RHEL source packages - but because RH provides enterprise-level support for RHEL/RHAS licenses. That includes, I suppose, the theoretical "who do we sue if something goes wrong" that more than a few people fantasize they can do when they buy software licenses. Good luck with that; notice that people have sued Microsoft for a lot of things, sometimes successfully, but not - AFAIK - for software that failed, even if it did so in a way that cost them real money out of pocket.

    For many years, Red Hat sold a boxed version of the old Red Hat distro (up through 7.3, at least; maybe 8.0?), but they eventually stopped doing it because there was just no money in it. Now they offer Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and also sell support and professional services. There's a lot of money to be made there; IBM, for example, has a huge professional services division, and I'm sure you've heard of EDS, one of the oldest names in the professional services, AKA outsourcing, business.

    Red Had has GPLed every piece of software they've written - or acquired - and they still make money. There is a solid business model for making money in the Linux business, and Red Hat seems to be better at it than anyone.

    You're right about Free solutions, though. There are too many free and Free Linux distros that get the job done, and get it done well, for people to make much money trying to sell Linux distros to end users, or even to sell proprietary Linux applications. Mandriva ekes out a living, but they had to merge with Connectiva to have enough critical mass to keep that going. Red Hat get out of the boxed set businesses. Linspire failed to make a go of it. Xandros seems to be pretty much dead on the vine; I was actually surprised to hear they were still enough of a going concern to pick up what was left of Linspire. The Kompany was an abject failure at selling proprietary Linux apps. I'm sure I'm leaving out someone important here. And of course, there's Corel/SCO, the poster child for how not to do a Linux business. Free solutions are not only good enough for most Linux users, even in the enterprise, but they keep getting better all the time. I dual-boot Kubuntu on my MacBook Pro; most things work perfectly, and are most of the way as good as Apple's stuff. The things that don't work perfectly at least partly work, and in a year or two I expect that everything on this machine will pretty much just work under Linux. At that point, I might find myself spending more time in Kubuntu than in OS X.

  • PCM2 (aka Neil Mcallister) is right.

    Here's an excerpt from one of his articles [javaworld.com] at Infoworld, entitled "Schwartz doesn't get Linux".

    Schwartz really had me going there - right up to his next line. "And frankly," he said, "its principal competitor is none other than Microsoft Windows." Huh?! That's like a company that sells nothing but certified, purebred cocker spaniels claiming that the principal competition for its product is a purebred cat. But then, Sun has never been able to own up to the elephant-size mutt in the room. Say what you want about Microsoft's business practices, but at least give Redmond credit for giving up on pretending Linux doesn't exist. If you look at Sun's public statements about Linux over the past few years, you can sum up its competitive strategy in three easy steps:

          1. Equate all Linux with Red Hat
          2. Trash-talk Red Hat, its pricing, and its business model
          3. Point customers toward Solaris

    That may be a clever way to run a sales call, but Schwartz can't honestly believe that's how the thought process works in real life - can he? "We will be one of the consolidators of the open source industry," Schwartz went on to say, "as well as, certainly, in the open source operating system industry." Consolidators? Can he be serious? I know that, what with all the buzz around Oracle recently, buying up small open source companies is in vogue. But at least Larry Ellison is smart enough to recognize that it's hard to buy and sell what you cannot own.

    While I read the roughlydrafted article pointing to Oliver Rist as a shill, at least we can be sure Neil does NOT shill. In fact, the whole article was anti-fud. Neil, you're on my friends list now. Keep up the good work.

  • by dbcad7 (771464) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @02:58AM (#24012585)

    Having had a girlfriend who was diagnosed as schizoaffective, I know that you probably go through hell. I do want to tell you something related to the post you linked to.. It is highly doubtful that anyone "hates" you for any post. The thing about discussion boards is it can end up with people trying to show each other up and trying to prove how much smarter they are.. and true there are going to be times when you may say something someone else doesn't like, but to say they "hate" you would be incorrect.

    In your situation, discussion boards can be good for you.. but.. Just make sure you don't over anaylise peoples responses.. and remember this really doesn't mean squat in the big picture of life. Mod points and karma won't get you a nickel off a burrito at Taco Bell... and people don't sit at home thinking about what Orion Blaster posted that they did or didn't agree with.

    Although you may not be ready to go to work, you might consider using your skills at home to help some open source projects, or even just starting you own project (even if for fun).. just keep things as manageable as you want, and work when your feeling good, and concentrate on your health when your not feeling so good.

    Best of luck to you, and hang in there.

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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