[sf-lug] $199 Linspire Desktop at Sears

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Jan 30 18:03:37 PST 2008

Quoting Blake Haggerty (Blake.Haggerty at Sapphire.com):

> I am just wondering if anyone was aware of Sears selling Linux Desktop
> Machines? Anyone ever used Linspire?

Few people in the conventional Linux community use Linspire, because
it's marketed at an entirely different market, and only rarely is 
even available in slightly crippled editions (e.g., for download)
without paying for either a shrinkwrapped retail copy or an OEM preload.

Last time I got ahold of a copy, which I believe was Linspire 5.0 
(complete with Baby Boomer-focussed advertising campaign calling it 
"Linspire Five-O").  It was a rather underfeatured KDE-based desktop
distribution built on Debian, bundled with a number of "value-add"
proprietary desktop utilities specific to Linspire.

It seems as if their business model relies mostly on a "razor blade and
razor" sales model:  They want you to backfill the rather thin supply
of applications by buying them from the online "Click'n'Run Warehouse"
e-commerce site.

(I vaguely recall that almost all such software is also available
without expense from, e.g., the Debian mirrors.)

Going by what I remember of it, I think Xandros Desktop OS was, at least
at that time, by far a more impressive entry in the category of
"proprietary supersets of Debian aimed at novice desktop computer users
and trying to look and act as much like MS-Windows as possible".

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