Why we're sorry to see Linspire go

Open source company Xandros has bought Linspire, the company that once got under Microsoft's skin using the name Lindows. We'll miss Linspire for all sorts of reasons.

In its day, the company did a lot to promote Linux on the desktop, and won a lot of friends by beating Microsoft in a lawsuit over its use of the name Lindows. Last week, it was acquired by Xandros - the supplier of Linux for the Asus Eee.

After its court victory, things went sour for Linspire. The company changed its name from Lindows, pulled out of an IPO, and then did a licensing deal with Microsoft, much like the ones signed by Xandros and Novell - only Linspire's was even less popular.

Linspire CEO Michael Robertson has said, more or less, that Linspire - and desktop Linux - failed: "Even with Ubuntu's success, Linux on the desktop is still the domain of software engineers and technical people." Former CEO Kevin Carmony sees it differently, detailing his differences with with Robertson in interviews and his blog.

Lindows has earnt its place in the open source history books. But I feel I'd be failing in my duty if I didn't honour its lesser achievements in the Jovial Parody school of Corporate Anthems, to which Carmony has preserved links.

It starts with Lindows Rock - a recreation of Chubby Checker's Limbo Rock ("How low can prices go?"). The company adapted to the name change with Come On Baby Run Linspire, a song whose rhymes are easily as cringe-making as those in the Doors original.

Let's give them one last listen, then, before Lindows becomes as much of a relic as the British Museum's mummified Lindow Man.

Source: community.zdnet.co.uk
Posted By: IndoSourceCode

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