Linspire Gives Away Linux OS

Linspire, formerly known as Lindows, is giving away its desktop Linux operating system for the first time as a way to publicize its name change.

April 17, 2004

1 Min Read
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Linspire, formerly known as Lindows, is giving away its desktop Linux operating system for the first time as a way to publicize its name change.

According to CEO Michael Robertson, the offer is valid "for the next few days." Users can download the Linspire OS 4.5 software, which until now Linspire has resisted giving away, unlike other Linux distributors, direct from the Linspire Web site.

Although Linspire OS 4.5 usually costs $49.95, users can download the software for free by entering a one-word coupon code. Robertson was coy about the code, saying in his online posting, "No, it's not an oversight that I haven't provided the actual coupon code. You'll have to guess what the one-word code is."

The code is "lindows," the former name for the Linux vendor.

On Tuesday, Lindows announced the name change to Linspire in a move both the company and industry analysts said was spurred by continued legal attacks by Microsoft, which contends that "Lindows" is too close to its trademarked "Windows."Users unfamiliar with the BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) download process, however, may find it difficult to grab a free copy of Linspire OS 4.5. Windows users, for instance, must first download a BitTorrent client, then download the 41K Linspire torrent file, then double-click on the torrent file to start the download.

BitTorrent is a P2P file distribution protocol in which users simultaneously receive different parts of a file from a number of other users. Linspire is using the BitTorrent route, said Robertson, "so our servers don't melt."

More information about how to use BitTorrent to download Linspire OS 4.5 can be found on the Linspire Web site.

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