Xandros

Xandros

The Xandros Desktop 3.02 OCE, using the Microsoft Windows theme
Website:xandros.com
Company/
developer:
Xandros Incorporated
OS family:GNU/Linux
Source model:Mix of free and proprietary software
Latest stable release:4.1 / November 28, 2006
Kernel type:Monolithic kernel (Linux)
Default user interface:KDE
License:GPL and other licenses
Working state:Current


Xandros is both the name of a line of Linux distributions and Xandros Corporation, the company which creates them. Xandros Desktop is a distribution known for its focus on business and mainstream users, as well as its visual similarities to Windows XP. The name Xandros is derived from the X Window System and the Greek island of Andros.[1]

Founded in May of 2001, the company is headquartered in New York City. Their distributions are based on Corel Linux, a Debian-based distribution which was acquired along with the development team behind the product from Corel Corporation in August 2001 after Corel decided to leave the Linux distribution market.[2] Xandros is also a founding member of the Desktop Linux Consortium.

In July 2007, Xandros bought Scalix, a Linux-based email and collaboration product, based on HP OpenMail.[3]

Products

Xandros makes products for both the consumer and business markets. While the distributions include much free and open-source software, Xandros is criticized for inclusion of proprietary software developed in-house by the Xandros Corporation.[4]

For more information on specific editions of Xandros, see the Xandros Desktop Matrix.

Commercial editions

Xandros Desktop Home Edition
This edition comes with full-speed CD/DVD burning and a 30-day trial of Crossover Office. It also includes an "Applications CD" which includes extra programs which can be installed via Xandros Networks. As opposed to Home Edition Premium, the Home Edition does not include the photo manager, music manager, security suite, wireless profiles, or the ability to write to NTFS partitions.


Xandros Desktop Home Edition Premium
This edition comes with full-speed CD/DVD burning, a full version of Crossover Office Standard Edition, and a second CD (the "Applications CD") which comes with extra applications which can be installed via Xandros Networks. Contrary to its name, Xandros Desktop Home Edition Premium does not include a Xandros Networks Premium Membership. Xandros Desktop Home Edition Premium includes a photo manager (powered by DigiKam), an iPod-compatible music manager (powered by Amarok), wireless profiles, an integrated security suite, and the ability to write to NTFS partitions.


Xandros offers a 30-day trial version of Xandros Home Edition Premium as a free download for evaluation purposes.


Xandros Desktop Professional
Formerly known as Xandros Desktop Business Edition, this edition is basically the same as Xandros Desktop Home Edition Premium, but it includes the ability to authenticate to Windows PDC and Active Directory Domains, connect to wired and wireless networks, use PPTP VPN to connect remotely to the office, and use broadband wireless connectivity with 3G, GSM and UMTS support. Xandros Desktop Professional was officially released on November 28, 2006.


As with Home Edition Premium, Xandros also offers a 30-day trial version of Xandros Professional.


Xandros 4.0 was criticized for the addition of a product activation feature similar to the one found in Windows XP. However, unlike the Windows XP product activation code, which is required in order to use Windows XP after 30 days, the Xandros product activation code was used to authorize a copy of Xandros to download programs and updates from Xandros Networks, Xandros' proprietary apt-based download tool similar to Linspire's CNR. When the OS is first installed, Xandros Networks is disabled; it has to be enabled by using the product activation code. Users must contact Xandros Support for further activation codes after they pass a 10 activation limit. After much criticism over the product activation feature, Xandros released the Service Pack 1 update to Xandros 4.0 which did away with it; Version 4.1 of Xandros, which has the Service Pack 1 update integrated into the OS, does not have product activation.[5]

Discontinued Editions

Xandros Open Circulation Edition (OCE)
This edition was a freely redistributable edition for non-commercial use, with a limited set of additional software. Soon after the 4.0 version was released as a DVD shrinkwrapped with Linux magazines, the torrent was pulled from Xandros' servers and all references to OCE removed from the Xandros website without explanation (possibly due to the "collaboration agreement" signed with Microsoft). Previous version of Xandros OCE were generally released about 4 months after the release of the commercial versions. [6]


Xandros Desktop OS Standard Edition
This edition was basically the same as the Open Circulation Edition, but it included full-speed CD/DVD burning. This product has been replaced by Home Edition.


Xandros Desktop OS Deluxe Edition
This edition included an "applications CD" which included extra programs which could be installed via Xandros Networks. This product has been replaced by Home Edition Premium.


Xandros Desktop OS Surfside Edition
This edition was basically the same as Xandros Desktop OS Standard Edition, however the Surfside Edition also included a Plantronics USB headset and 120 minutes of SkypeOut service.

Server OSs

Xandros Server 1.0 has been released in April 2006.

Xandros Server 2.0 has been released in May 2007.[1]

Xandros Desktop Management Server (xDMS) is already available. It easily sets up repositories as it deploys customized Xandros Desktop configurations across a large organization.

Look and feel

Enlarge picture
Xandros 3.02 Open Circulation Edition, using the GNOME desktop environment, and running Apple iTunes 4.9, Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, and Mozilla Firefox
The Xandros GUI uses a modified version of KDE, which includes replacing Konqueror with its own proprietary file manager called XFM. It also uses a package manager known as Xandros Networks, which handles installation of software. Installation of Xandros is done by a wizard that asks questions about partitioning and the administrator (root) password.

The KDE interface has been modified to resemble Microsoft Windows, with a rectangular "launch" button similar to the Windows Start button, modified context menus, and a file manager with a Windows 98 appearance.

The package includes several other themes including KDE, Mac OS 9, and Unix.

It is possible to install and use the GNOME and XFCE desktop environments on Xandros.

Collaboration with Microsoft

On 2007-06-04, a "broad collaboration agreement" between Xandros and Microsoft was announced.[7] The agreement included "patent covenants [to not sue] Xandros customers", similar to the agreement that Microsoft reached with Novell which has been widely criticized within the free software community. To date, there has been no real evidence that any patent infringement has occurred. Microsoft appears unwilling to specify which patents have been infringed. Because this deal was signed after March 28, 2007, Xandros will apparently be unable to distribute software licensed under version 3 of the GNU General Public License while party to the patent arrangement.[8]

Awards

Xandros has won awards for their products, including the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo's Best Front Office Solution, various editor's choice awards in several magazines, and the CNET Editor's Choice award.

See also

Notes

1. ^ Andrew (2005-01-18). Xandros is an acronym?. Retrieved on 2007-06-05.
2. ^ Xandros Corporate Background. Xandros. Retrieved on 2007-06-05.
3. ^ Scalix Bought by Xandros. Retrieved on 2007-07-18.
4. ^ [2]
5. ^ BoyLinux (2006-11-27). Xandros Desktop 4.0 Service Pack 1. Retrieved on 2007-06-05.
6. ^ BoyLinux (2006-12-20). OCE 4 - Prerelease information. Retrieved on 2007-06-05.
7. ^ Microsoft (2007-06-04). Microsoft, Xandros Broad Collaboration Agreement Extends Bridge Between Commercial Open Source and Microsoft Software. Press release. Retrieved on 2007-06-04.
8. ^ McDougall, Paul. "Microsoft Inks Novell-Like Patent Deal With Xandros, Despite GPLv3", 2007-06-04. Retrieved on 2007-06-05. 

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