Linspire launches Five-0 giveaway

Linspire launches Five-0 giveaway

Summary: Linspire's desktop Linux operating system is available for free for the next few days

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Linspire is giving away free copies of its Linux desktop operating system, called Linspire Five-0, until 6 September, the company announced on Thursday.

Linspire Five-0 normally costs $49.95 (£27.31), but Linspire says it has decided to give away copies of its operating system because confusion caused by a package called Freespire being made available to download by unknown parties, Linspire said in a statement.

Both Andrew Betts, who developed Freespire, and Linspire insist that Freespire, while incorporating Linspire source code, was not a free copy of Linspire Five-0.

"The very things that were taken out of Linspire for Andrew's project are in fact some of the very things that make Linspire, well... Linspire," Linspire said in a statement. These include third-party licences for MP3, Java, Flash, Quick Time, Windows Media, Bitstream fonts, and Real media.

To avoid further confusion Betts has decided to change the name of "Freespire", he said in a statement. It has been assigned the temporary code name "squiggle".

Linspire decided to give away free copies of Linspire Five-0 because they "thought it would be fun" to emulate Freespire's free availability, the company said in a statement.

This isn't the first time that Linspire has run up against potential confusion over its identity. The company formally changed its name on 31 August, 2004, from "Lindows" to "Linspire" after a $20m (£11m) legal settlement with Microsoft, which claimed the original name infringed on its "Windows" trademark.

Linspire's developers have urged people to be patient in obtaining their free copy of Linspire Five-0. "Due to the popularity of this offer, our servers are being slammed," they said. Users can obtain a free coupon for Linspire Five-0 immediately, but are being asked to "wait a few days" to download the operating system itself.

Free copies can be downloaded until 6 September.

Topics: Apps, Software Development

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com. He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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2 comments
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  • Anybody else reading the sign on the walls here? There's much interest in alternative solutions. Maybe you want to incorporate that into your business plans as well.
    anonymous
  • Whats the point offering free Linspire Five-0 when they are having problems with their servers see below
    Looking for "Freespire" (a free copy of Linspire)?
    You've come to the right place...


    Currently all of our servers are busy.

    Thanks for your interest in Linspire's Limited special offer.
    Our servers are trying to deal with the massive number of customers that are interested in getting their free copy of Linspire OS. Please be patient, and come back later while we deal with all of our incoming requests.

    We apologize for the inconvenience.

    The Linspire Team.
    anonymous