A day after returning from CompuTex in Taiwan I received an e-mail from Yoram Nissenboim. CEO of a Linux distro that was active at the show, called Affordy, based in Tel Aviv with a U.S. office in New Haven, Conn.
Affordy makes TITAN LEV (Linux Extended Version), a distro designed for Windows users. It comes bundled with 150 applications, he said. "It requires less CPU and memory resources than Windows, looks like Windows, runs Windows applications and is fully supported."
The reason I didn't see Affordy at the show was because the company did not have a booth, just a meeting room. "The organizers wanted to put us in the software area and we didn't think it’s the most effective place for us to be."
I can verify that. The Linux software area was at the Grand Hyatt, miles from the main show floor at the Nangang Exhibition Center. Showing at a Grand Hyatt booth would have found me, but missed the hardware OEMs who spent their time at Nangang.
Better to see customers than a reporter.
So, what happened?
As a result of the show we received an initial order from one OEM for 400 licenses for test purposes. If the test succeeds, follow-up order will be for 10,000 copies. Five other OEM’s are in the stages of technical qualification. Once this step is complete, we expect orders to come in from Taiwan, Malaysia and Latin America.
Nissenboim put his prospects into three categories:
- Firms looking for an upgrade from Ubuntu, such as J&W Technology Ltd., based in Hong Kong with four offices in China.
- Companies whose systems are too slow for Windows but can run a Linux, like DIS Technology of Malaysia.
- Companies that currently have no Linux solution but are considering one, such as Jetway of Taiwan.
Affordy is willing to localize its Linux based on OEM orders, and currently supports English, Russian, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew and Arabic. "We plan pmadding Chinese based on requirements," Nissenboim added.
So, what's the pitch? Nissenboim was happy to bring it:
Linux provides good performance on netbooks and every Linux provider has made an attempt to enter this market.
In the rush to enter the netbook market, every Linux provider has taken a similar approach - use their existing desktop distribution and trim it down to be able to fit and run in the constraints of the netbook hardware.
In the case of OpenSuse, for example, Novell’s biggest achievement is to be able to shoehorn their desktop enterprise distribution into a netbook - shoving a three ton elephant into a shoe box.
Even though such attempts were successful, they were all done from the available hardware perspective and not from a user experience perspective. As a result many customers who bought a Linux based netbook expecting a low cost extension of their desktop computing experience ended up frustrated and disappointed.
TITAN LEV is the only Linux distribution that was developed from the users’ perspective providing a richer and different user experience than any other Linux distribution.
So, have y'all seen TITAN LEV, what do you think of it, and do you have any questions for Mr. Nissenboim?