UK-based Evesham Technology has launched a desktop PC loaded with the Lindows 2 operating system, continuing a trend started in the US for cheap PCs running the Linux-based OS.
The £249.99 Evesham E-scape Li is an entry-level PC aimed the back-to-school market and small office/home office users, said Evesham.
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The E-scape Li PC has a VIA C3 processor -- an x86 chip that runs the same software as Intel and AMD processors -- supported by a VIA Apollo PLE133 chipset. It has 40GB hard disk, 256MB DRAM, a CD-ROM drive, modem and mouse, according to the company. A monitor costs extra.
OpenOffice -- the open-source version of Sun's StarOffice -- is bundled on the PC, together with a choice of 10 free applications from the Lindows Click-N-Run warehouse. Click-N-Run centres on a section of the Lindows Web site which contains a warehouse of software titles -- there are almost 2,000 applications currently listed. Lindows.com is hoping that the ease of downloading and installation of software -- it is a one-click process -- will attract users to the platform.
The Lindows PC will run some applications written for Windows. Although this had been the early promise of the start-up, a spokeswoman for Lindows.com recently confirmed that only a few Windows applications will run on LindowsOS, and this compatibility is no longer the company's top priority.
"Our product does not target the user who wants to save a few dollars on the operating system, but then still run out and spend thousands of dollars on Microsoft Office, Photoshop, et cetera," she commented. Instead, Lindows.com will focus on making Linux applications easy to download and install. However, where there is no Linux-based alternative to a Microsoft application, LindowsOS will support "some 'bridge' programs, file types and network devices to help people interact with the legacy Microsoft world," the spokeswoman said.
Version 2.0 of Lindows includes enhanced networking features for connecting with Windows-based PCs, support for more than 800 printer models and a streamlined interface similar to the Windows desktop. The new version also has enhanced support for laptop PCs, including power management features and tools for configuring wireless networking cards.