Linux distributor Xandros on Monday released a non-commercial version of its distribution that includes the free Internet telephony application Skype.
The release, Open Circulation Edition version 3, can be downloaded free of charge from the Xandros Web site.
This comes only two weeks after Skype released the final Linux version of its application, which allows free phone calls over the Internet to other Skype users and low-cost calls to mobile and fixed-line phones.
Skype has experienced an impressive growth rate, with about 23 million users having signed up for the service so far. By 2008 that number is expected to jump to between 140 million and 245 million, according to market research firm Evalueserve.
Skype can be downloaded free of charge from the Skype.com, but the fact that it has been packaged by a Linux vendor may help its uptake.
The new Xandros product also includes the popular open source browser Firefox and the Thunderbird email client. Andreas Typaldos, the chief executive of Xandros, said he encourages Windows users to try out the free distribution.
"I invite long-suffering Windows users to take the Xandros challenge: download our Open Circulation release, create a dual-boot Xandros-Windows machine, and then see for yourself who provides the more enjoyable online experience," said Typaldos in a statement.
The product can be installed in four steps and allows users to automatically set disk partitions so that they can run Linux and Windows at the same time.
At the end of last year, Xandros released version 3 of its Linux distribution for consumers, which included wireless support and improved security features.