Software buyers may do a double take in retail stores over the coming
months when they see a new operating system from Lindows.com perched next to
Microsoft's familiar Windows.
That's because the renegade vendor of Linux-based software has kicked
off its LindowsOS reseller program. It's the beginning of the firm's foray into
the retail marketplace.
And, true to form, Lindows is entering retail sales with its own twist,
by providing memberships along with software. It's only the latest of a
growing list of
new angles that has the start-up going head-to-head with
arguably the world's most powerful technology company--both in the market and
in court.Challenging Microsoft
Lindows, which is
by Microsoft for trademark infringement, had previously sold
its operating system
on low-cost PCs or via download from the company's
However, the company's move into retail stores raises the bar in its battle
with Microsoft, putting it on the same shelves as the software giant's dominant
Lindows is offering its LindowsOS 3.0 Membership Edition for a flat $129
fee. The software license includes a one-year membership to the company's
"Click-N-Run Warehouse" of software offerings that users can download to
customize their PCs.
LindowsOS is also compatible with Microsoft Windows files, making it
even more of a thorn in the side of the software titan.Updated and Onward
November version 3 of the LindowsOS. This release added
compatibility with more file types, including Flash, Real Audio, and most
graphics files, as well as support for many Microsoft application file formats.
Lindows also scored a victory when
announced it will use a version of Lindows on its tablet
computer system. The version of the DocuNote powered by Lindows is expected to
ship in 2003 and be priced as low as $799, far below the tablet PCs that run
Microsoft's Windows XP Tablet PC Edition.