Linux Distros Unite As Xandros Acquires Linspire

It has been reported that Linspire founder Michael Robertson has sold the company to rival Linux distributor Xandros. Details remain undisclosed, but the news came as quite an unpleasant surprise to shareholders, who had no knowledge of the transaction prior to its completion. Former CEO and current shareholder Kevin Carmony expressed his discontentment yesterday, and asserted that the move only means bad things for Linspire shareholders.

Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos, however, stated that the deal was in Lindspire’s best interest, giving the company access to a larger user base, technical resources, and expertise. The deal places Xandros in better position to compete against larger Linux developers like Red Hat.

Linspire launched as Lindows, a Debian-based Linux distribution with a goal of providing a desktop experience similar to that of Windows. Microsoft chased the company down because of the name, and after a few years and a large cash settlement Lindows eventually became Linspire. After much fan-fare during the launch of Lindows and all the promise, it seems it has finally settled as being yet another Linux distribution.

The Linux desktop distributions are far too fragmented to provide a unified and uniform alternative to both Windows and Mac OS X – so an eventual rollup of the consumer-oriented desktop Linux distributions is probably a good idea. Mac OS X is the most popular UNIX-based desktop, and its growing popularity likely resulted in the Linux desktop initiative losing momentum.