Linspire Releases 2.0 Version of Free OS

Linspire on Wednesday released the second version of Freespire, the community-based operating system based on Canonical's Ubuntu Linux distribution, enhancing it with its own proprietary software, drivers, and codecs.

The San Diego company's announcement comes a little over a year after the company first announced its plans to split its Linspire efforts into a commercial and free variant. The company hopes the free version will help spur use of Linux.

Linspire says that the proprietary software, which comes from a variety of sources, not only Linspire itself, would provide a better user experience for those who install it. Freespire 2.0 also provides access to the CNR Server, which allows one-click installation of open-source applications.

Freespire makes improvements to out-of-the-box support for several types of hardware, file types, and multimedia. This includes MP3, Windows Media, Real Networks, Java, Flash, ATI, nVidia, WiFi, among others.

Support for Open XML allows users editing documents within OpenOffice to open and write to Microsoft Word .docx files, the company added.

"Freespire 2.0 picks up where Ubuntu leaves off by adding proprietary software, drivers and codecs, to make for a more complete turn-key solution for mainstream desktop computing," Linspire president and CEO Larry Kettler said.

The company will continue to provide commercial versions of its Linspire operating system, it said, aiming for the general user. Freespire, on the other hand, is geared towards computer enthusiasts and others who may be interested in the Linux platform.

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