Linspire-based Linux distro Freespire embraces cloud apps with 'an entirely new direction'


Freespire is a Linux distro with an interesting history. It draws heavily on Linspire, the distro that started life as Lindows until Microsoft took exception to the name, unsuccessfully tried to sue, and then came to a licensing arrangement and acquired the moniker for itself.

Nearly two decades later, Linspire is still going strong and the development team behind it --PC/OpenSystems LLC Open Source Development team -- has announced a move in "an entirely new direction". This sounds like a bold statement. In practice this will involve "incorporating a cloud app approach" and coincides with the launch of Freespire 7.7.

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Over on the Freespire website comes the announcement: "Today, the PC/OpenSystems LLC Open Source Development team will release Freespire 7.7. This update launches an entirely new direction for our distribution products, Freespire, Linspire and Xandros, by incorporating a cloud app approach. Since this is Freespire, our community-support build, we did not incorporate anyone's (read : Google, Microsoft) specific web apps into the distribution. Which they select is entirely the user's choice.

The statement continues:

And for more traditional use cases, the core of Freespire has not changed at all : it's still a full featured desktop OS; all of the applications and resources of the Ubuntu repositories are available, as always. To repeat : Freespire still does not incorporate any proprietary media codecs; aside from the use of Google Chrome there are no other vendor-specific software applications pre-installed at all.

This all sounds a little vague, but there is a little more details in a personal blog post from Roberto J. Dohnert of PC/OpenSolutions. He explains that "Linspire and Xandros will now offer cloud apps for the tasks of office suites, calendar, e-mail, and online storage". He says much the same as in the Freespire announcement too:

Freespire 7.7 will continue to be our free to download and redistribute distribution and will not be distributed with proprietary codecs.  Freespire will include, Chrome and IceSSB.  It will also include Geary mail client, games, Parole media player and Rhythmbox.  It will be delivered sans any Google or Microsoft services and users can decide what services they wish to use by default.

Bigger changes are in Linspire 10 SP 1.5, which includes all of Googles service, and Xandros OpenDesktop 2021 which includes Google services pre-installed in the Standard edition, and Microsoft services in the Office 365 edition.

Revolutionary? Maybe not.

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