Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Windows 7 End Of Life Special

As everyone knows Windows 7 has reached its End Of Life.  This leaves millions of Windows 7 systems vulnerable to malware, security exploits and bugs that will go unpatched and unfixed.  Everyone is scrambling to find a solution.  The common thread is to either upgrade to Windows 10 or find an alternative to run on older hardware that may not be Windows 10 compatible.

Enter the 'Windows 7 Refugee Program'.  This program is run by PC/OpenSystems LLC and the Linspire team where we are offering Windows 7 users who may be left out in the cold an alternative for those Windows 7 PC's.  Linspire 8.5.

Linspire 8.5 is an ideal solution for those Windows 7 users who may not be able to upgrade to Windows 10.

Linspire 8.5 offers the following features:

Familiar user interface
Easy setup and installation
KDE Plasma 5
Google Chrome 79
Ice SSB - Which allows you to turn any web app into a fully functional desktop application
Amarok Music Player
VLC Media Player
OnlyOffice desktop suite - Fully featured office suite which resembles Microsoft Office and saves files in the Microsoft Office file format.
Full multimedia Codecs - Linspire offers playback from Blu-Ray, DVD, Windows Media, Apple Quicktime and more.
Built in Anti-Virus and Firewall controls

From Today until Feb 1st we are offering Linspire 8.5 at a discounted rate.  The download Edition will be $19.99 USD.  The boxed set with a ready to use and install Live USB drive will be $30.99.  Gets yours today.

Windows 7 Refugee Program Boxed Set

Windows 7 Refugee Program Digital Download

Friday, November 1, 2019

Linspire 8.5 Overview

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Linspire 8.5 Released

Happy Halloween. Today the PC/OpenSystems development team is pleased to announce the release of Linspire 8.5 (Swordfish 2) to the general public as well as our faithful user base. This is a major release of Linspire from PC/OpenSystems which furthers our commitment to desktop Linux.

 Linspire 8.5 is packed with enhancements and features showcasing its ease of use and polish as one of the industry's leading Linux distributions. As with Freespire our goal was to “trim the fat” on our flagship distro. Many of our users and customers have told us that Linspire / Freespire as a whole were bloated; what we did in response was pick “best of breed” applications that added to the overall simplicity of the system. The software center is loaded with thousands of applications which make YOUR computer work YOUR way.

 Linspire 8.5 was designed with an intuitive user interface, making it extremely easy to use; easy enough for any Window or macOS convert to make the switch to desktop Linux seamlessly. Aside from the GUI, there has been a lot of work done under the hood to make the system more stable and secure than previous releases. Multimedia codecs, including some under license, are included so that users can enjoy any audio format and video playback of all types.

Linspire 8.5 contains the following enhancements:

Kernel 5.0.0-31
KDE 5.12.9
Ice 6.0.4
Google Chrome 77
OnlyOffice Desktop Editors
VLC Media Player
Boot Repair
Firewall configurator
Powershell 6.2.3

 You can purchase a copy of Linspire 8.5 right now; either self-support or full service.

Linspire Support License
Install Media
Order Notes

Linspire Download Edition

Below is a Q&A with the Linspire lead system designer and conceptualist.

Q) : What changes are we seeing from Linspire 8 to 8.5 to justify this as a major release? 
Linspire 8.5 contains a lot of changes which justify it being labeled major rather than incremental. First, major kernel changes; we moved from the 4.x to the 5.x series. Second, installed applications; we removed many that customers have told us weren’t necessary or that required configuration to make the system operate the way they wanted. Fine tuning was performed per customer requests.

Q) There was a story written a few months ago that Linspire broadcasts information to Microsoft servers. To what level do Linspire and PC/OpenSystems developers communicate with Microsoft? Should customers be concerned that their information is being transmitted without consent to a third party? 
Microsoft collects NO customer information, system information or data from PC/OpenSystems LLC and Linspire. Linspire CE Office does use Microsoft Office Online, Outlook, and OneDrive but users have the option to disclose information to Microsoft when they choose to use the release. Linspire comes preinstalled with the Microsoft repositories for Powershell, Skype, .NET Core and VS Code to make it easier for users who wish to use those offerings (NOTE : Skype and Powershell are the ONLY Microsoft applications pre-installed). The ONLY communication Linspire as an OS product has with Microsoft servers is when those applications are updated. Once again, no customer information is transmitted to Microsoft or ANY third-party whatsoever; any claims to the contrary are false.

Q) Who are our customers for Linspire? Who uses Linspire? 
Linspire is used in many different environments and by a diverse group of individuals. Home and home office and all kinds of enterprise-level customers. Its also used by educational facilities, law enforcement agencies, military, scientists and by creative professionals. Linspire and Linspire Enterprise continues to grow and thrive from our expertise in enterprise computing.

Q) Does removing applications make the system less attractive to end users? How does that add value for customers? 
No, it makes it more attractive. If you look at the current market OS alternatives, Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS, they don’t feature tons of software out-of-the-box. Applications are added as necessary to improve the overall experience. Linspire includes an office suite, web browser, audio / video player, and a basic graphics program. Anything else the user may need can be found it in the Software Center and install as needed. For corporate customers who need a custom ISO with specific additional packages, those will be provided when they purchase their license(s). The value added for our customers is ease-of-mind, secure in the knowledge that everything proprietary from Java to BluRay is completely licensed.

Q) How did you choose what software is included in the system and why did you include OnlyOffice vs LibreOffice?
We parsed the available options, looking and opting for simplicity, the least complicated / most immediately intuitive apps we could find. We looked at other OS’ featured in their core lineup. Multimedia, image manipulation, web browsing and a couple of simple games seemed to be the norm; we went one step further and added an office suite. Why did we choose OnlyOffice? What are the common usage scenarios for office suites? Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations are the straightforward options shown on the left when the program is launched. The interface resembles MS Office - most of our users and customers are migrating from that environment and we wanted to make the transition seamless.

Q) Is the main distribution the only one being updated? 
 No, All of our CE releases are being updated as is our custom education release. Linspre CE, Linspire CE Office 365 and Linspire CE EDU.

Q) Are the Enterprise releases also being updated as well? 
 No, that update is coming sometime around January 2020.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Debunking Popular Myths about PC/OpenSystems LLC and Linspire

Today we are going to debunk some common myths about PC/OpenSystems LLC and Linspire that some people have.

Myth:  Linspire is a cash grab 
Reality:  We acquired what was left of Bridgeways Xandros offerings specifically for the technology that they had.. Upon examination, we found that many of their offerings had been superseded by technology that had developed after they left the business and instead of working with that we decided to start over and release Linspire. We could have called it Xandros Desktop and been done with it but we liked the clear distinction between the commercial offerings and the community-driven offering.

Myth: you just usurped the Linspire name 
Reality: No, we acquired full rights to the names, Linspire, Freespire and Xandros. We acquired the source and binary code of all the past releases, customer lists and a very incomplete copy of sales records and other important court filings. To answer the next question, no we will not release any information on Microsoft's settlement with Linspire Inc. We decided, under the advice of legal counsel, to honor the confidentiality of that agreement. We did honor ALL legacy sales that were made in anticipation of what would have been Linspire 7 under the umbrella of Xandros and Linspire Inc.

Myth: No one uses Linspire 
Reality: We already had a customer base and we migrated all of our customers over to the Linspire Enterprise. As with all other enterprise offerings we do have users who continue to use Black Lab Linux and we do make security updates available to those users honoring our commitment to Black Lab until 2026. But Linspire is used by all of our legacy and newer customers and continues to thrive in the home user and commercial space.

Myth:  Linspire continues to broadcast information to Microsoft Servers 
Reality: Microsoft collects NO customer information, system information or data from PC/OpenSystems LLC and Linspire. Linspire CE Office 365 does use Microsoft Office Online, Outlook, and OneDrive but users have to make applicable agreements to Microsoft themselves when they decide to use that release. Linspire itself comes preinstalled with the Microsoft repositories for Powershell, Skype, .NET Core and VS Code to make it easier for users who wish to use those offerings although Skype and Powershell are the ONLY Microsoft applications preinstalled. The ONLY communication Linspire as an OS product has with Microsoft servers is when it looks for updates to those applications. Any claims to the contrary are false and continues to demonstrate the incompetence and petty slander from anyone making them. Despite whether they call themselves “Dr.” or otherwise.

Myth: Linspire is an overpriced release of Ubuntu 
Reality: A lot of work goes into creating Linspire and making Linspire commercial ready. We offer service and support, preinstalled systems, preinstalled drives and install media. We charge according to the services customers require. The self-support release of Linspire is cheaper by far and we do not charge customers for services that they don't require or want. Our track record speaks for itself. We have operated as a business since 2008 and we have a customer retention rate of 98% which is a good record for any commercial software entity. In other words, a majority of our customers have been with us since 2008 approximately 11 years and they don't feel ripped off.

Myth:  Freespire has spyware and uses a survey to make money
Reality:  That is completely FALSE.  Freespire has no adware or any survey attached to it.  That incident came from a "reviewer" whom recompiled the release ISO for his "review" simply for the purpose of trying to paint Freespire and Linspire in a bad light.  That situation was discredited as a situation where that individual felt that we were making false claims regarding his favorite Linux distribution and the "news" site that carried that review continues to show their bias against commercial Linux distributions and guilt by not publishing any of our updates and releases.  We do encourage our users to download Freespire from our legitimate OFFICIAL servers as we do check the integrity of those available ISO's at least twice a week.

Myth:  PC/OpenSystems LLC doesn't care about the open-source community 
Reality: We do very much care about open source and sharing our technology and individuals working in it. We do develop a free and open release called Freespire and our core developers and contributors are encouraged to work on other open-source projects when/if they wish. Participation is not required but encouraged.

That covers most of the common myths and realities of Linspire. You can visit or for more information.

Thank you.

Powershell in Linspire

Many people have asked me, Why include Powershell in Linspire?  The answer expands more than just "because it's there."  PC/OpenSystems LLC realizes we live in a world where organizations use a variety of operating systems.  Whether it is Android, iOS, ChromeOS, other Linux distros, Windows or Mac we strive to be a good citizen.  Whether it's working with other companies or including technologies that allow us to interoperate with other systems.  Powershell fits that criteria.  Not only is it open-source, so the source code can be downloaded and improved upon, but it is the primary command-line interpreter for Windows 8.x/10.x .  Our job is to make our user's lives easier and one of the ways we feel that is accomplished is by limiting the learning curb.  Users can switch between platforms and work between them easily and effectively.  That is why we include Powershell in Linspire, Linspire CE and Linspire Enterprise.  Not because of some shadow agreement with Microsoft as some have suggested.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Linspire CE 8.5.1 ESR (Education Special Release) Released

Today the PC/OpenSystems development team is pleased to announce the release of Linspire CE 8.5.1 ESR (Education Special Release) to our educational customers. This release contains many bug fixes and feature enhancements from our previous ESR.

Linspire CE educational Release is currently used by over 200 school systems around the United States and internationally.  Linspire CE ESR is a strong commitment to educational computing and is the number 2 Linux distribution used by schools and academic facilities.

One of our main goals with the distribution was security. One of the things that we have heard from customers in this arena were several security concerns. An example of this was being able to go into the Synaptic Package Manager and uninstall or cripple core OS functions. So Synaptic has been removed and we gave control of application installation to the Software Center. We also updated Time Keeper so any systems left on premises you can set usage times so students and faculty can only use the system during scheduled times. We also have heard from users that the Thunderbird e-mail app was no longer necessary since most e-mail work is executed using Gmail or Outlook Web interfaces so we did include the Gmail web app for users (Linspire CE Office 365 customers will receive their update later this week) We have now included the latest release of WebMin for remote access and system maintenance in the core OS.

 Some of the features we have included specific to this release are:

 Better XBox One controller support
Preliminary Nintendo Switch support for use with Presentations
Google Classroom web app now installed by default
Google Docs and Google Keep web apps installed by default
Improved Google Admin support
Improved Chromebook support for installation on EOL (End of Life) EOS (End Of Service) Chromebook models so that you can maximize your hardware investment

Core OS  Features that we have updated are:

Kernel 5.0.0-31 KDE 5.12.9
Ice 6.0.4
Google Chrome 77
VLC media player
Boot Repair
Firewall configuration
Discover Software Center

 Current customers will have this release delivered to them.  New customers can purchase a facility license or individual licenses here

Linspire CE ESR (Education Special Release)
Install Media
Order Notes