Saturday, January 6, 2018

Linspire: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

As many of you know from the announcements on PC/OpenSystems LLC website, and the new Linspire OS website that we have revived the brand and since that time we have been undulated by many questions and comments that I want to touch on.  These are my opinions and not those of PC/OpenSystems LLC or any of their employee's, partners and sponsors.

1.  PC/OpenSystems LLC is a "green" and a small company - While true we are small we are hardly "green" we have been in business since 2007.  We have many partners we have worked on many projects.

2.  Linspire is dead and any revival it wont be the same - Of course its not the same.  What would the point be if it was the same?  Markets evolve.  Things change over time.  Except desktop Linux.  While yes, Linux has gotten a whole lot easier the core projects have stayed the same.  Linux has always had a limited user base on the desktop.  Some of the concerns have been ease of use, lack of commercial support for the general public, lack of availability on generic systems ie no OEM's carry Linux.  Yes you have System76, PC/OpenSystems, Dell and Pogo and thats all well and good BUT these are specialized offerings that you have to hunt for.  All the companies I listed above sell dynamite hardware.  Very good hardware.  But OEM's want a corporate entity that will stand behind desktop Linux, consistent quality, and that support the general public.  Mom and dad, grandpa and grandma, students, teachers, police officers and kids of all ages.  Now some people say Chromebooks have desktop Linux on lock and thats very far from true.  Chromebooks are limited and their Android app infrastructure, while improving, lack fit and finish and some of the apps on a Chromebook are buggy as hell.

3.  Linspire is just a respin of Ubuntu - This drives me absolutely nuts.  It drove me crazy when they claimed PC/OS was a remastered spin of Gentoo and Black Lab Linux was a remastered spin of Ubuntu.  That we are a respin of Ubuntu is the only thing that is fluff around here.  #1 you arent on my developer team so mind your own business.  #2 If you want to know WHAT we do the I suggest you join our insiders program and then you will KNOW what we do.  We have been working on Linspire and Freespire since June 2016.  Im just surprised we kept it quiet and it didnt leak.  Although we did elude to whats NEXT and other hints that something was coming.  It is a very costly endeavor to develop ANY operating system and it takes alot to market and deliver an operating system. 

4.  You guys are assholes for charging for Linux -  This is another thing that is head scratching to me.  Red Hat, Oracle and MicroFocus charge for Linux (in all reality we dont, we all charge for support subscriptions and licensing) yet when they do it thats all fine and dandy but when WE do it.  We are robbing from the OSS community, we are robbing the Linux community and we are just money grabbing pathetic rock dwelling dweebs who dont know what we are doing.  Heres a hint.  In all reality I dont care what people who make those comments think.  I let my customer base decide.  They are the ones that subscribe to our work, who use our work and in all reality THEY are the ones I have to keep happy.  If I deliver junk they will go find someone who doesnt.  Quality and consistency are customers demands.  BTW we have over a 90% customer retention since 2007.  Matched only by Red Hat and the multiple past owners and current owners of SUSE.

5.  You guys are taking advantage of the name -  No we arent.  Its branding and its a corporate asset.  Lots of corporations take advantage of assets.  Do you think the current owners of Chevrolet are the original owners of Chevrolet?  No they arent.  Do you think the current owners of Land Rover and Jaguar are the original owners?  No they arent.  Do you think the current owners of Dodge and Jeep are the original owners?  Nope.  Do you think PepsiCo has always owned Kentucky Fried Chicken?  Not at all.  Last but not least, Do you think the current owners of Twinkies are the ORIGINAL owners?  Nope they arent.  Are you starting to get my point here?

Look, I know Linspire has a long and controversial past.  We arent Linspire Inc.  We arent Xandros and I seriously did not expect the FOSS and Linux communities to come running to us with open arms and proclaim us heroes and saviors of Desktop Linux.  Actually, I didnt think it was going to be as positive as it has been.  I had gotten my shield ready for a HUGE flame war and a lot more name calling than I have gotten.

Linspire Inc. and Xandros Inc. died 10 years ago, may they rest in peace.  Xandros Inc. exists on paper only.  They have not brought a Linux product to market in 12 years.  Linspire Inc./Digital Cornerstone Inc. exists on paper and has NEVER brought a Linux product to market.

Before you judge, look at the products that we bring to market and look at the quality that we bring.  If we deliver shitty products then the industry will judge us and our customers will judge us and use something else and invest in other companies and we will go the way of the Dodo and Linspire Inc and Xandros.

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