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Getting to know Linspire five-0
Apr. 20, 2005

In ExtremeTech's review of Linspire 5.0, editor Jim Lynch explains how well the newly released distribution combines the best of Linux, Windows, and even OS X, and where it fails to impress. Released, this past March, Linspire 5.0 seems dedicated to plugging the oft-touted holes in Linux's usefulness for the average consumer, Lynch says.

Linspire 5.0 offers a new look and feel which Lynch calls "slick and easy on the eyes," a "well-organized" desktop and menu system, and even a tutorial that Lynch found to be "very helpful" despite an unfortunate font color choice.

Linspire 5.0 comes bundled with what Lynch calls a "healthy but not overwhelming amount of software," including customized versions of Mozilla and GAIM, an AOL dialer, a VPN wizard, Ltorrent (a custom BitTorrent client), support for Quicktime and Windows Media, and Lsongs and Lphotos, which are music and photo managers similar to Apple's iLife.

Lphoto and Lsongs thoroughly impressed with "solid functionality", though Lynch deemed them "not quite as slick" as Apple's iLife applications. Lynch also found that Linspire 5.0 correctly handled Quicktime, Windows Media, Flash, and other media types out of the box, as promised.

Linspire 5.0 is easy to install, too, says Lynch -- at least on a desktop PC. However, Jim Lynch's team could not cajole it into installing on their Compaq 3080 laptop, nor did they have much luck with Linspire 5.0's VPN wizard.

Get the full scoop, read Lynch's Pros, Cons, summary ratings, and n-out-of-10-points scoring for how well Linspire 5.0 meets the average consumer's needs, and learn what that offensive font color was, at ExtremeTech...

Linux Made Easy: Linspire 5.0

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