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New Xandros Linux desktop arrives
Jun. 20, 2006

Xandros 4.0, the first new version of Xandros Inc.'s desktop Linux distribution in a year and a half, arrived on June 20. Xandros 4 is based on Debian Sarge Linux, with LSB (Linux Standard Base) improvements courtesy of the DCC Alliance's Common Core.

It also includes the KDE 3.42 desktop interface, with some ehancements. If you want GNOME, you're looking at the wrong distribution. Xandros is very KDE-oriented.

For programs, it includes the newest editions of the KDE application family, Firefox, Thunderbird, and the 2.0 office suite.

This latest version of the first mass-market Linux desktop, the long-gone Corel Linux, has added a variety of features designed to make it a drop-in replacement for Windows.

One aspect of this is the inclusion of Paragon Software Group's NTFS for Linux. With this program, Xandros will be able to both read and, much more significantly, write to Windows's NTFS-formatted drives. NTFS has become the most popular Windows file system.

Xandros also makes things easy for Windows desktop users to migrate from XP, or other shipping Windows desktops, by incorporating Versora's Progression Desktop. This innovative program enables users to import their Windows settings, data, and files -- including email, photos, and music -- when moving from Windows to Xandros.

Xandros 4 also comes with CodeWeavers CrossOver Office bundled. This program enables users to run many popular Windows programs like Microsoft Office and Intuit Quicken.

The operating system will be first available in two versions. The Xandros Desktop Home Edition costs $39.99, while the Home Edition - Premium costs $79.99. There is also cheaper upgrade pricing for owners of earlier Xandros editions. Only the Premium edition includes fully-functional copies of the Windows immigration friendly programs

The company also plans to ship a business version of the desktop, Xandros Desktop Professional, in the fall. A free, Open Circulation Edition, with only GPLed code, except for Xandros' own installer, Xandros File Manager, and Xandros Networks is expected later this year.

-- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

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