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Linspire eyes Africa, Middle East markets
Nov. 22, 2006

Linspire announced at the GITEX Dubai 2006 Trade Show last week a strategic partnership with marketer Business International to bring Linspire's desktop Linux operating system to 17 Middle East and African countries during the next several months.

As a result, Business International will begin promoting Linspire's Linux products in Algeria, Bahrein, Cyprus, Egypt, India, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Other countries in the region may be added later, a company spokesman said.

Starting this week, Business International is offering the English version of Linspire Five-0 and the Linspire Five-0 Click 'n' Run (CNR) Edition products direct to consumers, businesses, education and government institutions in those nations. CNR allows Linspire users to access an extensive catalog of software items, each of which can be downloaded and installed with one mouse click.

Headed by former Microsoft ME executive Mohamad Jarrar, Business International specializes in bringing new IT products to the emerging markets in the Middle East and African countries.

Jarrar stated, "We are pleased to be working with Linspire, as their MEA initiatives align perfectly with local and regional demand for lower cost and reliable computing. Our goal is to help bridge the digital divide in emerging markets by offering low cost easy-to-use Linux-based operating system for home, school, and business users."

Linspire CEO Kevin Carmony stated, "After five years in the desktop Linux space, the momentum continues strong for desktop Linux across the globe. Our partnership with Business International significantly increases our penetration into this very important emerging region."

Linspire and Business International also agreed to start development efforts on an Arabic version of Linspire in 2007.

Additionally, San Diego, Calif.-based Linspire is offering OEM Edition versions to system builders and integrators, through a channel program that aims to help system builders pre-install and sell Linspire computer systems.

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