As Microsoft launches its much hyped Windows XP operating system (OS) across the globe today, a startup is gearing up to deliver a Linux-based OS that will run Microsoft software applications.
Lindows.com, led by MP3.com founder and former chief executive Michael Robertson, plans to give the consumer a choice when it comes to their OS.
"For too long there's been little competition in the OS arena and consumers have paid the price with buggy and expensive software," he said, adding that LindowsOS, with its ability to run many Windows and Linux programs, gives PC owners a migration path to a new OS that promises to be fully featured and consumer friendly.
According to the company, LindowsOS will operate seamlessly in a diverse computing environment, as it will interoperate with existing printers, file servers, mail servers and other devices.
The software is based on the Wine project, an implementation of the Windows 3.x and Win32 APIs on top of X and Unix. Wine provides both a development tool kit for porting Windows sources to Unix and a program loader which allows unmodified Windows 3.1/95/NT binaries to run under Intel Unixes, including Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris.
Lindows is said to add proprietary software with enhancements such as a simplified interface which makes installation a straightforward, four-step process appropriate for either the beginner or the MIS manager.
Users have the ability to run LindowsOS on more than one system without serial code registrations, and PCs running LindowsOS will need no additional software to run Windows or Linux programs.
A preview version will be available in the next few months and the full version should be ready early next year.
The preview release will run on computer systems with a Pentium or AMD processor, 64Mb Ram and 1Gb of disk space.
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