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Lindows Launches its 'Media Computer'

Lindows.com Tuesday said it has begun shipping its first branded low-cost multi-purpose computer called the Lindows Media Computer.

The device includes DVD, CD, MP3 and VCD playback abilities and is expected to compete with Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard's Media Center XP, formerly known as "Freestyle."

About the size of a thick phone book, the mini-tower comes with a keyboard and includes DVD playback software, CD software, bundled Netscape software suite and LindowsOS 3.0.

The box also includes BIOS etDVD from Elegent; a low-power VIA C3 E-Series 933MHz processor; VIA PLE133 + VT8235 Chipset Motherboard; up to 1GB of PC100/PC133 SDRAM; 2 dual-channeled enhanced IDE ports support UDMA 66/100/133; 4 USB Ports, 1 Serial Port, and 1 Parallel Port; VIA AC97 Audio, 3 Audio Jacks: Line-in, Line-out, and Mic-in; DVD drive; and onboard 10/100 Base-T Fast Ethernet controller.

San Diego-based Lindows.com said the units are now available online at iDOTpc.com. No word yet if the company plans on selling its Media Players through its other channels such as Wal-Mart.com.

Currently, the bare-bones model sells for $329 without a monitor, but with options to upgrade to a larger hard drive or CD-RW .

"For under $350 retail, consumers can have a DVD player, CD player and personal computer in every room of the house or office," Lindows.com CEO Michael Robertson said in a statement. "'Instant on' gives the Lindows Media Computer the speed and ease-of-use of traditional media components and LindowsOS gives it the versatility of a complete personal computer all in one compact box."

This is not the first time that Robertson has tried to derail Microsoft and its partners. Lindows has included its Linux-compatible software in low-end computers for several months now.

Microsoft has decided to fight back in other ways including a pending lawsuit for what it claims is copyright infringement on its Windows operating system trademark.