RealTime IT News

Lindows Seeks Installs on Centrino Laptop

Looking to gain converts among the millions of expected customers for Intel's Centrino mobile technology, Lindows.com Thursday tipped plans to offer its Linux-based operating system as a preload on Centrino-equipped laptops.

Lindows.com is touting its Centrino move in original equipment manufacturer (OEM) terms, rather than via $49.95 customer downloads off its Web site, which is the way the OS is usually sold.

"Centrino laptops pre-loaded with LindowsOS Laptop Edition will hit the market in 30 to 45 days," the company said in a statement.

However, Lindows.com doesn't have any OEMs that make Centrino-equipped laptops firmly on board as of today. Company spokeswoman Cheryl Schwarzman said that they do have one OEM almost ready to go, but she declined to provide the company's name

"We were hopeful that the contract would be signed in time for this [press] release," she said, but it wasn't. Now, Schwarzman said she plans to announce the OEM's name next week.

If Lindows were to snare a major Centrino OEM, it could have a big marketing upside, since some 1 million Centrino-equipped systems were shipped last year.

On its Web site, Lindows.com lists several smaller vendors which make non-Centrino laptops that currently ship with the Lindows OS pre-loaded. That list of machines includes the Syntax AP7300 from Accupc, a laptop from Sub300.com, the Mythos Athena from the PC Club, and the LC2000 laptops from LinuxCertified.

Centrino has been highly touted by Intel as a next-generation wireless technology. In conjunction with its developer forum this week, Intel disclosed plans to update all the elements of its Centrino mobile technology lineup.

Those upgrades include support for the 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g wireless networking standards. By embracing .11X standards, Intel appears to be moving Centrino away from its current state of being not-quite-compatible with the rest of the world, to making it better able to work with existing Wi-Fi technologies.

As for Lindows, the company has been much in the news lately as it battles attempts by Microsoft to shut down its marketing efforts. Microsoft has charged that the name "Lindows" is too similar to the "Windows" operating system brand.

In Europe last month, A Dutch judge granted granted an injunction to Microsoft that barred Lindows from selling its products in the Netherlands under the Lindows moniker.

In response, Lindows this week launched a so-called "Lindash" Web site, dropping several letters from its name to form a URL at www.lin---s.com, so that it could continue to market its software while conforming to the court order.