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Lindows.com, Earthlink Bring Dial-Up Access to Linux

Lindows.com -- the anti-Microsoft, alternative operating system startup founded by former MP3.com head Michael Robertson -- Monday teamed with Internet service provider Earthlink to offer customers dial-up Internet access for Linux-powered computers.

Lindows.com insisted the importance of this news is that while such services have long been offered on Microsoft Windows computers, it has been a missing convenience for Linux.

The San Diego firm said the Earthlink icon will now appear on all LindowsOS installations by default, which means all users have to do is click on the Earthlink icon to be connected to the Net. Lindows.com said it made this play to replace stodgy dial-up access on traditional Linux-based systems with a more convenient turnkey method for the desktop operating system.

"Whether it is a $199 computer purchased from Walmart.com or from our network of builders, an Earthlink icon will connect users to a nationwide network of thousands of local calling numbers," said Michael Robertson, chief executive officer of Lindows.com. "In a largely stagnant computing environment, Linux is experiencing rapid growth on the desktop and those new users now have easy access to quality Internet service."

The firm further specified that while its LindowsOS has always come with built-in plug-and-play connectivity for broadband Internet users, connecting with a dial-up modem has not been as simple until this pairing of LindowsOS with Earthlink's vast network.

Customers can buy computers with LindowsOS pre-installed at Wal-Mart ranging from $199 to $599. These may be equipped and ready to run with Earthlink's service after upon set-up.

As the No. 4 ISP in the U.S., Atlanta-based Earthlink serves more than 7,500 dial-up numbers.