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
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
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
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.