Lindows Strikes Deal with Netscape

After shutting down Microsoft’s appeal against them earlier this year,
Lindows.com is teaming up with another of the Redmond software giant’s
adversaries to bring a Web Browser to Lindows’ new OS.


The San Diego, Calif.-based maker of the user-friendly version of the Linux
OS, announced Tuesday morning that it had signed a pact with AOL Time Warner
to license Netscape as the operating systems default browser.


“It’s not surprising that Lindows signed up with Netscape,” said Stephen
O’Grady, an analyst at Illuminata. “Windows and IE are at one end of the
spectrum and Lindows is the other, so its certainly a natural fit to sign up
with Netscape.”


Netscape has been fighting one of the longest ongoing battles with Microsoft
for dominance in the browser market, with Microsoft taking huge chunks of
Netscape’s market share in recent years.


“The browser war at this point, for all intents and purposes, is over, and
Internet Explorer has won,” said O’Grady. “The Lindows deal is good for
them, but I wouldn’t say that it is going to have profound implications on
their market share.”


Lindows has also been taunting Microsoft with their own attempts to lure the
company’s customer base, by allowing Windows-based programs to run on the
OS, while touting Linux’s software savings and lack of licensing fees.


Microsoft struck back in December, filing a trademark
suit
against the firm in the U.S. District Court for Western Washington.
While Microsoft said they were not asking the court to stop or prevent the
company from making the product, they were saying it couldn’t use a name
that could be confused with Windows. The case against Lindows was struck
down
.


Despite the victory in the courts, Lindows has had its own problems, with
relatively poor initial reviews of its LindowsOS 2.0 product, released last
week.


Critics cited an array of glitches that would limits appeal with for the
former Windows user, and problems in the licensing agreement and the
“dumbed-down” nature of the system that would prevent traditional Linux
users from making the switch.


The new release has, however, gained ground in many areas including the deal
inked with AOL Time Warner to provide an improved email client and web
browser. Desktop controls have also seen a host of improvements, including
the ability to adjust the monitor resolution.


The general release of the operating system, slated to be OS 3.0, is
expected to be released later this year.

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