LinspireLinux distribution based on Debian. It targets the consumer user - its distributors market it more intensively than all other Unix-based or Unix-like distributions except Mac OS X. As Lindows, it was the first Linux distribution to replace Windows in home consumer desktop systems at a substantially lower price than Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Corporation sued Lindows, Inc for its use of the term "Windows", which Microsoft claimed constituted a trademark infringement. In February 2004, a judge rejected two of Microsoft's central claims. Though Microsoft lost the core of its case, and says it will appeal the decision, for uncertain reasons it also called the decision "a victory". (See Microsoft vs Lindows for more information.) Lindows was renamed Linspire to avoid further legal action by Microsoft. Michael Robertson called the legal action "Sextuple Jeopardy", which is like "Double Jeopardy" but sextupled.
Lindows, Inc had the initial goal of developing a Linux-based operating system capable of running major Windows applications as well. It based its Windows compatibility on WINE. Lindows.com later abandoned its initial approach in favor of making Linux applications easy to download, install and use. They achieved this using an application called Click-N-Run, a program based on Debian's Advanced Packaging Tool, providing an easy-to-use interface and a slightly modified package system for an annual fee (apt-get costs no money, but has less user-friendliness). Click-N-Run has over 1,000 pieces of software for download.
Lindows, Inc sponsors many open-source projects and events, including the Gaim instant messaging client, the KDE-Apps.org and KDE-Look.org websites, and the Nvu project, which has started to develop an open-source WYSIWYG website editor (based on the Mozilla composer code) to rival FrontPage. In the past, Linspire.com has contributed over $500,000 to the WINE project.
Linspire has something of a bad reputation in the Linux community. They have been accused of not adhering to the GPL, under which most of the products in their distro are licensed . Also, their distribution has all users running as root by default, thus eliminating any of the security benefits of running a Linux machine.
Several varieties of Linspire, known as editions, target different markets. Three main editions exist: Standard, Developer and Laptop.