Canonical and Linspire announce technology partnership

Canonical

on 8 February 2007

Canonical Ltd, the lead sponsor of the popular Ubuntu operating system, and Linspire, Inc. the developer of the commercial desktop Linux operating system of the same name, today announced plans for a technology partnership that integrates core competencies from each company into the other's open source Linux offerings.

Linspire will transition from Debian to Ubuntu as the base for their Linspire and Freespire desktop operating systems. This will mean that Linspire users will benefit from Ubuntu's fast moving development cycles and focus on usability. The Freespire community will start seeing early releases of Freespire 2.0 based on Ubuntu in the first quarter of 2007, with the final release expected in the 2nd quarter of 2007, following the official release of Ubuntu 7.04 in April.

“Ubuntu is the most successful community-based Linux project to date,” said Kevin Carmony, CEO of Linspire. “They have done a fantastic job with the development community and creating tools for utilizing their technology. It made a tremendous amount of sense to partner with Canonical and begin basing our desktop Linux offerings on Ubuntu.”

Linspire will continue combining proprietary drivers, codecs and applications with open source software by default in their operating systems. This approach, unique among Linux distributions, offers out-of-the-box support for a broader range of software, hardware and multimedia file types than the Debian or Ubuntu baseline alone. Linspire will continue adding other unique features that are important to its users and that make the Linspire desktop Linux easy to use and a turn-key solution for OEMs.

“This technology partnership goes a long way in advancing and unifying the Linux desktop,” said Carmony. “Linux faces many challenges as it competes in a world historically dominated by Microsoft Windows, so there is plenty of work to go around and we're pleased to be able to offer differentiation and choice, while reducing fragmentation. We are very pleased to be working side by side with Canonical to integrate each of our technologies for the benefit of Linux users worldwide.”

“The very nature of Free Software development is based on sharing and collaboration,” commented Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, “The less time, energy and resources Canonical and Linspire spend duplicating efforts, the more time we'll all have for unique improvements and innovation. We're pleased to see another key Linux distribution incorporating our work with Ubuntu.”

In addition, Ubuntu users will gain access to the Linspire CNR e-commerce and software delivery technology. Linspire recently announced plans to make their CNR technology available for other Linux distributions in addition to their own Linspire and Freespire offerings. Today's announcement confirms that Ubuntu will be the first distribution to be supported.

Beginning with Ubuntu's 7.04 release in April of this year, Ubuntu users will be able to use the CNR client to download and install commercial programs and proprietary media drivers with one click of the mouse. In the future, Canonical plans to integrate aspects of the CNR technology so the purchase of commercial software is straightforward for desktop users.

“Over the past few years, Linspire has refined their e-commerce and software delivery technology with their CNR service,” continued Shuttleworth. “For some time, we've been planning enhancements to Ubuntu's commercial software management, and it was only natural to take advantage of Linspire's new, open CNR technology rather than duplicating that work.”

Ubuntu users will continue to have the same repository and installation options as before, but will enjoy expanded capabilities with the incorporation of the new CNR technology features such as access to a range of commercial consumer applications, multimedia support and games.

“This partnership will enable us to provide commercial software products and services such as legally licensed DVD and media players to users who want them.” noted Steve George, Director of Support and Services for Canonical.

For additional information see the FAQ section at http://www.linspire.com/ubuntupartnership

About Canonical and Ubuntu

Canonical Ltd, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, is a global organization headquartered in Europe committed to the development, distribution, and support of open source software products and communities. World class commercial support for Ubuntu is available through Canonical's Global Support Services team and partners. Since its launch in October 2004 Ubuntu has become one of the most highly regarded Linux distributions, with millions of users around the world. Ubuntu will always be free to download, free to use and free to distribute to others. With these goals in mind, Ubuntu aims to be the most widely used Linux system, and is the centre of a global open source software ecosystem.

About Linspire & Freespire

Linspire, Inc. www.linspire.com was founded in 2001 to bring choice into the operating system market. The company's flagship product, the Linspire operating system, is an affordable, easy-to-use Linux-based operating system distributed primarily pre-installed on PCs for home, school, and business users. Linspire pioneered CNR Technology, which allows Linspire users access to thousands of software programs, each of which can be downloaded and installed with just one mouse click. The thousands of software titles available in the CNR Warehouse include full office and productivity suites, games, multimedia players, photo management software, accounting tools, and more. Freespire (www.freespire.org) is a community-driven, Linux-based operating system that combines the best that free, open source software has to offer (community driven, freely distributed, open source code, etc.), but also provides users the choice of including proprietary codecs, drivers and applications as they see fit. With Freespire, the choice is yours as to what software is installed on your computer, with no limitations or restrictions placed on that choice. How you choose to maximize the performance of your computer is entirely up to you.

About CNR

CNR, is a digital software distribution technology developed by Linspire, Inc., which allows desktop Linux users to find, install, uninstall, manage, and keep updated, thousands of software programs on their Linux computers, all with just one click. Users also get a powerful way to manage their entire software library, with advanced features, such as customizable “aisles” where you can install entire groups of software with a single click.

For more information and interview requests:

Canonical Limited Christina Armstrong +44 (0) 207 590 2551 christina.armstrong@canonical.com

Linspire, Inc. 858-587-6700 ext 183 858-587-8095 Fax pr@linspire.com

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