I started using Linux back in 2004 when I downloaded a copy of Linspire 4.5. Although it was a refreshing change from Windows, it just left me wanting more. Later, I downloaded Xandros. It was with Xandros that I truly began as a hardcore Linux user.
In 2005, I acquired Xandros 3 Deluxe. I thought Xandros 3 was a tremendous OS. With the included Applications CD, I was able to install the necessary tools in order to compile and install some drivers for my laptop.
The next year, Xandros 4 came out, and I felt it was a huge letdown. I discovered a bug which made the OS run very slow on my desktop and laptop. It was because of this that I switched to Ubuntu on the laptop. I continued using Xandros 3 on the desktop until I made the decision to switch to Ubuntu on there.
Since then, it seems that Xandros has shifted its focus away from the desktop/laptop users and concentrated on netbook users, starting with the customized Xandros desktop they created for the Asus EeePC. Recently, Xandros has released their “instant-on” Presto OS which they say is intended to bring new life to slightly-older laptops by making the OS completely boot from power-on to full desktop in less than 10 seconds. In addition, Xandros is working on yet another netbook OS using Moblin v2. Add to this the Xandros Server OS and the CNR Warehouse – acquired by Xandros’ acquisition of Linspire in 2008 -and making the CNR client work with the EeePC and Moblin and Microsoft Windows (yes, they are planning on CNR service for Windows), and it looks like Xandros Desktop has been lost in the shuffle.
As I mentioned before, Xandros acquired Linspire in 2008. It was reported in 2008 that Xandros would return Freespire (the free version of Linspire) back to its Debian roots. (The announcement was that Freespire would no longer be based on Ubuntu and would be based on Debian 5.0, aka “Lenny”.) It was also announced that the next version of Xandros Desktop – Xandros 5.0 – would be based on the new Freespire. However, since then there has been NO mention about the future of either Freespire or Xandros Desktop.
Therefore, it does look like Xandros has abandoned the traditional desktop/laptop OS in favor of netbook OSes which I believe have minimal impact in the OS marketplace. I also believe that netbooks are nothing but a mere fad, and I believe that once this fad dies, then the demand for netbook OSes will die as well. If Xandros continues to rely on netbook OSes to survive, then they may very well be plotting their own demise.