Linspire, Inc. announced the immediate availability of Freespire 1.0, a free, Debian-based desktop Linux operating system that optionally combines open source software with legally-licensed proprietary drivers, codecs and applications in its core distribution. Freespire licenses and makes available 3rd-party software where there are not yet viable open source alternatives.
Linspire announced the Freespire community project at the Desktop Linux Summit on April 24th, 2006 with a projected release date for Freespire 1.0 of September 1st. Released almost a month ahead of schedule, Freespire 1.0 offers users the ability to choose what software they want installed on their computer, with no limitations or restrictions placed on that choice.
By including 3rd-party proprietary drivers, codecs and applications software, Freespire is able to provide better out-of-the-box hardware, file type and multimedia support, such as MP3, Windows Media, Real, QuickTime, Java, Flash, ATI, nVidia, fonts, WiFi, and modems. Freespire also provides one-click access to legally licensed DVD playback software, games, Sun's StarOffice, Win4Lin, CodeWeaver's Crossover Office, TransGaming's Cedega, and dozens of other commercial products.
"Users should be free to easily and legally choose what software they want to install and use on their computer," said Kevin Carmony, CEO of Linspire, Inc. "Freespire provides a free marketplace for any and all Linux software, including proprietary, open source, free, and commercial products. As with any free market, all vendors are free to participate and offer their wares, and buyers are free to choose from the different wares without limitations or restrictions on their choice."
Immediately available for free download through the Freespire.org web site, Freespire is a community-driven, Debian-based Linux distribution that is designed to be powerful enough for sophisticated Linux users and developers, yet easy enough for someone new to Linux. Freespire was created specifically for use on desktop and notebook computers and designed to offer a new level of polish, attention to detail, and ease-of-use in a free Linux distribution. For software management, Freespire comes pre-installed with Linspire's CNR (Click and Run) technology, a powerful and easy to use application management system, as well as the ability to freely use apt-get or Synaptic.
"The pragmatic world view of the Freespire project -- that everything should just work without endless tinkering -- is truly refreshing," said Ian Murdock, founder of the popular Debian Linux system. "Freespire will open the door to many more potential Linux users who want to experience the many benefits of open source without having to become an expert in how it all works. CNR is truly a work of art."
Also available is the Freespire 1.0 OSS Edition, a special version of Freespire that does not include any proprietary software. This version can be used by those who wish to build upon Freespire, without any of the 3rd-party licensed components included in the cord OS.