Cliches aside, it appears that as a result of the trademark suit by Microsoft, Lindows is now going by the name Lin—s (LinDash) in parts of Europe.

Lindows — or Lin—s if you prefer — is a company that has been selling an ultra-user-friendly version of Linux. Criticized by many for lax security (they’ve chosen many of the same convenience vs. security trade-offs that have made Microsoft products so vulnerable) and for odd business practices [archive.org], they’ve nonetheless managed to get Linux into new places — like on cheap Internet-ready computers sold in Wal-mart, or pre-installed on Seagate hard drives. For all their baiting (face it, picking a name like Lindows is just asking for trouble, like opening a burger restaurant called McDowells), dumbing-down the software to the point of making it dangerous, and (in some people’s views) “tainting” the Linux philosophy with — gasp! — money — they’ve at least come up with new distribution models and gotten some form of Linux out there where “consumers” — the average Joe who just wants a computer and doesn’t care what the OS is, as long as it lets him use the web, email, and a word processor — can see it.

All that said, I’d never actually buy, use, or recommend their product. If I wanted a very-user-friendly Linux, I’d probably end up with Lycoris, or maybe Xandros.

For myself, I’m happy with Fedora Core — though I may take a serious look at the upcoming double-digit Mandrake release and the latest version of SuSE. I’ve tried out earlier versions (mostly of Mandrake), but I just kept coming back to Red Hat.

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