Two weeks ago, Xandros Corporation announced the release of Xandros Desktop OS
2.0, which will be available for purchase beginning December 9. We have taken
this opportunity to ask the recently appointed CEO of Xandros Corporation
Andreas Typaldos about the product features, plans for the future and other
topics of interest.
Mr. Typaldos, thank you very much for your time. You have been with Xandros
Corporation for less than a month. What are your first impressions? What
motivated you to take up the challenge?
It's really quite simple. The Linux desktop market is
about to explode and Xandros has a clear vision, a great product and the best
engineering team in the business. My challenge is to parlay engineering
leadership into market leadership.
Let's talk about your upcoming 2.0 release. Your announcement has given us a
preview of what to expect, such as your new drag and drop CD burning ability
integrated into the Xandros File Manager and improved compatibility with
Windows. Anything else we can look forward to?
Our engineers are continually refining usability
features to keep up with user needs. In version 2 you can create zip and tar
archives of selected files with a single click and easily hook up to hundreds
of digital cameras. There's even a Boot Manager control panel that lets you
set the default operating system and time-out for dual-boot machines. Stay
tuned for further Windows compatibility announcements from Xandros.
Just as important as what Xandros is doing is what's happening with other open
source projects: kernel development, Debian, KDE, Mozilla, OpenOffice.org and
many others. Between their improvements and ours we now have one incredible
desktop distribution. We've reached such a quality plateau that once a
Windows user tries Xandros 2, I believe they'll never want to go back.
A question about Xandros Networks. If I understand it correctly, this will
be a repository of software, free or otherwise, available for a single-click
installation, similar to Lindows.com's Click-N-Run. Do you mind revealing
what applications can we expect to find there? Anything unique or worth
We've offered free single-click updates for bug fixes
and patches since the initial release of Xandros 1. That policy will not only
continue with Xandros 2, but Xandros Desktop users will also have access to
one of the world's largest inventories of free Linux software. Xandros
Networks is an important sales channel, so expect to hear some interesting
announcements about it in the near future. Rest assured that any
subscriptions or direct sales will be for real value add, such as version
enhancements or third-party software that's been QA'd by Xandros
I should also point out that Xandros provides everything most users need right
out of the box and we don't charge for updates to otherwise free software
such as OpenOffice.org or the Mozilla communications suite.
Besides the upcoming Xandros Desktop OS 2.0, will we see any other products in
the near future? Just after your 1.0 release, there has been talk about
Xandros Server, but this idea seems to have been dropped since. Or is it
still on the cards?
No, it has not been dropped. We plan to be a complete
solutions company. In fact, as early as January, we'll be announcing some
exciting new Xandros Business Solutions that are designed to address critical
deployment, management, and thin-client needs. As with all Xandros solutions,
they'll be engineered to smoothly integrate with existing network
environments. They'll save organizations a bundle, but even more important,
they'll put control of critical systems and data back into customer hands.
It would appear that Xandros Desktop OS is a distribution designed
predominantly for home users. Are there any plans to conquer the corporate
That's really a misperception since the Deluxe Edition
of Xandros Desktop OS already has superior enterprise capabilities, most
notably seamless integration with Windows applications and networks. Please
come to LinuxWorld in January to hear the full story of how we plan to
conquer the corporate desktop.
How is Xandros Corporation doing financially?
We have recently begun a new marketing strategy and we
are on track based on our plan. We are progressing very well with our
alliances and revenue generators. Our market presence continues to increase
in part due to great product reviews. We expect 2004 to be a breakout year
for Xandros and Desktop Linux.
Excellent as Xandros 1.x was, it hasn't reached its potential in terms of
market penetration. We haven't seen much marketing and advertising from
Xandros. Is this going to change or do you believe that the "word of mouth"
strategy works well enough?
No, we are planning to go way beyond "word of mouth".
Following on its product quality from our Corel legacy, Xandros is already
well known for its engineering excellence, with a development team that's
second to none. Now we are building it as a premier software company
across-the-board; fully staffed with quality management, marketing, and
support. In July, the company launched a concerted marketing effort to raise
the profile of the great products we were turning out. We hired an
experienced industry veteran David Finkelstein to head up Sales & Marketing
and a quality PR firm. As a result, we are already working on a number of
strategic deals that will increase Xandros' profile dramatically.
The xandros.com website has some brief information about OEM deals and
high-profile industry partnerships. Can you tell us more?
We are close to announcing a number of significant
partnerships. We have already signed up large distributors in Asia,
Australia, South America and Europe. As a matter of fact our Latin American
reseller sold over 7,000 units in only two months! Our Asia/Australia
distributor plans a major marketing and ad campaign in conjunction with the
version 2 release and has already signed up almost 100 resellers for Xandros.
This is a subject often brought up by users on public forums: does Xandros
contribute back to the Linux community? After all, much of what constitutes
Xandros Desktop OS is free software developed by enthusiasts and packaged by
Debian developers, so it's only fair that some of Xandros' work go back to
the community for the benefit of the rest of us. Does Xandros do that? Does
your company sponsor any open source projects?
We have always contributed back to open source projects
that we use. We report any bugs we find and send all our patches back to the
maintainers. We are also working with the Debian project to ensure that the
next version of Debian GNU/Linux will be LSB compliant. We have sponsored
open source developers on various projects in the past and expect to do so
again in the near future.
Do you personally use Xandros Desktop as your primary operating system?
Of Course! Xandros Desktop gives me everything I need
right out of the box. The all-in-one Xandros File Manager makes transition to
Linux a breeze. Everything on my Xandros Desktop works just as expected,
including the Mozilla Internet suite and OpenOffice.org. I can read and edit
Word docs in my daily business, and the party on the other end is never aware
that I'm not using Microsoft Word.
How would you answer this question from a Windows user who has just walked up
to you: "I use Windows on my computer. Why should I spend $40 or $90 to
switch to Xandros Desktop?"
Stability, security, which is a big issue nowadays, and
a great experience! Any Windows user interested in exploring the Xandros
alternative will be able to go to our web site in December to download and
install a 30-day trial version of the Standard Edition of Xandros Desktop OS.
They can then create a dual boot machine with both Xandros and Windows and
decide which OS is best suited to their present and future needs.
Mr. Typaldos, thank you very much for your answers and all the best with your
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