June 5th, 2009

Xandros, under the radar and loving it.

This is a pretty good article about the current state of Xandros.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/03/xandros_custom_linux/

If you are a netbook buff there are some gems in there about what it takes to be a good OEM services partner. It's a pretty good read. I personally like these quotes:

"Doing that general purpose operating system is a nightmare, and you lose your shirt on it," Smith explains. "At the end of the day, you have to do something that puts rice in the bowl."

"We have the largest paid installed base of consumer Linux users," boasts Smith. "We've got millions of these things out there, and while Ubuntu has a lot, too, most of theirs are free."

The implication is of course that Xandros is actually building a business out of the netbook market.. not just building a brand. But as they are a private company there's no way to verify their financials..so take that shot at Canonical for what it is.  I certaintly can't verify or refute the claim. But knowing what I know from the laypress articles on the breakdown of estimated netbook sales by OEM..I would say its probably a valid claim.

We don't hear a lot about Xandros.. even though they were the software company that helped create the commercial netbook market as we know it by partnering with Asus and providing the linux based operating system for the EEE PC line. They've been running under the radar for a while now getting very little press, but the article sheds some light on what has been keeping them busy.  It's nice to see them talking about their support for the ARM based Qualcomm Snapdragon....something Ubuntu's Mobile effort seems to be lacking at the moment.  How is Xandros doing in terms of mainlining their hardware support enhancements for ARM?  Hopefully Xandros is active in the upstream kernel ARM porting community.