The Desktop Linux Comparison Kit, or Linux Shootout, includes Linspire 4.5, Red Hat Inc.s Fedora Core 2, MandrakeSoft SAs Mandrakelinux 10.0 Community Edition and what Lindows describes as a comprehensive, online and printable checklist.
The three distributions were selected because of "their product completeness and commercial familiarity," Ellie Sanchez, public relations manager at Lindows Inc., said in a statement.
"Linspire was selected for its ease of use and extensive feature set; Mandrake has a well-established following by technical professionals; and Fedora is especially tuned to interoperate with Red Hats Linux server software," Sanchez said.
"No one Linux product will satisfy everyone—choice is a good thing," Lindows president Michael Robertson said, taking a break from his companys long war with Microsoft over its Lindows trademark.
"Our emphasis on Linspire is ease of use—making Linux quick and easy to install and use," he said. "Other products may have a different focus. That doesnt mean they arent great products, just that their focus may be different. Every new Linux computer helps the Linux desktop industry, regardless of what companys product you choose."
Nevertheless, Robertson said, "We want to encourage side-by-side comparisons of the latest Linux products."
Sanchez said the company expects the comparison kit to appeal to a wide range of users. "Businesses, educational institutions and computer enthusiasts will find this kit valuable in determining the best solution for their needs," she said.
But Bill Claybrook, vice president at market research firm Harvard Research Group, said he cant see the point to Lindows three-in-one packaging. "Who is going to pay money to download three Linux distributions?"
The complete package comes with eight CDs worth of the most current versions of each operating system as a download for $29.95 or in a boxed version for $39.95. The bundled distribution trio can be ordered from the Linux Shootout site.