Ximian Rolls Out New Linux Desktop

Ximian takes aim at some of Microsoft Corp. Windows' customers, particularly in Europe and South America.

Linux desktop and server solution provider Ximian Inc. will on Monday announce the next major version of its Linux desktop software, Ximian Desktop 2 (see eWEEK Labs review).

Ximian is taking aim at some of Microsoft Corp. Windows customers, particularly in Europe and South America.

Nat Friedman, the vice president of product development at Ximian, said the new product is designed to offer an alternative to Windows for targeted user populations within the enterprise.

"The public sector, especially in Europe and South America, is increasingly looking to Linux and open source for cost savings. Ximian Desktop 2 will enable enterprise customers to cost-effectively adopt and support Linux desktops.

"It is the culmination of direct feedback from strategic design partners, including enterprise customers and business partners worldwide. The result is an enterprise-ready Linux desktop that is easy to use, supports existing Windows infrastructure, and is affordable to manage," Friedman said.

Ximian Desktop 2 provides interoperability with Windows file formats, applications and networks to enable organizations to cost-effectively deploy and maintain Linux, while keeping training costs low, he said.

Ximains move to target Microsoft customers on the desktop follows just days after Microsoft lost a lucrative Windows contract with the city of Munich, Germany, to Linux and open-source software.

Ximains new desktop product will be available next week, and the Boston, Mass., company will offer a free version for download from its Web site that does not include third-party software or any support.

Users who pay $99 for the Ximian Desktop 2 Professional version will get a number of bundled third-party software components, including Agfa fonts, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Macromedia Flash, Real Player, and Java2 Run Time; 30 days of installation support; and high-speed Linux software updates via the Red Carpet Express service for a year.