Linspire, Ingram Micro Bring Linux Desktop to the Channel

For the first time, a major Linux desktop vendor has partnered with one of the big distributors, Ingram Micro. (The Channel Insider)

Linspire announced Wednesday that major technology distributor Ingram Micro has begun selling the full range of Linspire products to its network of U.S. resellers and retailers.

Ingram Micro Inc. began shipping Linux and open-source products in March 2004. This partnership with Linspire Inc. is the first major partnership between a pure Linux desktop player and Ingram Micro or any other major distributor.

The Linspire operating system, Linspire Five-0, comes pre-bundled with major desktop applications, including (a Microsoft Office file-compatible office suite); Web browser, e-mail and instant messaging clients; multimedia viewers; photo and music managers; calendaring tools; and more.

Access to additional software and applications is available through Linspires innovative CNR ("click and run") Warehouse, a software library where users can download and install more than 2,000 Linux programs with just one mouse click.

The Ingram Micro agreement, facilitated by its partner AccessChannel, means Ingram Micros reseller customers in the United States will be able to sell Linspires complete line.

AccessChannel, formed this summer, is a logistics outsourcing company that acts as an intermediary between Ingram Micro and small, new vendors.

These vendors typically dont have the volume or marketing savvy to justify the time of a major distributor.

AccessChannels logistics outsourcing model lowers Ingrams cost and risk of picking up and managing emerging technology manufacturers while giving the distributor the ability to respond swiftly to customer requests to add lines.

The Linspire deal appears to be the biggest to date for AccessChannel.

Linspire hopes that it can leverage Ingram Micros broad catalog and North American distribution center network to gain thousands of new customers, and markets will now for the first time have unfettered access to desktop Linux products and services offered by Linspire.

"Desktop Linux will now be on the shelves in places that its never been before and in the hands of countless new builders, thanks to Ingram Micros distribution network," said Kevin Carmony, Linspires CEO in a statement.

"Were now able to get Linspire to more channel partners whose customers are demanding affordable, virus-free computing options," said Carmony.

Linspire already has a small channel program of its own and works with many small OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).

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