Xandros Desktop Professional 4, which retails for US$99.99 and is available in a boxed version or as a download, includes Bluetooth wireless support, desktop search, ISV support and advanced 3D desktop graphics effects. The new OS maintains what Xandros said is seamless compatibility with Windows, Linux and Unix networks, including Windows domain authentication -- plus support for logon scripts, group policy profiles and Microsoft Exchange.
Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos said in a statement that Linux continues "to make inroads in the enterprise as Windows replacements," meaning companies must figure out how to manage disparate systems in mixed Windows and Linux networks. "Today, most companies utilize a silo-based approach by managing Windows and various Linux versions separately, each with their own administrators and toolsets."
But Xandros' latest release is designed to help companies "manage their mixed environments holistically" with tools that deliver seamless integration and help simplify the management of the mixed network environment as if it were homogeneous, he said. "Our new desktop release does just that with its enhanced network integration, Windows application and file compatibility and mass-deployment capabilities using the Xandros Deployment Server."
The operating system is being pushed as a low-cost, full-featured alternative to Windows -- a strategy the company has been pursuing for several years with mixed results, based on its small market share.
Dana Gardner, an analyst with Interarbor Solutions LLC in Gilford, N.H., said Xandros is one of several Linux distributions that remains very much on the fringe in terms of usage. But opportunities exist, he said, if smaller Linux vendors team up with partners that could help make their products more popular. Deals with service providers, such as Voice-over-IP (VoIP) services and telecom providers, could add the operating system into the mix and create a product useful for many users