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Linspire Gives Away Its $50 Linux Free

The offer lasts through Sept. 6.

Gregg Keizer

September 1, 2005

2 Min Read

Linux seller Linspire is giving away its $50 Linspire through Sept. 6, the San Diego-based company said Thursday after an independent developer changed the name of his "Freespire" project.

Freespire, which appeared on the open-source distribution site Distrowatch.com last week, was the work of a man named Andrew Betts. According to his Web site, Freespire was meant to be a private project composed of "various open source components, taken from the freely available source repository for the Linspire operating system."

Betts claimed that others had submitted Freespire to Distrowatch.com, and posted a notice on his site that read " This project is not a free version of the Linspire operating system and is not made by Linspire Inc."

For its part, Linspire said in a statement that "the name Freespire did create some confusion in the short time it was used. The name implies a 'free' copy of Linspire, which it is not.

"The only true 'Freespire, would need to be a FREE COPY of the real LINSPIRE," the company continued.

A digital coupon code -- 'freespire' -- will be accepted for downloaded copies of Linspire's 5.0 Linux, giving users a freebie through end-of-day Tuesday, Sept. 6. Details of the offer, and instructions on how to redeem the coupon code and download Linspire 5.0, are on the company's Web site. As of mid-day Thursday, however, Linspire's servers are running sluggishly. All efforts to download apply the free coupon code and download the software failed. "You just have to be patient," said Heather MacKenzie, a spokesperson for Linspire. "The servers are obviously getting slammed because everyone wants their free copy." MacKenzie noted that users can "queue up" the free copy by entering the coupon code, but waiting until later to download the actual file.

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