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Linspire, formerly known as Lindows, is a low-cost commercial Linux-based operating system with a user interface similar to the latest Microsoft Windows operating system. Michael Robertson, the founder of MP3.com, initiated the Lindows project. Although Linspire is proprietary, rather than open source like Linux, it is considerably less expensive than Windows XP. Additionally, customers can purchase, at a relatively low cost, a subscription to the Linspire Click-N-Run warehouse, which is a large collection of software applications that can be licensed on a lifetime, per-person, or per-family basis. Some Microsoft programs run on Linspire, although the company emphasizes file compatibility, rather than program compatibility.
Industry reviews (from ZDNet reviews, Extreme Tech, and others), found that Linspire (then known as Lindows) was extremely fast and easy to install and connected to a local area network and/or the Internet automatically.
The operating system formerly known as Lindows officially became Linspire on April 14th 2004, in response to two years of legal challenges from Microsoft, who claimed that the name "Lindows" is too close to their trademarked "Windows" and might prove confusing for some customers.