The Standard and Deluxe versions retail for $49.95 and $89.95 respectively, the difference in price reflects the commercial software that is bundled with the latter version. Unlike most other Linux distributions neither are available as a free download. It won't be until the spring of 2005 before you'll be able to download Version 3 for free (and then it'll be based, of course, on the standard edition), but you can always download the previous standard version now. Xandros Deluxe is more expensive than say Novell SuSE's Professional 9.2 and provides less software. But does this mean it's less value for your money?
There's little point having dozens of web browsers, email clients and office software installed when most users are only going to use one or two of each. Xandros has made difficult choices in an effort to reduce the bewildering array of options facing the consumer. We've tried a few Linux newbies on SuSE 9.2 in the past, and they certainly were overwhelmed by the amount of choice. Linux programs also suffer from a lack of conformity, with different interfaces, non-standard menus, various widget sets etc. Unfortunately, there's lots of great software which has totally non-standard graphical user interfaces. Creating a professional desktop operating system really does require this conformity for a consistent look and feel.
Highlights of the software included with this distro are:
We'll look at these in a bit more detail later. There's also a selection of commercial software that's installed including:
Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what you'll get for your money. How does it all work together? Would the distro turn eyes or stomachs? We'll share our thoughts with you in the following pages.