Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos: Getting Along With Redmond
"The nature of Linux is that anyone can put out his or her own flavor, so the plethora of choices should come as no surprise," says Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos. "More critical from our point of view is that software vendors should be able to support all the major Linux distros in a single pass, and this is being addressed through the Linux Standards Base and other work of The Linux Foundation."
Linux platform provider Xandros has taken one step further in a collaboration agreement with Microsoft that it signed in June over how the two firms will handle intellectual property on Linux interoperability projects.
The two firms expanded the collaboration agreement on Aug. 15 to include Scalix e-mail servers, which connect Scalix subscribers via various mobile and computer-based e-mail applications that utilize Microsoft's e-mail protocols. The enhanced agreement was needed because Xandros did not own Scalix in June.
The agreement between Xandros and Microsoft marks the latest efforts among Linux developers to foster interoperable solutions between Linux and Windows products.
LinuxInsider discussed with Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos his company's ongoing collaboration between Windows and its flavor of the Linux operating system and what interoperability means for Linux users.
LinuxInsider: What is driving the growing popularity of Xandros Linux over other paid and free Linux distros?
Andreas Typaldos: Our graphical interface and automatic configuration provide the easiest transition for non-geek Windows users.
LinuxInsider: Does Xandros provide out-of-the-box wireless router support for laptops?
Typaldos: Xandros provides out-of-the-box wireless networking support for the great majority of laptops in use today. We also provide an NDISwrapper utility, which enables users to easily install Windows wireless drivers for laptops that don't have adequate native Linux support.
LinuxInsider: Given the popularity among home and small-business users of other Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, what distinguishes Xandros as a choice for potential Linux adopters?
Typaldos: The great thing for home users is that Xandros gives you the freedom to connect, surf, chat, write, edit and all the other things you normally do without the fear of spyware and crashes. For business, the case is even more compelling. Linux is born to network, and Xandros packages the technology to make its use a no-brainer for even novice Windows users.
Moreover, Windows administrators can easily mass deploy and configure our Professional Desktop over existing networks, providing enhanced security and centralized configuration. At the same time they can minimize the troubleshooting and maintenance headaches normally associated with business deployments.
LinuxInsider: Are you concerned about losing potential Xandros customers if too much cross-over occurs between the Windows and Linux operating systems?
Typaldos: Our customers don't want to deal with interoperability issues, period. They want to have the freedom to deploy the mix of proprietary and open solutions that best meets their business requirements. So for them, the more interoperability between Microsoft and Xandros software, the better. The exciting news is that we are now working with Microsoft to make this happen.
LinuxInsider: Do you see the availability of so many Linux distros having a deleterious affect on Xandros' growth and popularity?
Typaldos: Not really. The nature of Linux is that anyone can put out his or her own flavor, so the plethora of choices should come as no surprise. More critical from our point of view is that software vendors should be able to support all the major Linux distros in a single pass, and this is being addressed through the Linux Standards Base and other work of The Linux Foundation.
LinuxInsider: What factors make Xandros a better OS solution for home and enterprise users?
Typaldos: Xandros is the OS for Windows users to connect and use without any transition pains. Our work with Microsoft promises to keep it that way.
LinuxInsider: What benefits will Scalix customers see from this agreement?
Typaldos: Users on Scalix server will be able to access their e-mail, calendar and contacts using their wireless device without purchasing and installing third-party connectivity software. They also will be able to directly access the Scalix Server from their Microsoft Outlook client without having to install "Scalix Connect" software on their desktop or notebook.
LinuxInsider: What will the agreement do for the positioning of Scalix and Xandros products?
Typaldos: With the ubiquity of Windows Mobile-based smartphones, this agreement will enable us to provide the same range of Scalix connectivity choices for users of desktop, laptop and handheld devices that they currently enjoy with Microsoft Exchange. With this new Scalix interoperability, Microsoft and Xandros enable companies to freely implement a broad range of proprietary and open systems and devices.