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New OS on the block

Lindows unleashes latest version of Windows rival

Renegade software vendor Lindows.com has released its new Linux-based OS (operating system), promising an affordable Linux offering for the mass market that's compatible with Windows file formats.

With the release of LindowsOS 3.0, the company is raising the bar in its battle with software nemesis Microsoft which has sued the company for trademark infringement over the similarity between the Windows and Lindows names.

Lindows is marketing itself as a low-cost vendor, however, offering its new OS at just $119 (£75) if downloaded from its website. This is a bargain compared to £160 for Windows XP Home or £231 for XP Pro, although the upgrade version of XP Home is more competitive at £80 (all Windows XP prices quoted are from Amazon).

Purchasing Lindows also provides customers with membership to the company's 'Click-N-Run Warehouse' which offers hundreds of software applications for download at no extra charge — another feature that puts it streets ahead of Windows in terms of cost, as Microsoft isn't keen on giving software away for nothing.

Additionally, Lindows' new OS is compatible with file types such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as Flash, Real Audio and most graphic formats.

"Until now, the value of Linux has been unavailable to 99 percent of the world to experience first hand," Lindows.com CEO Michael Robertson said in a statement.

The software vendor has been looking to extend its reach in the US through alliances with mainstream retailers such as Walmart.com, which is offering a line of low-cost computers loaded with the LindowsOS. It has also breached the UK's shores with PC maker Evesham shipping a Lindows-based PC.

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