In Brazil, the bird flies freely
By Paulo Rebêlo in Brazil
The Inquirer, Monday 22 November 2004, 07:30
KNOWN AS Lindows in the past, Linspire wouldn’t have many problems if it was based in Brazil. For those who remember, Microsoft sued Lindows over its name alleging something like “it could puzzle users”.
In Brazil we have Freedows, a Linux-based operating system just like former Lindows. There are two interesting highlights, tough. It’s almost completely identical to Windows XP (Lindows wasn’t that similar) and it has sort of the government hand on it.
Freedows is developed by Cobra Tecnologia and the Free Software company. The first one is the technology arm of Banco do Brasil, which is the largest federal bank in Brazil.
There are five versions of the product: Standard, Professional, Thin Client, SMB and Lite.
Funny thing is: the company describe Freedows’ interface – on the official site – as a “Windows XP default”. Even icons and backgrounds are similar. By using Freedows Professional, you also get full support for running Windows applications within Freedows, such as Microsoft Office, Photoshop etc. Which is very nice, by the way.
Freedows isn’t free, except for its Lite version (tested by The INQUIRER), which is a limited version based on Windows 9x interface. It seems that the core operating system was built under Red Hat/Fedora Core or some very similar Linux distribution.
International versions of Freedows are being developed and there’s the FreeOffice suite bundled in the application, including a “Freedows Mail Express”.
Despite its Windows-alike interface and ease of use, Freedows isn’t a big hit in Brazil, at least until now. There are only a few propaganda about it, mostly releases for the tech press. µ