I have nothing against commercial Linux distribution. As a matter of fact, my first Linux experience was a commercial version of SUSE 7 almost nine years ago. I remember it had 6 CDs in a very professionally made CD pack, and SUSE did a very good job at making the installation process as user friendly as possible at that time. (Before SUSE decided to go evil). Its safe to say that I thought that the experience was good enough for me to justify paying for a Linux distribution.
Enter iMagic OS
Its not everyday that you see an announcement of a new commercial Linux distribution. We obviously see a lot of Linux distribution popping up every few days, which is essentially just a fork of some popular distribution out there. So what’s wrong with iMagic OS that its worth talking about?
-> The Name: Lindows anyone? One of the lessons we have learned from the Lindows saga is that you don’t name an OS similar to a popular OS that most Linux users hate. I think very few will disagree with me that most die hard Linux users are not fond of Windows or even Mac OS. To make matters worse, they have a version which is named iMagic OS X (I kid you not! ) and iMagic OS Pro.
-> Ubuntu Clone: If repackaging an Ubuntu release with your custom skin and pre installed applications is all it takes to make a commercial Linux Distribution. I want to do it too. So why not Linux Mint? In every sense of imagination Linux Mint is not only a much superior looking Ubuntu fork but, out of the box, it has enough custom options that it won’t be an overkill to declare it to be better than Ubuntu itself. iMagic OS is nothing more than skin-job of Ubuntu, and from the looks of the screenshot (I am not going to pay for it and find out), it isn’t a very good job either.
-> Three versions – Three price category: It seems like the “OS X” and the “Myth” versions are based on Ubuntu (and seems to be discontinued, yet available for order). The “Pro” version seems to be based on Kubuntu and is the “flagship” product. The price ranges from $79.99 to $49.99. One of these versions comes with CrossOver Pro (big brother of Wine) to run MS products.
iMagic OS Pro $79.99
iMagic OS X $69.99
iMagic OS Myth $49.99
If Bill Gates knows about this, he would be proud, even though it falls short of 6 editions of Windows 7.
-> License agreement: It has a license agreement that will make you blush. Not once but twice, it mentions explicitly that you are can only install iMagic OS in no more than 3 computers. You have to agree in these terms (here & here) in order to purchase this OS. According to its Wikipedia entry, “It features a registration system that when violated, prevents installation of the OS, as well as new software and withdraws updates and support.”
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against commercial Linux distribution, even though some of you might do. But if you are going to make a commercial Linux distribution please by all means do not make it look like or name after every proprietary OS cliché out there and against everything which Linux and free software stands for.
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