I agree with pavs when he wrote “How Not To Make a Commercial Linux Distribution”, but there are still some ideas and concepts out there that might be worth paying for. Its very difficult to come up with a commercial distribution idea that hasn’t been tried already and freely available. Xandros Presto is a new distribution, which eventually hopes to be commercial for $20 a pop.
Xandros “selling point” is that its an instant on Linux distribution that is extremely fast to boot to and their Application Store makes installing new applications a no-brainer. Currently the beta version can be installed as a windows installer and you can choose to boot into it when you restart your computer. They also plan to release a standalone distribution soon.
The problem is, you can do exactly the same thing with wubi by installing xubuntu which uses XFCE desktop environment (the same as Presto) and since Xubuntu is Debian/Ubuntu based it has arguably the best package manager Linux has to offer. But we can use the same argument against all commercial Linux distributions out there. It boils down to whether you find it useful enough to pay for it (unlike iMagicOS).
Presto is very simple to use and if you are used to Xfce, you should feel right at home. If you never used Xfce it might take a little getting used to. Presto beta logs you in without password and root access is as simple as a “sudo su” away. To get to the terminal you have to use “ctrl + alt + t” shortcut and to access the settings manager you have to type in “xfce-setting-show” on the terminal. I don’t know if they plan to change these on the final release (its still a beta after all). Presto also has read/write access to all windows partition by default.
Do you see yourself paying for Presto? Even better, what features does a Linux distribution needs to offer in order for you to even consider paying for it? Let us know.
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