Customer Survey Shows 75% of Computer Shoppers Interested in Linux-Based Operating Systems
SAN DIEGO and HILLIARD, Ohio, May 11, 2005 - Linspire, Inc. and Micro Center today announced that the two companies have formed a broad-based partnership to meet the rising demand for desktop Linux among mainstream computer users. Beginning today, all 20 Micro Center stores nationwide will sell Linspire's Linux-based operating system in both the boxed version and pre-installed on desktop and laptop personal computers.
The partnership follows recent market research reports that predict revenues from desktop Linux PCs will grow to $10 billion by 2008. In addition, internal surveys by Micro Center reveal that more than 75 percent of its customers have an interest in running a Linux-based operating system.
"Micro Center is partnering with Linspire to provide an alternative operating system solution for our customers," said Kevin Jones, vice president of merchandising for Micro Center. "Linspire is not only affordable, but its open architecture is of interest to many of our Micro Center shoppers. Our customers have indicated their desire to use a Linux-based operating system as either their primary or alternative OS. We want to establish Micro Center as the premier retailer to meet the needs of those customers."
Micro Center will offer Linspire pre-installed on a number of PowerSpec desktop computers with prices ranging from $199 to $499. WinBook brand laptops starting at $699 will be available mid-year. System builders and hobbyists can also purchase specially priced OEM editions of Linspire in Micro Center's "Build-Your-Own-PC" areas, bundling the affordable operating system with motherboards and other system components.
In addition to advertising and selling Linspire products, the two companies agreed to launch a campaign to educate Micro Center customers on the security, stability and cost benefits of desktop Linux. Each Micro Center store nationwide will feature a dedicated desktop Linux section with an employee specifically trained as a Linux expert. The two companies also plan to roll out broader education programs in the near future.
"With Linux PC shipments forecast to reach 17 million units by 2008 and large retailers like Micro Center making this kind of commitment to desktop Linux, it's clear that Linux is no longer just for the technically sophisticated computer user, but that desktop Linux is now gaining mainstream acceptance," said Kevin Carmony, president and CEO of Linspire, Inc. "We couldn't have found a better partner than Micro Center to help deliver desktop Linux to the world. Micro Center believes in offering innovative products like Linspire Five-0 to their customers, and other retailers traditionally follow their lead - we're certain this will be the case with desktop Linux."
Linspire Five-0 is a stable, secure Linux-based operating system that comes complete with major desktop applications, including OpenOffice.org (a Microsoft file-compatible office suite); Web browser, e-mail and instant messaging clients; multimedia viewers; photo and music managers; calendaring tools; and more. Access to additional software and applications is available through Linspire's innovative CNR ("click and run") Warehouse, a software library where users can download and install more than 2,400 Linux programs with just one mouse click. For more information about CNR, visit www.linspire.com/cnrservice. A complete list of Linspire Five-0 features is available at www.linspire.com/newfeatures.
For more information, please contact:
858-587-6700, ext. 263
About Linspire, Inc.
Linspire, Inc. (www.linspire.com) was
founded in 2001 to bring choice into the operating system market. The company's
flagship product, the Linspire operating system, is an affordable, easy-to-use
Linux-based operating system for home, school, and business users. Linspire
pioneered CNR (click and run) Technology, which allows Linspire users to
download and install thousands of software programs with just one mouse click.
The more than 2,400 software titles available in the CNR Warehouse (www.linspire.com/cnr) include full office
and productivity suites, games, multimedia players, photo management software,
accounting tools, and more.
About Micro Center
Micro Center (www.microcenter.com) operates 20 stores in major markets nationwide. Founded in 1979 in Columbus, Ohio, Micro Center's distinctive features include:
- A destination retailer designed to satisfy the dedicated computer user.
- Uniquely focused on computers and computer-related products. In fact, offers more computer and computer-related SKUs (over 30,000 in stock) than any other retailer.
- More square footage devoted exclusively to computers and computer-related items than any other retailer (stores average 45,000 square feet).
- Selection, service and sales staff expertise modeled after Nordstrom and other service-oriented retailers.
- More upscale atmospherics than big box consumer electronics stores.
- Innovators of the departmentalized approach to computer retailing. Service levels and expertise vary to meet customer preferences by department. This means:
- Consultative career sales staff in hardware departments which surround staple items in the center of the store.
- Quick in/out shopping experience on staple items with check outs arranged conveniently.
CA - Tustin and Santa Clara; CO - Denver; GA - Atlanta (2); IL - Chicago (2); KS - Kansas City; MA - Boston; MI - Detroit; MN - Minneapolis; NY - Westbury, LI; OH - Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus (2); PA - Philadelphia; TX - Dallas, Houston; VA - Fairfax.
Linspire, Linspire Five-0, CNR, and CNR Warehouse are trademarks of Linspire, Inc. Other marks used herein may be the property of their respective owners."