Freespire 2
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Freespire 2.0 was just released today, and it brings a lot of great things to the table. For starters it uses Ubuntu 7.04 as its baseline, and was built off of that. So you get the benefits of using Ubuntu, but a lot of the proprietary software, drivers, and codecs since it is created by Freespire!

I couldn’t have said it better than CNet when they expressed their feelings on the inclusion of proprietary software:

Think of it like adding sugar-free Splenda to your morning coffee, only to find there’s actually a dash of sugar in the powdery substance to make it taste better.

Here are some of the benefits of using Freespire 2.0:

  1. CNR Plugin provides free one-click access to thousands of open source applications, as well as options for legally licensed DVD playback software, Sun’s StarOffice, Parallels Workstation, Win4Lin, CodeWeaver’s Crossover Office, TransGaming’s Cedega, commercial games and many more.
  2. KDE is added for an easier-to-use and more comfortable interface, with a familiar look & feel for Apple Mac and Microsoft Windows users.
  3. Enhanced applications and features are added for enhanced usability and ease of use, modifying software applications like Firefox and Thunderbird, along with adding Linspire-sponsored open source software like Nvu, Lsongs and Lphoto.
  4. Proprietary software is added when necessary, like Java, Flash and Adobe Acrobat, to provide overall increased interoperability.
  5. Proprietary codecs are added to expand multimedia compatibility and provide a superior overall experience so users can listen to MP3 files, play Windows Media files, and much more.
  6. Proprietary drivers are added to expand hardware compatibility and provide optimum 3D graphic card support, better WiFi support, and more.

It’s extremely nice that Freespire includes things like Java, Flash, and Adobe Acrobat so that you don’t have to worry about downloading it. Not to mention that you get to use the Click-N-Run (CNR) service for free, which makes installing, updating, and uninstalling applications a one-click process.

I can’t wait to try this out myself, and I could easily see it becoming my choice of Linux distributions since it takes out a lot of the guesswork. The download site that they have setup only supports 100 simultaneous users, and it has been pretty saturated with requests all day. So if you’re like me you’ll just want to jump on the Torrent to get it.

Freespire 2.0 Screenshot Gallery
Download Freespire 2.0