Renegade software vendor Lindows.com Inc. has unleashed its new Linux-based operating system, promising an affordable Linux offering for the mass market that is compatible with Microsoft Corp.’s Windows file formats.

With the release Monday of LindowsOS 3.0, Lindows is raising the bar in its battle with software nemesis Microsoft, which has sued the company for trademark infringement over the similarity of the Windows and Lindows names.

Lindows is marketing itself as a low-cost vendor, however, offering its new OS for US$129, or US$119 if downloaded from http://www.lindows.com. Purchasing the software gives users a membership in the company’s “Click-N-Run Warehouse” which offers hundreds of software applications for download at no extra charge.

Additionally, Lindows’s new OS is compatible with file types such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as Flash, Real Audio and most graphic file types.

“Until now, the value of Linux has been unavailable to 99 per cent of the world to experience first hand,” Lindows.com Chief Executive Officer Michael Robertson said in a statement.

The San, Diego, Calif., software vendor has been looking to extend its reach through alliances with mainstream retailers such as Walmart.com, which is offering a line of low-cost computers loaded with the LindowsOS.

The company said Monday that it is also working with StepUp Computing LLC to launch a LindowsOS 3.0 version of the company’s new DocuNote Tablet PC, slated to be available in the first quarter of next year.



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