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 (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 A complete list of Linspire Five-0 features is available at