The software package arrives the day afterto begin offering Linux versions of the software necessary to use its chips at about the same time it releases comparable Windows support.
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Initial Centrino support in Lindows will be based on existing Linux adaptations of Windows drivers, Lindows CEO Michael Robertson said. "It works great," he said. "It's invisible to the consumer."
Native Linux support will come as Intel follows through on its new commitments, Robertson said. "We've been talking to Intel for a long time," he said. "They want to do a better job of supporting Linux."
Intel said Wednesday that it expectedto arrive via the release of a proprietary driver. Thus far, the company has been hesitant to ship an open-source driver, based on its concerns that showing Centrino's underlying programming instructions might reveal previously unavailable information about the wireless networking technology.
Linux is currently found in only a fraction of laptop and desktop computers, compared with Microsoft's Windows, but the open-source software has established a presence among an influential crowd of users, including students and programmers.
CNET News.com's Stephen Shankland and David Becker contributed to this report.