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Lindows, Netscape team up

Lindows says it will bundle Netscape's Web browsing and communication technology into its software.

Lindows, the maker of a consumer-friendly version of the Linux operating system, announced Tuesday that it would bundle Netscape Communication's Web browsing and communication technology into its software.

The start-up software maker collaborated with Netscape's corporate parent company AOL Time Warner to integrate Netscape 7.0 into LindowsOS version 2.0, which was released last week.

The move teams up two companies who are perpetually engaged in separate battles against software giant Microsoft. Lindows, which is being touted as a low-cost alternative to Windows, ran into legal trouble with Microsoft for initially promising to offer a version of Linux that would run many Windows applications.

Although it has since backed off that claim, Lindows is still targeting the consumer segment of the market that has been essentially locked up by Microsoft's omnipresent Windows operating system.

Meanwhile, America Online and Microsoft are fighting to control consumers' desktops. AOL's Netscape browser software has watched Microsoft's Internet Explorer corner the browser market. AOL and Microsoft also compete in the Internet service provider market, instant messaging, and for Web traffic to their portals.

Lindows is based on Linux, an open-source variation of the Unix operating system. Although Linux's impact is apparent in the server market, it is considered far too complex for consumer desktop PCs. Lindows is hoping to change that perception.

Other Linux companies such as Red Hat and SuSE already include Netscape's software, but their Linux products are not specifically aimed at consumers.

With its AOL licensing deal, the Lindows said that consumers can enjoy the versatility of Netscape browser and communications capabilities right out-of-the-box with an icon-driven interface.