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Lindows continues its PC push

The software maker launches a $499 desktop system called the KooBox, just a few weeks after dipping its toes into the chilly waters for network computers.

Software maker Lindows.com is taking another step along the road to the hardware business.

The company, best known for its consumer-oriented version of the Linux operating system, on Thursday launched a $449 desktop computer with a flat-panel monitor. It's the second such announcement from Lindows in just a few weeks. In July, the company unveiled a $169 network computer, the WebStation, which lacks a hard drive and a floppy drive.

The new machine, by contrast, is a full-featured system. The KooBox is built around a 1.2GHz Duron processor from Advanced Micro Devices and offers 256MB of synchronous DRAM (expandable to 1GB), a 20GB hard drive, a 56x CD-ROM drive, a 10/100 Ethernet connection, a 56K modem and 140-watt speakers. The 14.1-inch LCD (liquid crystal dispay) monitor has a resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels.

The PC also comes with version 4.0 of the LindowsOS, the company's suite of Internet software and a one-year membership in the Click-N-Run Warehouse of applications.

"It is a complete system, so all you have to do is take it home and plug it in. At only $449, you get so much more than what our competitors offer for a similar price," Michael Robertson, Lindows' CEO, said in a statement.

Lindows also announced a deluxe version for $670. The higher-priced machine comes with AMD's XP 2000 chip, 512MB of memory (expandable to 2GB), a 60GB hard drive, a DVD player and a rewritable CD drive.

Consumers have other ways to buy low-priced PCs with Lindows software. Retailer Wal-Mart and PC maker Microtel have been selling Lindows-based desktops for less than $300.

The KooBox is manufactured by MicroTron 2000. It can be bought in the United States directly from the KooBox Web site.