Linspire is designed to appeal to people who run Windows and decide to try Linux. Linspire is aimed at the general public rather than Linux enthusiasts, so it would be a very good choice if building a computer for a non-technical user. Normal office, internet and multimedia tasks are included and easy to access.
Linspire 6 runs a Ubuntu core in order to achieve a known support cycle. Ubuntu regularly releases twice a year and they also have a Long Term Support (LTS) release. Linspire 5 runs on a Debian core and has a clean interface with KDE 3.1.
One main feature is the "Very User Friendly" Click-N-Run, or CNR, a subscription service which simplifies the installation of software from the Linspire repository. With a few mouse-clicks new software is automatically installed to your system. CNR has a basic service which is free and a Premium service which is ~$50 per year. See CNR.com for full details.
Linspire sells itself as the affordable choice, and sometimes comes preinstalled on budget computers.
Linspire with CNR (Click-N-Run) is ~$50 (digital download).
There is an evaluation version which boots from a "LIVE" CD - this is free.
A great choice for a First Time "Windows-to-Linux" user.
In July 2008 Xandros acquired the assets of Linspire. Pending further planning, at this point both product lines will be maintained. Read more at the links below.
The name was changed two days after a US judge refused to prevent Microsoft taking Lindows to court outside the US. If the name had not been changed Microsoft would have been able to sue Lindows in many countries, the legal costs of which which almost certainly have put them out of business.
Lindows argued that windows is a generic term for a GUI technique, and as such the use of a similar term is valid. Obviously, the name comes from Linux and Windows, but many other projects also have the word window in their name.