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This obscure Linux OS could have changed the world, and it's on sale right now

(Image credit: Image Credit: Pixabay)
Linspire 9 Linux distribution - $29.99

Linspire 9 Linux distribution - $29.99(roughly £25/AU$40)
Grab a piece of history by downloading this operating system that could have changed everything. Linspire 9 is based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and comes with an array of applications, including Microsoft Powershell. Its follow-up, Linspire X, will be based on 20.04 LTS.

Contrary to popular belief, Apple did not invent the concept of the app store; another US software developer came up with a working equivalent as far back as 2001.

Lindows (now known as Linspire after a legal battle with Microsoft), had a feature called Click ‘n’ Run - or CNR (not as catchy) - which allowed users to click one button to install an application.

Lindows was a Linux-based distribution that wanted to encourage its users to embrace a subscription model, which included handing over personal details. But it was too far ahead of its time, with infrastructures like CDN and payment gateways still in their infancy.

It's latest descendent, Linspire 9, is now owned by PC OpenSystems LLC, which just reduced the price of its physical media (distro shipped on microSD, USB or SD card) to $39.99, with free updates for 12 months. You can also download the distro for as little as $29.99.

The current iteration is based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, while the follow up, Linspire X, will follow 20.04 LTS and should be unveiled in 2021.

The goal of Linspire is to provide a complete operating environment that users can run on any system at any time, so the distribution does include proprietary code.

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.