Linspire 6: Two steps back
Former Linspire CEO Kevin Carmony was pretty gung-ho about the company's upcoming release back in June. He said it would "fill some key holes in our current offering." Unfortunately Linspire 6, released last week, lacks the refinements you'd expect in a distro you pay $50 to download. It drops some key distinguishing features, and in return gains only some Microsoft technology as spelled out in the Microsoft patent covenants Linspire agreed to. This release seems to be about deferring to Microsoft.
The Linspire 6 CD, like its predecessors, is both an install disc and a live CD. Linspire 6 has impressive hardware support; running on both my dual core desktops (E4400 and E6300) and slower 1.3GHz Celeron laptop, it detected everything from the PCMCIA and PCI wireless cards to USB pen drives, USB hard disks, and USB camera.