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Linspire was going to announce the release of Freespire 1.0—its free, Debian-based desktop Linux operating system that combines open-source software with legally licensed proprietary drivers, codecs and applications—next week at LinuxWorld in San Francisco. Instead, this new desktop Linux distribution has emerged early.

Starting on Aug. 7, the final version of Freespire 1.0 became available on BitTorrent and some download sites.

When Linspire was contacted about the leaked news on the Freespire wiki, the San Diego-based company confirmed that Freespire 1.0 was indeed already available.

Released almost a month ahead of schedule, Freespire offers users the ability to choose what software they want installed on their computer, including third-party proprietary drivers, codecs and applications software.

Linspire, the parent company to this community-based distribution, claims that because of this, Freespire is able to provide better out-of-the-box hardware, file type and multimedia support, such as MP3, Windows Media, Real, QuickTime, Java, Flash, ATI, nVidia, fonts, Wi-Fi and win-modems. Freespire also provides one-click access to legally licensed DVD playback software, games, Sun’s StarOffice, Win4Lin, CodeWeaver’s Crossover Office, TransGaming’s Cedega and dozens of other commercial products.

Read the full story on DesktopLinux.com: Freespire 1.0 Arrives Early