Xandros Hopes to See More Store-Bought Linux

Xandros Added Office Depot to its list of retailers that includes CompUSA and Fry’s, in an effort to reach more small and midsize businesses.

In reaching out to small businesses through retail, the Linux distribution company is after a very specific part of the market: customers trying to keep older machines up and running, said Danny Essner, director of marketing for Xandros, based in Ottawa, Canada.

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“It’s those SoHos [small office home office] with 25 seats who have a handful of machines they want to keep running but don’t want to invest in the expense of XP or Vista or the hardware won’t support it,” Essner said.

It’s a different market than the companies traditional VAR channels can reach, most of which wouldn’t deal in single boxes of software, he said.

Linux has not traditionally done well in retail, but Xandros hopes Office Depot’s specific focus on business rather than a mix of SMB and consumer would prove the difference, Essner said. Xandros found that its other national retailer, CompUSA, catered to such a model.

All 1,000+ Office Depot outlets in the United States and Canada will carry the distribution, Xandros said.

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