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A very good and balanced review, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of this release. Thanks for this.
Some more information on the "activation" process you mentioned. As you correctly said, users are required to activate their product in order to unlock the functionality of Xandros Networks, this comes disabled out of the box and remains disabled until you activate the product.
Xandros Networks is needed to receive critical product and security updates from Xandros, especially for their proprietary applications like the Xandros File Manager which only they can safely update. Without access to Xandros Networks, users can still update their system using apt-get and other sources but may risk breaking some of the Xandros-specific customizations and closed-source applications.
The activation code you receive is good for 10 installs - each new install (either on the same machine or different machines) requires a new activation. After 10 installs, users will be denied further activations until they contact Xandros Support and assure them that they are a legitimate user.
Xandros is implementing this feature primarily to prevent revenue loss through product piracy and unauthorized use of its download servers.
While there are good reasons for Xandros to introduce this activation feature, one reason many people turn to Linux is because of dislike for schemes such as "activation" and "genuine advantage", which often disadvantage the honest user (as the reviewer here noted, the activation process in Xandros was not entirely straightforward and required assistance from Xandros Support). It remains to be seen whether current and potential Linux users will embrace or reject the introduction of such features in to a Linux product.
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