If you’re a regular reader of our news, you’re probably well-aware that I like to rant about different things from time to time. It could be anything… DRM, failed game sequels, digital music, DTV transition, you name it. Once in a while though, I’ll receive a bit of flack for whatever I ranted about, and one perfect example of this was with regards to last week’s posting, “iMagic OS: Commercial Linux Distro Gone Wrong“. After posting, I received a rather straight-forward e-mail from Carlos La Borde, the CEO of iMagic OS. I’ll tackle some points here.
In the e-mail, Carlos stressed to me that iMagic OS isn’t “lackluster”, nor is their support non-existent. He noted that his team goes the extra mile where support is concerned, and that thousands of man-hours have been poured into the distro. I don’t doubt this, but as I mentioned to Carlos, my assumptions were all based on what I saw on their website. The fact is, the information was lacking, and given that there were no screenshots available for showing off some of the distro’s major features, I figured I had all of the information I needed to prepare a posting.
After discussing that issue, Carlos had the website’s “Why?” page updated, this time including a lot more of what people should expect to see when perusing a distro site (commercial or not). This would include a good deal of information about the product, and screenshots to show off the major (and unique) features. One shot in particular I wanted to see was for magicOffice, since as a touted feature, it made no sense that a screenshot wasn’t made available. I might understand the reasoning behind that now.
As mentioned on the software page, magicOffice was created “from scratch”. As far as I’m concerned, to build something from scratch would be like baking something from scratch. It would be pounding flour into dough to make a pie crust, rather than buying a pie shell at the market. The screenshot of magicWriter seen here though, shows off that it wasn’t built from scratch, but rather implements the completely free TinyMCE WYSIWYG editor. It’s unique to see TinyMCE used in a non-web application, but that doesn’t suddenly make it “from scratch”.
That issue aside, Carlos also clarified to me that the distro costs $80 for a reason. It includes Codeweaver’s Crossover Office, which is something I overlooked the first time around. Since that product on its own costs $70, it makes a bit more sense as to why the distro itself isn’t cheap. But, with that feature tacked on, this distro is not for most Linux enthusiasts, but rather those who come from Windows and want something a little more familiar.
Have my opinions of iMagic OS changed at all? Some have, and some haven’t. After reviewing the information here, and doing your own investigating, you can come to your own conclusions. The fact that Carlos posted in our forums posing as a customer doesn’t help their credibility either, but as I mentioned, you guys can come to your own conclusions. Carlos is welcome to continue posting in our forums and answer any questions anyone may have, or to further give reasons as to what makes iMagic OS special.