Linspire, the company formerly known as Lindows, has launched Linspire 5, marketed as an affordable and easy to use Linux desktop.

The Debian-based software has been available in the US and as a download for some time, but the company and it's European distributor Questar are now launching regionalised versions.

Version 5 includes an office suite, Internet features like in-line spell checking and what Linspire calls one-click Web searching. It also comes with access to a 2,000-strong application library held by Linspire, from which users can download and install software automatically with one mouse-click.

Other features include a VPN, a pre-configured firewall, better hardware support and an updated user interface. Linspire also claims better support for mobile users such as Wi-Fi profiles, a new wireless control panel and an access point locater.

Company CEO Michael Robertson said that, while the company had its hands full selling desktop software, Linspire will launch a network manager's version of the one-click access system, dubbed Click N Run (CNR) later in 2005. It will, among other attributes, provide remote control over user software suites, including automated installation. He added that Linspire had no current plans for a 64-bit version of the product.

The OS's installation CD is also a Live CD, which allows users to run Linspire without touching their hard disk, in a manner of which Knoppix was among the pioneers.

Linspire 5 costs £49.99, which includes the OS plus a year's subscription to the CNR service.