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Is the Insider Program Right for You?

Since announcing the Insider program in January of this year, a small, but enthusiastic group of people have signed on to assist us in the monumental undertaking of bringing choice to computers. We're tremendously grateful for their support and LindowsOS is a better product because of their assistance.

Many of you sent me email asking, "Is the Insider Program right for me?" Anyone signing up for the Insider program gains immediate access to try out the latest version of LindowsOS software. They'll also get the final version when it is released, some time near the middle of the year. But what I've found after talking to Insiders is that there are vastly different reasons why they’ve signed up. I've grouped them into five categories. See if you fit into one of these groups and you'll answer the question yourself of whether you should sign up now as an Insider .

1.) Tech Wizard

Some Insiders steer development and objectively evaluate everything from content to concepts by actively participating in discussions and providing feedback via email messages, surveys and posts in our active forum. These Insiders join to make a difference in our product by sharing with us their technical perspective and to take advantage of company information -- we refer to them informally as the Tech Wizards.

2.) Choice Advocate

Other Insiders join to quietly observe and support's mission, much as one supports their local library, National Public Radio or the arts, this special group wants LindowsOS to succeed so we can offer a viable choice on the desktop- we've dubbed this group the Choice Advocates. Many of them haven't even tried the software yet, but want to offer their encouragement during these early formative times.

3.) Value Seeker

The most common Insider is the one who sees sensible value in LindowsOS and is scouting for an economical solution for their home, school or business computing needs. Many know that the cost for Microsoft products is continually increasing. Value Seekers are looking for a practical alternative. NOTE: Check out how Microsoft Activation codes will be costing families more than 54 billion over the next 6 years. See

These insiders are looking for affordable and easy-to-use software to get their jobs done. The fact that my 5-year-old can install LindowsOS combined with the Click-N-Run Warehouse (Click-N-Run) (where users can download and install programs with a single click, all at affordable pricing and licensing terms) is making these discriminating consumers content.

This practical set typically joins so they can take advantage of LindowsOS Sneak Preview right away, but they also recognize that they'll be the first to receive the final version upon its release for being an Insider, so they have nothing to lose.

4.) Penguin

Another camp that we've identified is the group that really wants to experience Linux® because they've read so much about its benefits or heard about it from friends or co-workers, yet they just don’t have the time or energy to delve into the complexities.

LindowsOS has many unique capabilities which make it ideal for them. It can install right alongside an existing Microsoft Windows 98 operating system (without erasing it). This allows them to experience the true power of their computer by running Linux. But they can switch back to Microsoft Windows 98 by simply restarting their computer at anytime.

Some have told us they want a step-by-step installation guide, they should check out: which has a ton of great screenshots walking anyone through the easy process of getting a Linux installation up and running in no time. So if you want to see what it will look like before trying it out, visit

NOTE: We call them 'penguins' because that is the unofficial mascot of Linux®.

5.) ABM And lastly, a group that generates a lot heat with their passion, the Anything But Microsoft (ABM) group. Members of this group have sworn off operating or supporting any products made by Microsoft. Either they've had negative experiences with Microsoft products or they do not agree with their business tactics or they believe Microsoft is gouging their customers. Regardless, they're ready to embrace anything that isn't Microsoft. Some sent us their credit cards before we had the capacity to accept them.

As you can see, whether Tech Wizard, Choice Advocate, Value Seeker, Penguin or an ABM, there are many reasons why people are signing up as Insiders. If you fit one of those categories or know someone who does, then perhaps signing up as an Insider is something to consider.

Whether you sign up as an Insider today or not, I thank you for your support as we bring choice to computers!

I'll sign off with some comments from our Insider's forum where Insiders chat about whatever is on their mind. There have been thousands of comments, but here are some of the positive ones from a week's time span which keep us working hard on!

Michael Robertson
Chief Executive Officer of

4/17/02 "am very impressed with the progress. I understand that this is an immense undertaking! I have been able to do a number of tasks with Lindows SP2. I like all the interest and controversy I have seen!"

4/18/02 "i love sp2 i run it as my full OS now :)"

4/18/02 "Definitely looking like a winner to me. And this forum is great. I rarely frequent forums to avoid flamers and lamers, but I find it hard to tear myself away from here sometimes. Finally a linux distribution that does not leaving me wondering why I bothered. I am actually interested in learning Linux more now. Very impressive first desktop. Keep up the great work."

4/18/02 "You guys are headed in the right direction, keep it up. And remember it will take some time in reaching the goal."

4/20/02 “I have said it a couple of times already, but I've made the decision to be Micro$oft free by the end of the year and Lindows is going to make that possible! I'm almost ready to switch completely, but there are some issues that I'm sure will be taken care of by the time the public release is ready. Thanks guys! We appreciate you very much!"

4/21/2002 "I tried to run 50 Windows programs covering a wide range of subjects. None ran 100% correctly but for a number of them the only deficiency was with printing. What truly amazed me about Lindows was the stability it showed at such an early stage. In spite of programs hanging and misbehaving in strange ways, I didn't have to push the reset button once; the alt-ctl-bksp keys cleared all problems. With Windows 98, pushing reset is a frequent necessity.

04/23/02 "I cannot believe how Awesome this OS is!!! I have never installed an OS so easily in my entire life. I have Lindows running on a spare computer, everything is built on the Motherboard. Lindows installed with no trouble at all, first boot and I was on the internet. Very nice work guys!!! I am looking forward to the future of this OS." just launched for Insiders and visitors. Please feel free to send any question you may have about LindowsOS or to

Bringing choice to your computer! has released LindowsOS Sneak Preview 1 and 2 to a select group of Insiders. The Sneak Previews are not fully completed products but showcase many of the unique features such as a “Friendly-Install” alongside an existing Microsoft Windows operating system, a streamlined installation process which requires no computer knowledge and the ability to run popular Windows-based programs. This will be followed by Version 1.0 which will go on sale later this year. For more information see

LindowsOS and are trademarks of, Inc. Linux® is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Microsoft® Windows® operating system is a registered trademark or service mark of the Microsoft Corporation.

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