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Raising Some L

My business career has revolved around disruptive technologies like MP3, Linux and SIP. Consequently, I've been accused of "raising hell," and that's probably somewhat true. The biggest advancements in life come through radical change. That change is typically jolting, so the messenger usually creates a few waves. But who can deny that the world is better with MP3? Who can deny the world will be a better place when desktop Linux is in every computer store? I'd like to invite YOU to join me in "raising some L," but more on that in a second.

See where people are using Linspire around the world

First I want to show you some fascinating data about how desktop Linux is growing around the world. Every month or so, an analyst puts out research about desktop Linux. Often times, Microsoft is commissioning the research, so it's a foregone conclusion that the analyst will conclude that Linux is more expensive and not gaining market share, which are both ridiculous notions. What's missing from the reports is hard data. How many OEMs are now offering desktop Linux machines? (Answer: 350+.) How many stores are now offering Linux PCs? (Answer: More than a thousand.) It's a shame the analysts don't examine and publish real data rather than speak in broad sweeping terms with few facts to bolster their position. But I think Linspire can do a better job of sharing some of the data that we possess, which demonstrates the traction that desktop Linux is gaining worldwide.

Today, on a new website we just launched called, we're publishing some intriguing maps which show new Linux users sprouting up around the globe on a daily basis. Each dot represents a new desktop or laptop computer running Linspire. The very first time a Linspire computer starts up, CNR (click and run) checks in with the server to look for updates and security patches. At that time, we record the IP address (with no personal data). We can then take these IP addresses and attempt to ascertain the latitude and longitude. We then overlay this onto a global map. The end result is a big picture view of where desktop Linux is taking root around the world. It's not an exact measurement, since it simply approximates the geographical location, but it does put some real data to demonstrate where Linux is growing. We've also added a magnification feature so you can zoom into a particular location for a closer view. Daily, weekly and monthly charts are now available and eventually we will add annual charts.

Sign up to raise L and get an Lraiser t-shirt

I'm proud of the growth of desktop Linux, but I want it to be faster. I'd like you to consider helping me raise L. It can be a scary undertaking to move to Linux, so a helping hand can be just enough to get someone going. To become an Lraiser, you commit to helping one person or company buy an affordable desktop Linux computer and get them set up. Maybe you can help them buy it or defray some of the cost. Once they take possession, help them get up and running full-time. Or you can commit to showing off Linspire to a group of 5 people and passing out LinspireLive! CDs. The group could be a user group, class, or just some friends. If even a small number become Lraisers, then the number of desktop Linux users will explode.

Names of Lraisers will be listed on the Lraiser website along with daily updates of the geographical map showing new Linspire users. Those Lraisers submitting photos will be noted as a certified Lraiser and will receive a t-shirt noting their accomplishment. After signing up to be an Lraiser, post your favorite L pun in our message boards, such as "Just say to L with viruses!" or "Buy a Linspire computer and get on the highway to L."

-- Michael

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