I spent this week traveling across
Europe announcing three new versions of Linspire 5 (not
Linspire Five-0 as we call it in the US - not sure they'd get the
subtle American TV show reference).
These are the first
translations made possible by the army of volunteer translators with
the IRMA project. Last time
I was in Europe, Microsoft
operatives showed up at many events - sometimes providing names,
sometimes not - but we welcomed them either way. They spent their
time quietly taking notes - except in Sweden where they used our
pre-announced visit to serve me with yet another lawsuit in the
Lindows trademark battle. This time there were no lawsuits. Instead
there were friendly wagers
with skeptical Linux users that Linspire would recognize their devices
-from video to WiFi -
when other Linux products had not. I promised beers to many reporters
on my return trip if Linspire did not auto-recognize every component on
this trip, my first stop was the
UK, where we introduced a localized, or rather a
"localised" UK edition of Linspire 5 at several well attended press events.
In spite of a terrorist scare on a major train line, we had a full
house in London. I talked about why I invested $5 million of my own
money to start Linspire and what we have accomplished over the last
four years. I was able to show a live demo of Linspire 5.
Today users can buy
the UK version from Linspire.com/uk,
and thanks to our
partnership with Phoenix
they can also expect Linspire to be on the shelves of the largest
British computer retailer PC World within a month.
was on to the Netherlands - a hotbed for Linux adoption as you can
tell by the Lraiser map. Our
partner Dupaco, an
influential reseller, had an impressive booth at the TINE
largest ICT and Networking event in the Netherlands, where they showed Linspire
desktops. I was given a chance to do a live Q & A with an editor
from Computable, a leading Dutch
which was standing room only. Afterward I had a chance to speak with
IRMA translators, Insiders and even the father of an MP3.com
artist with 250,000
I did speak with a KDE.org
representative about KDE using IRMA to get multilingual support for
all KDE programs.
An evening event I was scheduled to speak at, was planned by an open
source/open standards coalition with about 30 attendees, including 10
members of the Dutch parliament. Attendees had
confirmed the dinner meeting two days earlier, yet all 10 of the
government officials did not show up. It could be a remarkable
coincidence of poor etiquette - or that some external pressure was
applied. A knowledgeable local whispered in my ear that something was
amiss. With the Dutch version now available for sale and
pre-installed laptops and desktops now available at Linspire.com/nl
I hope we can help create an unstoppable wave of Linux adoption.
I flew to Germany to show off our first German version.
Linspire is not big in Germany yet, but they are Linux knowledgeable
since SuSE has roots there. I gave them a Linspire 5 demo and told them
that the German version is now available at Linspire.com/de. Also
computer electronics company in Germany will have the product on the
store shelves in less than a month thanks to the efforts of Top Systems
who are part of
publicly traded Net AG and who helped make Winzip
and PaintShop Pro a success in Germany. I talked to
many passionate Linux people including the Managing Director of
LinuxLand. He approached me
and said that the very first time he heard about Linux was when
he read about
the Lindows trademark battle with Microsoft and now he has a thriving
Linux reseller business. I guess some good came from that lawsuit.
It was a hectic but significant week. We not only introduced
three new versions of Linspire, but more importantly we kicked off our
relationship with strategic partners who will work to put Linux on
the store shelves in those countries where Linux desperately needs to
go mainstream. We also got IRMA working from end to end producing
localized version. This means that in the coming weeks and months
there will be trips to many new places to help kickstart Linux
adoption. And as for the beer bets,
so far I'm winning! See the e-mail below from one tester.
We met yesterday (wednesday april
in the RAI in Amsterdam. I told you I wanted to be the first LCSE
I just installed Linspire Five-0 on
my IBM R40 laptop and it works right away, even the wireless network!
you don't owe me a beer, alas.
Now I'm up for the difficult task to
convince my managers here at xxxxx
that they can do without Windows XP!!!
I wish you all the best for the future
and will let you know when we're ready to purchase Linspire for the