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The Desk Theory - April 3, 2002

Remember when every house had just one television? Today, it’s not uncommon for families to have multiple televisions. The personal computer is poised to experience the same phenomenon. The tipping point will be when a personal computer is cheaper than the desk it sits on. Then we’ll see PCs appearing in every room of every house and employees will have more than one computer on their desk.

As prices fall, PCs are moving from one per person (or per family) big-ticket items to common appliances. They're becoming commodities that can be dedicated to a task or a location. Tomorrow's teenager will be asking for a "chat computer" to do Instant Messaging in their bedroom, just as the generation before them pled for a telephone. Every major electronic manufacturer sells a capable $500 computer and there's no indication that the low-end price will stop there. This downward price trend will trigger an explosion of computer ownership and ultimately close the digital divide.

Artificially high-prices for software is the one obstacle preventing this trend from truly exploding. While Microsoft contends that no consumers (or companies for that matter) have been hurt by their illegal practices over the last decade, that's simply not true. With no competitors keeping Microsoft's prices in check, they have consistently raised prices of their software and instituted onerous licensing terms. Billions of dollars are being transferred from consumer's wallets to Microsoft’s coffers. More importantly, these tactics have prevented computing from reaching the digitally disadvantaged as well as slowed the growth of the multi-computer family and business.

Fortunately, LindowsOS addresses this issue by offering an affordable product, which is well-suited for a cost-conscious business environment or a 13-year-old's bedroom. We've spent a considerable amount of time with our upcoming version of LindowsOS making sure that it will handle many of the computing tasks and file types that people have grown accustomed to using. Users of our Sneak Preview 2 (SP2) will be greeted with a pleasing interface which will handle browsing and email. More impressively, it will handle common file formats - even those proprietary to Microsoft. It's now commonplace for Microsoft Word “.doc” files, Microsoft Excel “.xls” and Microsoft PowerPoint “.ppt” files to be sent as attachments or posted on public web sites. LindowsOS users can view and print these files without buying any additional software. On the web, Macromedia Flash ®, Adobe® PDF files, graphics and audio formats, like MP3s, are now common-fare and accordingly, LindowsOS opens or plays them all with a single mouse click. You can test a list of file formats LindowsOS handles by visiting: www.lindows.com/filetypes

This level of seamless compatibility with common computing formats has never been achieved before with any out-of-the box non-Microsoft installation. We think it's an essential step in the process to bring more people to the possibility of an affordable choice.

SP2 will be released next week. With a speedy five-minute installation process either alongside an existing Microsoft Windows 98, or as the only operating system on a computer, consumers can experience an affordable computing solution.

Microsoft has waged a war against all computer manufacturers who ship computers with Linux or no operating system in an attempt to keep prices high. The day has come when consumers should stand up and demand an alternative and OEMs should stop kowtowing to Microsoft pressure. Next week, Lindows.com takes a big step towards offering a viable alternative. It's not the finished product, but with the help of our Insiders, we'll meet our goal of a final product later this year.

Michael Robertson
CEO of Lindows.com
michaelr@lindows.com


Bringing choice to your computer!

Lindows.com has released a Sneak Preview of LindowsOS to a select group of Insiders. The Sneak Preview is not a fully completed product but showcases 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 www.lindows.com/products

Bring choice to computers: Become a Lindows.com Insider

To read previous Michael's Minutes, click here.

LindowsOS and Lindows.com are trademarks of Lindows.com, 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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