It's the season for film awards, so I thought I'd send you my
nomination for movie of the year. It's an epic work four years in the
making about the struggle for life and death, filmed with the most
amazing cinematography you've ever witnessed. And no, it's not Lord of
the Rings or that Tom Cruise movie. This film uses no special effects
or trick photography, but you'll swear that it does. At the end of this
Minute, I'll give you the title, but until then I'll give you a clue.
One segment shows a flock of likable rockhopper penguins - that's right
penguins. Well suited for the water, these stubby-legged, flightless
birds would seem to be ill-equipped for life on land. Unbelievable
footage proves otherwise, showing how these birds hop directly up a sheer
cliff! Since the penguin is the unofficial mascot for Linux, it got me
thinking about the Linux business and how Linux will adapt to life
outside the Net, where it is naturally well-suited.
One of the secret weapons which allows Lindows.com to compete with the
vastly richer and nearly 1000-times-larger Microsoft is the global community of open source
programmers -- all those rockhoppers. Thousands of
developers for the kernel, Debian, KDE, Mozilla, Open Office and
hundreds of other software teams make possible the LindowsOS software
At my former company, thousands of artists provided music, which enabled
MP3.com to become the leading music destination site. And we worked hard to
reward them for making it all possible. More than 10 million dollars in
royalties were paid out to those artists. Millions more were
distributed directly to artists from CD sales. When MP3.com went public
every participating artist was eligible to buy shares in the IPO, making
it the largest "friends and family" offering of all-time.
In a similar manner, Lindows.com hopes to grow a longterm positive
relationship with the developers that enable our business. We need their
ongoing support to have any chance of competing with Microsoft. The
majority of the people in the Linux community that I speak with want their software
used by as many people as possible. They recognize that only a tiny
percentage of the world will download software, burn CDs, and install
it onto hardware they construct themselves. For developers' code to reach the
masses, companies need to financially incentivize business to carry Linux-based products, which is exactly what we're doing.
Today the Lindows.com business model is to sell our software and services
online at a small fraction of the cost of similar Microsoft software.
Those Linux developers who help make it possible, therefore have had to
pay to access software - much of which they have helped write. This
doesn't make sense, because we are allies. So today we're kicking
off a program with KDE to make LindowsOS software available to their
developers at no cost. All major versions of LindowsOS, including Laptop
Edition and Developers Edition (which includes popular programming tools),
will be free. We hope to quickly expand this to other developer groups.
We see this as a first step in growing a symbiotic relationship between
rockhoppers and Lindows.com.
And if you're still reading looking for my nominee for best movie of
the year, your wait is over. It's called Winged Migration. Don't be confused by the documentary designation, this is a great
-- MichaelThe Michael's Minute Meter
View the Michael's Minute Meter Report