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My Movie of the Year

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 experience.

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.


Open source projects supported by Lindows.com

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 movie.

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