Linked by David Adams on Tue 4th Jan 2005 17:22 UTC
Original OSNews Interviews OSNews "sat down" with Linspire CEO Michael Robertson for a Q&A about his company's efforts as the banner-carrier for Linux-on-the-desktop. We discussed the upcoming Linux Desktop Summit in San Diego and the perceptions and realities of the obstacles to widespread desktop Linux use. Linspire also extended a special offer to OSNews readers: a free download of Linspire and a 30 day CNR subscription, so put yourself in Granny's shoes (not literally, please) and give it a try. Correction: The free offer expires on January 15.
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Does not compute
by Russian Guy on Wed 5th Jan 2005 00:22 UTC

How can that statement:

"The second reason people are considering desktop Linux is to avoid the cost and hassle of endless security issues from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which are now part of the daily life for Microsoft Windows users. Today, these are basically non-existent for Linux so users can focus on getting their jobs done and not baby-sitting their computer."

can be combined with this statement:

"Unfortunately, computer viruses are now a way of life for computer users around the world. Malicious code worms spread through destructive email attachments, peer-to-peer programs and other means waste countless hours of time and cost billions of dollars each year.
The number of Linux viruses is currently low, but that number is on the rise as the number of Desktop Linux systems continues to grow.
To make sure your computer is ready for anything, by popular demand Linspire, Inc. announces new VirusSafe Protection for your Linspire computer!"

Can someone explain that, please? Are you saying that tomorrow, when number of Linux desktops will grow, Linux users will have to spend time baby-sitting their computer, like they do with Windows?
Of course, if they pay for VirusSafe Protection, their Linspire is protected, but how is that different from staying with Windows and paying for anti-virus for Windows?

Here it is, your reason #2, goes down the drain.


Also, I admire Linspire for targeting "noobs." But, perhaps, my understanding of "noobs" is diffrent from Michael's company: not in any scary dreams could I imagine "noobs" I am helping with Windows computers spending several hundred for an office suit, and hundreds more for Frontpage, Visio and Frontpage. That does not happen.
They just buy computer, at most add MS Works for $49 on top of it- and it just works. Of course, $0 OpenOffice for Windows is always an option for people who count each cent.

Which means, the reason #1 of why people should go with Linspire exists only in Lispire marketing department.


CNR: fantastic tool! I wish Microsoft had something like that. Well, would not it be a vendor lock-in if Microsoft had such tight control over which software is delivered to Windows users? I leave it for someone else to answer that.


The largest opportunities for desktop Linux in the near term are the "green field" opportunities in emerging markets.

Is China an emerging market? That what Michael said just few moths ago: Despite popular rumors, I saw no indications of meaningful desktop Linux adoption in China. It seems that choice is slow to arrive in this Asian giant.

How about other Asian markets? How about Russia? How about Eastern Europe?

It does not compute. Can I get a clear definition of emerging market, please? Does emerging market mean USA and Western Europe only? That is Microsoft turf, you know that, right?
Yes, you do: If someone has already paid for Microsoft Windows XP, then they are a much tougher sell for desktop Linux.


Good luck with Linspire, it is good to see consumer oriented Linux distro positioning itself against developer-oriented distros notorious for their disregard to end user (a.k.a. "noob") needs.

But please, please, please refresh your sales pitch and marketing materials. They have not been updated for a lnog time, and with Microsoft aggresively working on keeping Windows alive and with much more people trying Linux (in different incarnations) your marketing materials do not look that well anymore.
They sound more and more like "OpenSource does not have bugs," if you know what I mean.

Wish you good luck. Without companies like yours we would not have Microsoft improve its product as much as it does.

It is fruit of competition: every consumer wins. Even if some of us will stil buy software from Microsoft we should and will be thankful to you and other Linux vendors for their job of keeping competition alive.