Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 27th Sep 2006 13:59 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Linspire In a move that some may have sensed was coming, Eric S. Raymond - one of the co-founders of the open-source movement - has joined the Freespire Leadership Board. Raymond believes desktop Linux is entering into a critical period, noting that historically, users have shifted operating systems during periods of fundamental changes in hardware platforms. He believes the PC vendors' embrace of 64-bit computing will provide desktop Linux a unique window of opportunity, which if missed, may not come along again for many years.
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You know I can't figure that one out, either. Other than name recognition from his behavior during the dot bomb era, I fail to see what he has to offer.

I certainly can't figure it out. Since he confidently proclaimed KDE to be dead two or three years ago, and we all know he's right, maybe he'll be able to screw Freespire and Linspire up royally and get them to switch?

His Cathredal and Bazaar book made sense on its own terms, but it seems that ESR is having real, excruciating difficulty trying to think his way through ways in which desktop Linux can reach success. He has continually fumbled around for years about letting people develop proprietary drivers and software on Linux, for free no less (one of the reasons KDE was supposedly dead), for years without thinking of what the point of open source software would be, supporting the existing open source software we have and getting people to write open source drivers. Yes, it's possible to do the latter - it's just a question of demand. His message has become very confused amongst a lot of rhetoric.

The 64-bit thing, I just can't see the opportunity there. Apart from drivers, existing 32-bit software just works on a 64-bit architecture, and it's certainly not the shift that we had from 16 to 32-bit in the 90s. I just can't see where the window of opportunity is. It's not as if a Linux desktop system is going to be the only working 64-bit OS in existence.

Essentially, what's got to happen is that a desktop Linux system is going to have to tick all the boxes in terms of functionality, it's going to have to be given away free and someone is going to have to engineer a business model to allow them to do that. Nothing less will do.

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