Home > Linspire > Robertson gives up Linspire CEO post Robertson gives up Linspire CEO post Eugenia Loli 2005-06-21 Linspire 43 Comments Michael Robertson has given up day-to-day control of Linspire and is leaving the company in the hands of new CEO Kevin Carmony. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 43 Comments 2005-06-21 1:19 am Anonymous Really????? Geee….I could’ve sworn this had happened a couple of weeks ago. 2005-06-21 1:20 am Anonymous So what? 2005-06-21 1:25 am Anonymous So what’s his next big business idea? 2005-06-21 1:28 am Anonymous Translation: I have lost confidence in Linspire ever generating a profit. 2005-06-21 1:30 am Anonymous It’s hopeless to ever try to be a company (at least within the current time period) that generates all their revenue solely from a consumer oriented Linux distribution. Most people who want to run Linux don’t pay for it. With so many free operating systems now available, it’s going to be harder and harder for anyone but Microsoft to make money off the OS. 2005-06-21 1:30 am Anonymous Sorry, that was a dig at the Register, not you. I find their news trails everyone else by a long time normally. Which is why I find it pointless reading them. 2005-06-21 1:36 am Anonymous Wow. If 1/2 or 175,000 paid $20 each that’s 3.5 million. Not too bad. If that same 1/2 bought the $50 CNR the that becomes 8.75 million. Their product is very good and worth paying for. If some of those users like myself have paid to have their CNR subscription renewed, then who knows the income? They should be around for a while. 2005-06-21 1:40 am Anonymous The reason Linspire is doing poor financially is that they have absolutely NO value-add for their product. What more do I get with Linspire? Easy installation of programs…ever heard of Synaptic? Good hardware detection….couldn’t detect a printer that every other distro detected, and then CUPS broke when I tried to install the driver (using a point and click installer, so I know it wasn’t my fault). Customer Service….Couldn’t be that good otherwise they wouldn’t have thousands upon thousands of people asking for help on their forums. If I am missing something, please tell me what form of value-add Linspire has over say…Ubuntu? 2005-06-21 1:42 am Anonymous Ubuntu won’t work on my laptop, Linspire does. Instant value for me. 2005-06-21 1:52 am Anonymous Michael is a journalist now actually. He writes for the Tech Zone now: http://www.thetechzone.com/?m=show&id=283 . 2005-06-21 2:16 am Anonymous … M$ and Apple too. 2005-06-21 2:18 am Anonymous Mandriva can buy Linspire and continue its dominance… 2005-06-21 2:42 am Anonymous This is old news…. 2005-06-21 2:54 am Anonymous What happened? 2005-06-21 3:23 am Anonymous Too bad, the man is a weasel but an interesting one at that, like Jack Tramiel of Commodore/Amiga fame. I remember the time he posted a Flash movie on his site with a hysterical dubbed version of the Door’s “Light My Fire”. The Linspire folks insisted the audio was recorded from scratch with all the necessary permissions (that would include the band, record company, and publisher)… yeah, sure! The clip was taken down a few days later, leaving broken links all over the web. Another time, Robertson announced a joint development agreement with AOL, only there was no deal. Apparently he gambled that AOL Time Warner was so bureaucratic that the dozens of vice presidents would each assume that the deal was arranged by a different part of the company. 2005-06-21 3:39 am Anonymous Apple never intended to make money off the OS. Mac OS X is the incentive to buy their hardware. 2005-06-21 3:44 am Anonymous Apple never intended to make money off the OS. Mac OS X is the incentive to buy their hardware. Ummmm, exactly. Without the OS, they wouldn’t sell hardware. I think that was the point he was trying to make. So indirectly, Apple is making money from OS X. (Oh god, what have I done…now some losers are going to take up 50 posts argueing over whether or not Apple makes money from OS X or not.) 2005-06-21 4:24 am Anonymous I’m not sure that was really Eugenia (as in OSNews staff). I don’t know whether or not the hostname matches but I do remember that in other posts by Eugenia there was no “Report abuse” link after her posts. Just seems to easy for people to spoof other’s identities here. 2005-06-21 5:19 am Anonymous Michael Robertson is just another .com era person that obtained a handsome sum of money and Internet mindshare for providing little value to investors. Rather than focusing on producing products and services for his businesses so that they could make money, he has routinely steered his businesses into lawsuits with large corporations by attempting to brazenly profit off of their intellectual property. Whether you think that using the name “Lindows” was appropriate, or that mp3.com should have been permitted to redistribute the recording industry’s assets without permission, or that Vonage-targeted routers should be clearly labeled, it’s hard to argue that these choices have had any affect other than to squander investment resources without any meaningful benefit. If I didn’t expect that Linspire had jumped the shark, I would say that Robertson giving up the reigns could only be beneficial to the company. Unfortunately his pattern seems to be to suck the business dry of any of its value and then move on to his next scam. 2005-06-21 5:56 am Anonymous I have tried Linspire and I don’t think it is the right choice for me. But,Linspire is paying for the development of at least 3 applications that make their distro worth supporting and an appropriate choice for some. They are doing Lphoto, Ltunes and Nvu. Nvu is already good enough for some pages I have worked on. Ltunes and Lphoto are coming along and could become the best in their class. I have seen people disparage Ltunes as a Itunes ripoff.. I see similarities, but Ltunes looks much more useful. Itunes poor support for ogg makes it unusable for me for my music library. I think people may be underestimating Lindows success in the market, too. I have been seeing Lindows as a bundle with inexpensive PCs more often than any other distro. I may like Ubuntu or SuSE best, but I think the average user is better off with Lindows 5 than they are with XP. That is the real choice some customers are making. 2005-06-21 6:08 am Anonymous i dont understand the disrespect linspire is getting. great OS. easy as hell to install. and lawsuits? i’m only aware of the microsoft one over the name. I just dont see any real complaints against the company so far. 2005-06-21 6:29 am Anonymous I bought linspire earlier this year, because I was tired of poor hardware support. Linspire is a good distro, and for me, better than ubuntu. I use linspire and gentoo the most out of all the linux distros. He didn’t step down because of poor profits. 8+ million dollars a year is well over what they are spending to develop and maintain the distro, considering most of the software that ships with it is free. Lphoto, LTunes, and Nvu are great products. Considering the amount of money and code they contribute to the open source community, I am appalled to see so many people who want to see them fail. 2005-06-21 7:30 am Anonymous Linspire is a great distro. It is not for everyone, but for some people it is exactly the right choice. Linspire is also a good open source citizen. They sponsor KDE and Reiser4. So why do you people want to see linspire fail? Because they want to make a profit? These evil, capitalist pigs? If that is the attitude of most open source advocates then you deserve to fail. There is nothing wrong with making a profit. 2005-06-21 7:35 am Anonymous Lets see. Linspire supports the following: Mozilla, Firefox, Nvu, Kopete, Lsongs, Lphoto, gaim, Reiser 4, KDE-Look.org, KDE-Apps.org, debConfig2, wineconf Check it out here http://www.linspire.com/lindows_products_license.php#ope This isn’t really news. There is no real change going on over at Linspire. The only thing changing is titles. Kevin Carmony has been the one running Linspire’s day to day business since the beginning so the only thing this does is reflect that fact. To quote from Michaels Minutes: “To maximize my purpose, I have decided to make the move to Chairman of Linspire. I’ve turned the CEO title over to Kevin Carmony, Linspire’s long-time President. He started Linspire while I was still at MP3.com and is officially the first Linspire employee. He’s a tremendous leader and knows Linspire better than anyone in the world. I’m excited to see him build on Linspire’s momentum and take it to the next level where there will be millions of Linspire users. As Chairman, I’m still actively involved with Linspire and care more about it than ever, but this will give me more time to devote to some of my other projects.” It is interesting that folks are so quick to trash Linspire but sure don’t mind all the money they spend on Open Source projects. 2005-06-21 8:20 am Anonymous “Do you think anyone would buy apple hardware to install windows or Linux” Well, they have a reputation for having a good quality control system in place. Much like buying a laptop from IBM, people would buy Apple hardware for the quality. “…care more about it than ever, but this will give me more time to devote to some of my other projects.” So I assume that while caring points for Linspire went up, caring points for his other projects went up more? 2005-06-21 8:32 am Anonymous “Lets see. Linspire supports the following: Mozilla, Firefox, Nvu, Kopete, Lsongs, Lphoto, gaim, Reiser 4, KDE-Look.org, KDE-Apps.org, debConfig2, wineconf ” You forgot that they also hired the core Kopete developer so that he can continue to work on Kopete without worrying about the bills. 2005-06-21 11:41 am Anonymous Why, indeed? I’m glad to see some balance in the recent posts re: Linspire. I’ve never understood the glee with which many Linux users bash Linspire. It’s almost as if they don’t want a user-friendly Linux to succeed, then there will be no mysticism about the O.S. and their status as geeks will be threatened. Linspire is well worth the $50 per year that I pay for it (which includes updates to the O.S. itself, like the recently-released Five-O). The distro is polished, solid, and contains some excellent Linspire-developed apps like the aforementioned LSongs and LPhoto. If you want to run Slackware, Gentoo or other geeky O.S.’s, that’s your choice but don’t knock those of us who see real value in an easy-to-use Linux desktop distro. And, you don’t have to run as root……….. 🙂 DR 2005-06-21 12:03 pm Anonymous I really can’t get over some people in the OSS world. It’s all about choice is one mantra but for some reason it gets thrown out the door when it comes to Linspire. Sad. 2005-06-21 1:08 pm Anonymous Actively sponsor the development of desktop applications. They might not all be that useful but I can’t think of any other distro that does little more than repackaging. No opinion on the distro, not tried it. Also, why has the CNR way of installing software not been emulated elsewhere ? It’s a much nicer shopping around mall than synaptic ever will be ! And I don’t think Linspire has patented that… 2005-06-21 1:28 pm Anonymous I really can’t get over some people in the OSS world. It’s all about choice is one mantra but for some reason it gets thrown out the door when it comes to Linspire. Sad. Most of the people that complain about Linspire do not run linux at all. Do not be so sad, not many people on the OSS field complain about Linspire. 2005-06-21 2:47 pm Anonymous that linspire was a poor linux citizen. I was glad to eat crow. They’re doing some really good work. I think their model of you pay for distrobution services makes sense, you pay for packaging, config and bandwidth. Really, if they can grow it, I’m sure they can improve in other areas as well, like the package system, init and a lot of other issues, that should reduce the maintainership costs they must have to keep. 2005-06-21 3:27 pm Anonymous Congratulations to Kevin Carmony on his promotion to CEO of Linspire Inc and hope Michael Robertson does well with his other ventures. 2005-06-21 5:02 pm Anonymous Why is that everytime the subject of Linspire comes up, folks come out of the woodwork to trash it? Linspire is a great distribution for newbies and home users, probably matched only by Xandros in its ease of learning. The company actively contributes to a number of open source projects such as nVu. Click and Run is a heck of a lot easier to figure out for the technophobe than installing an RPM under Fedora (or even Apt). The desktop is logically presented, attractive, and updates are easy. Having used Linux distros all the way back to Yggdrasil, I’d say Linspire and Xandros are the first ones I’d install on my parents PC with a reasonable hope of them using it without constant support. 2005-06-21 5:30 pm Anonymous “Why is that everytime the subject of Linspire comes up, folks come out of the woodwork to trash it? ” Because it’s not uber-geek enough, it’s not trendy enough amongst the “give me CLI or death” crowd. There are many freaks out there who do not believe Linux should be used by the common man, only by those who are “worthy”. 2005-06-21 5:47 pm Anonymous It never fails everytime an article with Linspire or Xandros is mentioned on here, you get the hardcore Linux techies, whom I am not knocking, if you want a version of Linux, like Gento, Slackware, etc where u have to configure and tweak and compile, more power to you, but its just not my bag. I dont know how many times I gotta post this here, if you want Microsoft to win, keep up the distro flaming, A divided house cannot stand. Linspire, Xandros, and other user friendly distro, provide a transition for the average Windows user to Linux? Mainstreaming doesnt always equal selling out and if you get more users to use Linux who cares what distro it is, they are breaking the chains of Microsoft. I dont hold it against a company to make a little profit and I would much rather pay for something that works out of the box, that to have something free that I have no idea what to do with it or how to get anything to work? I have used both Xandros and Linspire and they are the best experiences with Linux on the commercial side that I have used, they detected all of my hardware, no problem and they just worked for me. I havent used either in awhile because Im trying to find a wi fi device that works with Linux, but as soon as I do.. I will be using both of them again. Sometimes I wonder if these distro flamers arent undercover Microsoft operatives. So, to recap if you like a Linux version like Gentoo or Slackware where u have to configure and compile don’t knock the commercial version of Linux like Xandros or Linpire that are attracting users who would be otherwise intimidated by Linux. Linux users unite!!!! 2005-06-21 5:55 pm Anonymous Ok my last post was horrible, I have to learn to do the editing before I post..lol. Ok im no editor, but I tried to fix some glaring errors as best I could. It never fails everytime an article with Linspire or Xandros is mentioned on here, you get the hardcore Linux techies, whom I am not knocking, who want to bash the commercial user friendly distos. If you want a version of Linux, like Gento, Slackware, etc where u have to configure and tweak and compile, more power to you, but its just not my bag. I dont know how many times I gotta post this here, if you want Microsoft to win, keep up the distro flaming, A divided house cannot stand. Linspire, Xandros, and other user friendly distro, provide a transition for the average Windows user to Linux. Mainstreaming doesnt always equal selling out and if you get more users to use Linux who cares what distro it is, they are breaking the chains of Microsoft. I dont hold it against a company to make a little profit and I would much rather pay for something that works out of the box, that to have something free that I have no idea what to do with it or how to get anything to work? Besides, how can they continue improving and upgrading if you dont have some incentive .. like money, to keep things moving along. I have used both Xandros and Linspire and they are the best experiences with Linux on the commercial side that I have used, they detected all of my hardware, no problem and they just worked for me. I havent used either in awhile because Im trying to find a wi-fi device that works with Linux, but as soon as I do.. I will be using both of them again. Sometimes I wonder if these distro flamers arent undercover Microsoft operatives. So, to recap if you like a Linux version like Gentoo or Slackware where u have to configure and compile don’t knock the commercial version of Linux like Xandros or Linpire that are attracting users who would be otherwise intimidated by Linux. Linux users unite!!!! 2005-06-21 9:44 pm Anonymous “Most of the people that complain about Linspire do not run linux at all. Do not be so sad, not many people on the OSS field complain about Linspire.” I wish that was so, but from my experience (beyond just OSNEWS) it’s more often to be linux users. Windows and Mac users don’t care about Linux infighting except to maybe find it amusing. 2005-06-21 10:44 pm Anonymous I don’t understand why this news posting was slanted in such a way as to make it look like Robertson was leaving Linspire. He’s moving from CEO to Chairman. Whooppeee. 2005-06-22 5:06 am Anonymous jake tate says seeeee yaaaa and where is my source cd???? 2005-06-22 1:13 pm Anonymous “Lets see. Linspire supports the following: Mozilla, Firefox, Nvu, Kopete, Lsongs, Lphoto, gaim, Reiser 4, KDE-Look.org, KDE-Apps.org, debConfig2, wineconf ” Got any dollar amounts or code amounts that they have contributed? What exactly defines support? Maybe they mean since they bundle these apps they are supported by their customer support team! SUPPORT! tricky word…. 2005-06-22 2:05 pm Anonymous “Ubuntu won’t work on my laptop, Linspire does” ubuntu is a OS and it doesnt DO work, you do, it is something you have to install and if you are in the few percentage of hardware that actually works with linspire and can stand the ads, the slowness, and so forth then good for you. But I cannot think of anyone who has used linspire and not moved on to a different distro…. ————— ” CNR way of installing software not been emulated elsewhere ” it breaks way to easy, it is inflexible, you cannot install from a cd with it…. need i go on…. 2005-06-22 6:54 pm Anonymous linspire supports more of my hardware (actually all, from my 4 desktops to my 2 laptops), while ubuntu will only support 2 of my desktops fully, and none of my laptops. CNR is just a front end for apt, and you don’t need a source cd, you can download the source from their CNR website. “Got any dollar amounts or code amounts that they have contributed? What exactly defines support? Maybe they mean since they bundle these apps they are supported by their customer support team! SUPPORT! tricky word….” Hmmm, that must mean that all the companies that back kde, gnome, etc, don’t really support them, because you don’t know how much they contribute. I am pretty sure that if you went to a forum, or emailed someone who works for linspire, they could give you a good estimate on how much they spend. Oh, and linspire has some of the best support in the linux community. 50 dollars is well worth the cost in support, and ease of use. And, the main reason people jump from linspire, to other linux distros, is that they are newbs, and they want the newest releases. I was like that when I first started to use linux, and now, 4 years later, I just stick with my favorite distros, cause the programs do not really change that much to make me want to keep switching, it’s just not worth it. their are hundreds of distros out there, and nothing really seperates them, excpet for package management. Linspire, on the other hand, is developing apps for linux, while symphony OS is creating an all new desktop. Maybe, when you bash one distro for another, you should really ask “what is the difference between distros? What makes it worth installing?”, and for the people who care about how much support a company gives, then ask “What does this company contribute, i.e. code, money, hardware, etc, that the other doesn’t?” In the end, it’s all about choice. My first distro was mandrake, and I never used it again. I went from mandrake to red hat 8, then to gentoo (and had fun figuring out what the hell i was doing). I since jumped back and fourth, from distro to distro, finally buying linspire 4 2 weeks before 5 came out. I bought linspire, because I was tired of doing all the work, and tired of not having sound work properly. I have settled down to having Linspire, and Gentoo as the only 2 constant distros that I use. I have a 250 gig hd, that I use to try all the distros that I feel like, but my main 2 are linspire and gentoo. my top 5 distros: 1) Gentoo 2) Linspire 3) Mepis 4) Fedora 5) Lunar 2005-06-22 10:15 pm Anonymous i actually was reading your post and thought that you might have a point but then i read this “tired of not having sound work properly” and realized you must be a fanboy because if it is one thing in linspire that is borked it is sound, jackd crap and all that… sound is one of the main complaints about linspire! “and you don’t need a source cd, you can download the source from their CNR website. ” if download is all they are offering then they arent compliant with the GPL… you would think they would show support for the license they chose by follwing the requirements of it huh! “linspire supports more of my hardware” hey, maybe you are one of the lucky ones… thing is it doesnt for a lot of people… so what happens if linspire goes belly up tomm, what are you going to CNR then?