SAN DIEGO, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the co-founders of the open source movement has become the newest member of the Freespire Leadership Board (www.freespire.org/leadership). Freespire (www.freespire.org) is a community-driven, Linux-based operating system that gives users the option of combining free open source software with certain proprietary codecs, drivers and applications. Raymond, well-known as both a theorist and an advocate for the open source movement, joins twelve other Freespire Leadership Board members, composed of thinkers, business people, evangelists, and key members of the Linux community. In recent weeks, Raymond has surprised many by speaking publicly about the "necessary compromise" that open source advocates must be willing to make, by providing for an easy way for open source software to work with key proprietary technologies for which there are not yet adequate open source alternatives. Freespire is the most prominent desktop Linux distribution to embrace this concept. Mr. 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 movement to a 64-bit world will provide desktop Linux a unique window of opportunity, which if missed, may not come along again for many years. "Desktop Linux must advance now," said Raymond. "If desktop Linux is to advance to a broader audience, it must work with iPods and other MP3 players, play DVD movies, view Windows Media and Quick Time content on the web, and so on. I wish users didn't require these proprietary formats, but it's naive and unrealistic to expect the masses to forgo these requirements in the near future. Linux must make some compromises to attract mainstream users." Raymond believes the only way to influence ISVs and others to support open standards and open software, is to attract enough end users to make Linux too large to ignore. "There simply aren't enough Linux users today to put much pressure on hardware and software manufacturers," added Raymond. "To attract more users, Linux must support the popular drivers and file types in use today. Freespire is the one distribution I see willing to make this unfortunate but necessary compromise, so I'm happy to contribute to their effort." "We are extremely pleased to have someone with Eric's background, experience and reputation involved in the Freespire project," said Kevin Carmony, President and CEO for Linspire, Inc., the leading sponsor for Freespire. "Eric has a keen interest in seeing desktop Linux become more workable with the necessary codecs and drivers, and he sees Freespire as a good launching off place for an ideal he and the Freespire community both share; getting desktop Linux to just work, even if that means providing the option of proprietary codecs in those cases where there are not yet viable open source alternatives." As a Freespire Board Leader, Raymond will help shape the direction of the Freespire project, along with the other leadership board members, and those from the Freespire community and technology boards. Raymond's participation has already begun, including meetings in San Diego. "Eric has already had a significant impact on our work," said Carmony. "Look for some very exciting advancements, as a direct result of his active participation." About Eric S. Raymond Co-founded and served as president of the Open Source Initiative, a 501(c)3 educational organization that builds bridges between the hacker community and business with the aim of spreading the open source development method. A member of the Board of Directors of VA Linux Systems, the leading Linux hardware and systems company. One of five Directors, who helped steer VA through its record-breaking IPO in December 1999. A principal researcher and author, Raymond, often referred to as ESR, is the author of "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" and the present maintainer of the "Jargon File" (the printed version also known as "The New Hacker's Dictionary"). Though the "Jargon File" established his original reputation within hacker culture, after 1997 he became a figure in the open source movement, and is today one of its most recognized and controversial characters. About Freespire Freespire (www.freespire.org) is a community-driven, Linux-based operating system that combines the best that free, open source software has to offer (community driven, freely distributed, open source code, etc.), but also provides users the choice of including proprietary codecs, drivers and applications as they see fit. With Freespire, the choice is the user's as to what software is installed on their computer, with no limitations or restrictions placed on that choice. How users choose to maximize the performance of their computers is entirely up to them. About Linspire, Inc. Linspire, Inc. (www.linspire.com) was founded in 2001 to bring choice into the operating system market. The company's flagship product, the Linspire operating system, is an affordable, easy-to-use Linux-based operating system for home, school, and business users. Linspire pioneered CNR ("click and run") Technology, which allows Linspire users access to thousands of software programs, each of which can be downloaded and installed with just one mouse click. The thousands of software titles available in the CNR Warehouse (www.linspire.com/cnr) include full office and productivity suites, games, multimedia players, photo management software, accounting tools, and more. For more information and interview requests: Linspire, Inc. 619-851-7872 858-587-8095 Fax email@example.com Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link. Kevin Carmony http://profnet.prnewswire.com/ud_public.jsp?userid=10004897
SOURCE Linspire, Inc.