July 23, 2004

The coolest IT ad ever?

What may be the
coolest online ad in the short history of information technology is starting to make the rounds this week.

Linspire, which just settled a trademark lawsuit with Microsoft for $20 million earlier this week and is in the midst of a 90-day "quiet period" prior to its impending initial public offering, released the video earlier this week on CEO Michael Robertson's blog.

Even if you're not a fan of music from the Summer of Love 1967, we'd like to get your take on this piece of work. Give it a listen (Macromedia Flash 7 required), and send us a comment at the place indicated below.

Linspire President Kevin Carmony, a former music industry executive and no stranger to parodied song with the previous single "Lindows Rock" (ala Chubby Checker's "Limbo Rock") under his belt, said while he came up with the lyrics, Linspire engineer Clifford Beshers suggested the use of the Doors' top hit, "Light My Fire."

"It's good fun," Carmony said. "Hopefully, Microsoft will appreciate the humor."

Carmony, who was eager to talk about something that would be permissible under the "quiet period" that is part of a settlement with Redmond, said he secured an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) license to stream the music video, which was more polished this time with professional producer John Jones (who also assisted with "Lindows Rock"), Flash programming from Peter Williams, and graphics from Ingolfur Haraldsson.

"Both of these were just for fun," Carmony said. "They were personal, pet projects of mine; just some fun."

As far as Linux ads go, IBM's TV series was adored by many Linux users simply because it focused on Linux.

Few people within or without the community really grokked the youngster portraying the free software operating system who was being groomed by giants, allowed to stand on their shoulders, in order to change the world. Some felt the young boy -- and by extension, Linux -- was just weird.

The Linspire ad is not like that at all. It's fun, not cereberal. It's catchy, and pokes fun at Microsoft and Bill Gates in a couple of ways. Not the least of which is the fact that Microsoft used a rock song from the same era to launch Windows 95.

This one seems to hit on all cylinders, at least it seems that way to us. What do you think?

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  • Business
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