April 23, 2002

Lindows.com Michael's Minutes: A Million Windows?

Michael Robertson: "The next two weeks promise to be interesting ones as Microsoft ponies up
people to testify in their court battles that a monopoly is a good thing
for consumers, and by extension, that competition is a bad thing. The
only thing more preposterous than that is their position that having
multiple versions of an operating system is either technically
impossible or economically impractical. Ironically, our small company,
Lindows.com is doing what Microsoft says it cannot or will not do. Since
those signed up for our Insiders program at
http://www.lindows.com/signup receive early versions (as well as the
final version when released later this year), they have witnessed this
technology first hand. Let me explain."

At Lindows.com, we see a trend of cheaper computers leading to
specialized computer usage. According to NPD Techworld, the average
price of a PC late last year was $814. Between 1996 and 2001 Gartner
Dataquest reported that PCs experienced an average annual drop in price
of $211. This suggests that by the end of 2002, we should expect the
average a consumer pays for desktop machine at $603. And remember,
that's the AVERAGE. With every computer manufacturer already offering a
sub-$600 package, many buyers will pay considerably less than the $603

At these prices, homes with broadband can buy multiple machines - say
one for each member of the family or one for different rooms of the
house. Businesses can afford multiple computers for their employees.
Each of these computers will have a much more narrow list of duties than
the all-in-one PCs of the past. A computer someone buys for their 10
year old may only need a collection of chat and email programs similar
to AOL. (Over half of U.S. homes today use AOL and many of them use AOL
almost exclusively when they turn their computer on.) If I buy a
computer for the security guard in my company, it only needs a couple of
business type programs. I don't want the expense or added complexity of
unnecessary technology like 3D virtual reality software. Instead the
consumer should be able to pay only for what the will actually need and
want. Anything else adds unnecessary complexity and cost, opens up more
potential security vulnerabilities, and can slow down the machine.

With this trend in mind, LindowsOS comes with a minimal configuration,
but can be easily supplemented with additional software to suit specific
duties. Missing are many of the non-essential software programs - what
the Department of Justice calls 'middleware.' Many of these are the same
elements Microsoft claims they cannot remove from their OS. Of course,
these programs are still available to LindowsOS users via the
Click-N-Run Warehouse at http://www.lindows.com/warehouse some are free
and some there will be a charge for. Each is downloaded, installed and
ready to use with just a single mouse click. Instead of promoting our
own software preferences on buyers, the Click-N-Run Warehouse will offer
thousands of products and let the buyers decide which suit them.
(Today, if you try out LindowsOS SP2 at http://www.lindows.com/signup,
you'll be able to see the Click-N-Run technology in action. See
screenshots at http://www.lindows.com/clicknrunshots)

The goal is to allow people to customize their operating system so that
it suits the needs and pocketbook. They pay for only what they need.
They install only what they use. The goal is to create many versions of
our OS - the same thing Microsoft claims is untenable and will destroy
the personal computer business. We imagine homework windows which
students would customize for their needs. A teenager windows with
programs suited for them. A preschool windows for little tykes. A
receptionist windows with tools they might use. Yes, a world with a
million versions of windows. That's what Lindows.com is bringing to the
marketplace and exactly what is needed to energize the next wave of

Special Note: I've received some information from some of you since our
court case that Microsoft is sending cease and desist letters to
products, companies and domain names which use any variation of the word
"windows". I refer you to our legal papers at
http://www.lindows.com/opposition for what we think of their legal
position and encourage you to let others know publicly of Microsoft's

Michael Robertson,
CEO Lindows.com, Inc.
michaelr@lindows.com Bringing choice to your computer!

Lindows.com has just released a Sneak Preview 2 of LindowsOS. The Sneak
Preview is not a fully completed product but showcases many of the
unique features such as a "Friendly-Install" alongside an existing
Microsoft Windows operating system, a streamlined installation process
which requires no computer knowledge and the ability to run popular
Windows-based programs. For more information go to
http://www.lindows.com/signup LindowsOS and Lindows.com are trademarks of Lindows.com, Inc. Linux R is
a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. MicrosoftR WindowsR operating
system is a registered trademark or service mark of the Microsoft


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