Cisco's $100,000 bounty: Get paid to love Linux, diss Microsoft

Cisco is putting $100,000 behind its efforts to kill Windows.

Most hardware and software vendors live in fear of Microsoft. Few dare to take the company head-on.

Cisco, however, has a different plan. As revealed by The VAR Guy, Cisco wants developers moving to its network-aware applications written for Cisco's AXP (Application Extension Platform) and Integrated Services Routers (ISRs), and away from Microsoft Windows. Instead of just wishful thinking, however, Cisco is putting real dollars behind its initiative to move developers to Linux: 100,000 of them.

Matt Asay

So, you're a Linux geek and have always wondered why triathletes get $40,000 in prize money for winning the San Francisco Triathlon, when you're the one doing the hard work? Wonder no more. The details are here, but the short of it is this: Cisco wants to beat Microsoft in the Unified Communications market, and is looking to Linux application developers to help it.

I asked Cisco's PR team to give me the skinny on why Cisco values Linux geeks all of the sudden:

The reason that Linux application developers are valued [so highly] is that Cisco has developed a card that runs Linux that plugs into their routers. The Cisco Application eXtension Platform (AXP) puts Linux at the heart of the network beast. This will probably interest C, Python, Java, and Perl developers. The Cisco AXP is a Linux server blade that plugs into Cisco routers and runs a Cisco hardened Linux running a 2.6 kernel. The AXP hardware goes up to a 1.6GHz Pentium chip, 2 GB RAM, and 160 GB of storage.

Proposals must be in by January 12, 2009. Now is your chance to stick it to the Microsoft man, and take away $50,000 (first prize) for your troubles.