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Linspire Revenue Sharing, Good Idea...ahhh "Privacy" Issue?

by Skeeteron_mypeter / September 14, 2006 7:27 PM PDT

Dear Buzz Out Loud Gang,
Linspire, one of the many popular variants of Linux, is offering its system builders a new revenue sharing program. Linspire has an online store in which new users and customers of Linspire and Freespire can visit, purchase, and download software on to their systems. Linspire has indicated that they will share some of the sales revenue of this store with the system builders. As each new system connects to the Internet and to the store, the system builders can go to their own specifically tailored website and see what that particular system purchased and installed. Linspire will send quarterly checks to the system builders for every instance that a new system has installed software from the Linspire store.

On the surface...this is a really good idea and business model. This will encourage Linspire system builders to promote sales of the operating system and help to build a larger base of customers for their computers and servers. This will also help spread the "gospel" that has seem to have captured the minds and the discussion blogs of the Linux community.

A Little Problem Linspire:

There is a small chilling element to this program. Is there not a "Privacy Issue" with this? Essentially, a Linspire system builder for about 18 months will be able to monitor the activity of a customer on the Internet. Linspire indicated that the system builders will be able to go to a specially tailored website and see the activity of the customer at the Linspire store.

So here is the question: Would you want the computer store or vendor in which you bought your computer from to have knowledge of your online activity or software purchases or how often you visited the Linspire software store? It maybe a minor issue but the Linspire pioneered CNR ("click and run") Technology is a really great technology for non-technical Linux users because it enables them to simply select and buy software directly from the Linspire store. Since this software has active links to the Linspire store, in a small way, Linspire can track your online Internet connection activity. So why is sharing this information to system builders a good thing?

My suggestion: Linspire should simply issue a quarterly report to system builders along with the checks instead of having the system builder being able to see "real-time" activity of the computers they sold in which visit the Linspire computer store.

That is my opinion.....what's yours? Wink

News Links:
http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=193000822&subSection=Breaking+News

Linspire Partner Program
http://partners.linspire.com/builder_programs.php

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