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LinuxFund.Org Launch Gives Credit to Developers

Aug 27, 1999, 13:23 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dave Whitinger)

By Dave Whitinger

Linux developers now have a new source of funds, with the launch of the LinuxFund.Org. The corporate-sponsored fund is hoping to be giving as much as $2,000,000 dollars a year to developers of free/open source software.

The Fund, launched at the recent Linux World Expo in San Jose, is based around a Linux credit card, complete with everybody's favorite penguin, Tux. The card is backed by MBNA, and proceeds from the card go into the fund. The organisers hope to be allocating grants early next year.

This part of the LinuxFund.org is headed by Mark Willey of Penguin Computing. The Linux Fund is structured so that money that is ear-marked for development will be given away exclusively by developers to their peers, without any corporate intervention. "There is quite a bit of interest in corporate America for sponsoring such a fund," says Willey. "This suggests that Linux is becoming a mainstream operating system, completely enterprise-ready."

Apart from its potential as one of the coolest IT fashion statements of the year, Linux cards also carry discounts of up to 8% on Linux systems from DCG, Inc.; Indybox; Workstation 2000; and others. In addition, the first 5000 people to sign up on the web and use their new Linux Fund credit cards will receive a free T-shirt from the fund.

LinuxFund.org CEO Benjamin Cox says the Fund expects to launch a UK and Canadain version of the credit card in early 2000, and is also hoping to increase the range of discounted products. "Our goal is to sign up 100,000 accounts by the end of next year" says Cox, "which would mean we could be giving roughly $2,000,000 to developers a year." Cox says the fund is also looking for corporate donations, and for volunteers to help sign up customers at computer shows.

500 applications were signed almost immediately at the San Jose launch, and Cox says they could easily have taken 1,000 applications on the spot if they had anticipated the strength of demand.

The Linux Fund is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and will be primarily operating over the Internet.

For more information, E-Mail Benjamin Cox, LinuxFund.Org CEO, or call +1 503 892 3333. If you want to help or learn more about the fund, check out the web site at http://www.linuxfund.org/