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LinuxPPC to go non-profit

NPO not IPO

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LinuxPPC, inc. is no longer in it for the money. The organisation, which became a company in 1997, is to become a non-profit operation.

We'd like to say that LinuxPPC, one of the pioneers of the open source operating system on the PowerPC platform, has made the move for philanthropic reasons, but the reason appear entirely pragmatic.

The switch to incorporated status in 1997 was made primarily because, as LinuxPPC puts it, "it was less difficult and less expensive" than going non-profit straight away.

And then there was the burgeoning dotcom and Linux IPO arena, and it's hard to imagine LinuxPPC's founders didn't have such an opportunity in mind - who, working in such an environment, wouldn't?

Now, though, such times are long past, and LinuxPPC's principals reckon they're better off becoming a non-profit operation.

They're probably right. LinuxPPC's argument is that the organisation was formed to support and steer the development of Linux on PowerPC, and this new operational change will allow it to focus more closely on that role.

Then there's the imminent arrival of MacOS X. Like Linux, it's a Unix-based OS and provides the key features - SMP support, multitasking, memory protection, etc - but with a rather nicer interface (pace all you Gnome and KDE fans). Given the majority of LinuxPPC's users are running the OS on Macs, many of them many prefer the peace of mind of a product from Apple now it has one that meets their needs.

We hope many of them don't. As LinuxPPC makes the change over the next few months, it should allow it to concentrate more on rallying developers for more frequent upgrades, ensuring its OS evolves more quickly.

And while everyone waits patiently for Adobe to deliver a MacOS X-native version of Photoshop, LinuxPPC users can get on with Gimp right now. ®

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