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$200k prize offered for getting Linux to run on Xbox

Legally, that is...

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An anonymous donor has offered a total of USS200,000 as prize money for getting Linux to run on Microsoft's Xbox, legally, by the end of this year. The prize money is intended to be awarded in stages as parts of the project, which is being run via the Xbox Linux Project, are completed.

Is this for real? According to Michael Steil of the Project, the identity of the donor "is known to the project leaders and well-respected," so there seems at least a possibility that the money exists and will be paid up. And finding "a simple and completely legal way to run Linux on the Microsoft Xbox" before 1st January 2003 could be a tall order.

The project consists of two sub-projects, each of which is worth $100,000. Project A is for porting Linux to a modified Xbox, and consists of development of a PC-style bios, for which the prize is $55,000; kernel and XFree drivers ($25,000), and FATX and bootloader work ($10,000 apiece). Project B is just one big $100,000 nightmare - Development of a CD image that makes an unmodified Xbox run any unsigned code from the CD.

Call us pessimists, but we'd guess at least half the donor's money is perfectly safe. You can find more details here, along with the competition rules. These state, among other things, that information must be shared, work must be submitted via Sourceforge, it's all got to be documented, that it's all got to be GPL, and that everybody should work together. Which sounds sort of like everybody on the project ends up getting an equal share if it succeeds. But maybe we misunderstand... ®

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