That Same Old Michael (Almost)
"Le plus ca changent, le plus ca reste le meme."
This typical French saying ("The more things change, the more they stay the same"), comes to mind as I've observed Michael Robertson jump back into the leadership position, this time at Lindows.com that produces a Linux-based operating system aimed at unseating Microsoft's hold on the desktop.
Sure, it's not music, it's not the majors, but the analogies to his leadership at the helm of then revolutionary MP3.com cannot be avoided. As with MP3.com, Michael has turned to 'open' versus proprietary technologies in order to unseat the incumbent that 'just doesn't get it' with a cheaper, forward-looking alternative. As with MP3.com, Michael is thinking big, having stricken a deal giving the company access to the most sought after retail space and brand with the LindowsOS Wal-Mart computers. As with MP3.com, Michael gets into 'avoidable' trouble such as the ill-conceived contest to hack Microsoft's XBox so it could run on Linux system (obviously never learned anything from SDMI's experience with hacker contest). And just as with MP3.com, Michael hasn't forgotten to include "Michael's Minutes" & "Ask Michael" on the corporate site.
His latest move places him in more familiar territory with the release of the Lindows Media Computer, a definite challenge to Microsoft's XP Media Center. But be reassured, Michael has apparently learned from his prior experience: there are no reference to burning, downloading or other taboos usually found in tech press releases.
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