Desktop Linux group readies public agenda

The Desktop Linux Consortium is planning a round of conferences and other events following the conclusion of a public review
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

An industry group formed early this year to promote the GNU/Linux operating system for desktop computers is set to finalise its corporate structure next month, and is planning its first conference for this autumn.

The Desktop Linux Consortium, whose backers include open-source advocate Bruce Perens and several prominent Linux companies, this week launched a public review of its charter and corporate structure, to continue until 11 August. The organisation plans to ratify its final policy in September and will kick off a programme of trade shows, conferences and other public events in the autumn, with the first conference to be announced in August.

The consortium's goal will be to raise awareness of desktop Linux and to speed its adoption. The issue has grown in significance since the consortium's announcement in February, with governments in Europe and elsewhere showing strong interest in open-source software, large organisations such as the City of Munich buying into Linux desktops on a significant scale, and Microsoft placing Linux at the top of its list of threats.

Companies behind the Desktop Linux Consortium include several Linux sellers such as SuSE, MandrakeSoft, Lycoris, Xandros and ArkLinux; CodeWeavers, which sells software to help run Windows programs on Linux systems; OpenOffice, an open-source competitor to Microsoft Office; and the KDE user interface software.

Participants say the new consortium is in part a reaction to the behaviour of one company not on the consortium's membership list: Lindows. Several of the desktop Linux companies withdrew from a Lindows-organised conference, accusing Lindows chief executive Michael Robertson of using the forum too much to promote his own company's wares.

The consortium is soliciting feedback from individuals and companies, including members and non-members, via a survey on its Web site.

"Linux use on the desktop is on the rise around the world, and we hope to provide a focal point for early adopters to come together and help the rest of the world take advantage of the power, value, and freedom of Linux," said Jeremy White, Desktop Linux Consortium chair and chief executive of Codeweavers, in a statement.

CNET News.com's Stephen Shankland contributed to this report.

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