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LWN has been acquired by Tucows.com, Inc. For a full rundown of what we have done and why, please have a look at our announcement; what appears on this page can be considered an executive summary of sorts.
Why have we taken the acquisition path? While we have enjoyed our independence over the last two-plus years, we came to the conclusion last fall that the future of LWN would be better assured by working in partnership with another company. With the ability to hire staff and the help of people who actually know how to do things like run the Gimp or sell banner ads we'll be able to do a lot more with the site. Worrying less about paying the bills will enable us to worry more about producing higher quality news for our readers. Finally, the increasingly competitive nature of the Linux space forced us to look hard at how our business works and how to keep it strong in the future.
Why Tucows? We looked at a wide range of possibilities and ran up far too many frequent flier miles as we agonized over what was the best thing to do. Tucows finally stood out as a company that has a solid business model, interesting ideas for its future in the open source world, a willingness to listen to us, and a relative freedom from editorial conflicts of interest. We feel strongly that we have made a good partnership which will help LWN to grow and flourish in the coming years.
What will change? In the future, expect an increase in the breadth and quality of LWN's coverage of the free software world. Our site technology should see some much-needed improvements - with the code probably being released as open source. Certain things, however, will not change: the LWN staff will remain with the site (and in Colorado), our editorial voice will be what it has always been, and we will remain independent. Our contract with Tucows specifies, in very clear language, that Tucows will not interfere in any way with our editorial freedom.
Work started on LWN almost two and one-half years ago. It has been a wild ride, and a great time. The greatest reward from the whole thing has been the support we've gotten from our readers, and we'll never forget that. Stick with us, both Linux and LWN have just begun to show the world what they can do.
Die Linux Bierwanderung 2000. The 2000 version of the Linux Beer Hike has been announced. This year, it will be held from July 30 to August 6 in England's Lake District. The event seems very flexible in its design: "You do not have to go on any of the hikes (some didn't last year), drink beer or even know much about Linux." It looks like a good time; somehow we are going to have to figure out a way to get an LWN reporter there to document the event...
The Microsoft verdict. LWN normally tries to avoid talking much about Microsoft - it is simply irrelevant to the free software world most of the time. It was thus tempting to let the ruling that Microsoft violated the Sherman act pass by without comment. But the fact is that when large governments take actions in the software business world, Linux and free software will certainly be affected. What sorts of effects we'll see depend on just what happens...
In the end, it is not at all clear that free software will benefit from government action against Microsoft. Free software is on the rise because it is better economically - freedom almost always is. A large, distributed network of free software developers are doing far more to change the way we deal with software than the U.S. government will.
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April 6, 2000