I founded and managed Linux Today in 1998, bringing it up from nothing into the most powerful and large Linux news website in the world, in less than a year. I am now calling on the Linux community to boycott my creation until its current owners stop accepting money from Microsoft to publish blatantly anti-Linux/pro-Microsoft ads.
Back in 1997, prior to the foundation of LWN.net and LinuxWorld.com, good online daily Linux news sources were non-existent. As a result of the growth of this community, news websites were inevitable. The first one that I am aware of was Three Point's Linux News, founded, managed and published by your humble editor.
Within a year, that website was relaunched with the cooperation of Dwight Johnson as Linux Today, and a new era in fast-faced Linux news was born. With the help of myself, Dwight Johnson, Marty Pitts, Paul Ferris, John Wolley, and others, it provided hourly news, information, reviews and editorials to an information-thirsty community. The rest of the story is, as they say, history.
Today, the original Linux Today team is no longer a part of the that website, and it is operated by the good people at internet.com (Jupiter Media). internet.com has been good to the Linux community over the years since they acquired it in 1999, continuing to operate the news site and giving resources to it so it could continue to serve this Linux world.
When they started added popups and animated banner advertisements for all kinds of irrelevant things, the community looked the other way and continued reading their site. These ads, while irritating, have been largely useless and harmless to the community.
Recently, however, Linux Today has added a new client to its list: Microsoft. Not only are Microsoft-sponsored advertisements appearing on that site now, but the ads are downright anti-Linux.
Today, there is a flash ad on the top-right hand screen that is a case study of the convenient store 7-11's TCO study between Linux and Microsoft. Ultimately, Microsoft won the study and the CIO of 7-11 is quoted (in the ad that is running on Linux Today!) as saying: "...the TCO for the Windows Server System approach was 20% less expensive than Linux." The fact that this ad is appearing on a cornerstone Linux community website is an absolute outrage.
On the same page, without reloading, as a text ad that says: "Attend a Microsoft(r) Executive Circle Webcast and get guidance from industry experts..."
Reload the page, and you might see another flash advertisement that says: "Weighing the cost of Linux vs. Windows? Let's review the facts." The following frame shows a bar chart with a Y-axis representing cost. Linux's bar is 10 times higher than Windows'.
Here are my points for the Linux community:
1. Do we want to continue to support a Microsoft-friendly (and anti-Linux) website by continuing to read it daily?
2. Would we be comfortable sending our boss and/or other decision makers in our company to this website for Linux-related news and information?
3. Can we continue to trust this website with unbiased news, now that we see how close to Microsoft they are?
It's easy to say that these are just ads, but the truth is, Linux Today is now being sponsored/funded by Microsoft, and they are cheerfully placing blatantly anti-Linux advertisements on their home page. This is an outrage that must be stopped.
If internet.com will continue to treat the Linux community with the same level of respect that it did a few years ago, then they should rightfully enjoy any profitability that comes its way. If, on the other hand, they continue catering to Microsoft and other enemies of Linux, then I can't imagine that the Linux community will allow it to happen.