announced Thursday its plans to become a non-profit organization to focus on the development and promotion of the Linux OS on the PowerPC processor.
Of major importance for the decision is that a non-profit organization is better designed to organize the volunteer efforts of developing the Linux OS, the company said, rather than have a for-profit corporation controlling it.
In 1996, Jeff Carr registered the linuxppc.org domain with the intention of creating a not-for-profit organization. However, LinuxPPC Inc. was formally created in 1997 as a for-profit corporation because it was less difficult and less expensive than creating a NPO.
Since that time, it was feared that an NPO would fail to keep up with the apparently burgeoning “.com” sector. LinuxPPC Inc. was very careful not to take on any investors, and was able to survive without doing so. “With the recent collapse of that sector, becoming a not-for-profit organization again seems to be a safe and logical move,” the company said.
One potential disadvantage of being a non-profit organization is the lack of investment and venture capitol, the company admitted. Investors are not interested in investing in something that will not yield any return, and there is no return on investment with free software development. “Thus the normal advantage to being for-profit corporation is inapplicable,” the company stated.
Despite the negatives of turning non-profit, Waukesha, Wisconsin-based Linux PPC Inc. believes there will be substantial and more frequent donations to support future development.
The transition is expected to take several months. When the transition is made, LinuxPPC Inc.’s services and assets to be taken over by the organization. There will be no disruption in services in the meantime.