Raymond, perhaps best known as one of the co-founders of the Open Source Initiative and author of such seminal open-source works as "The Cathedral and the Bazaar," has recently declared that if the Linux desktop is ever to grab a large share of the desktop market it must do it soon or it will never happen.
Raymond believes desktop Linux is entering into a critical period, noting that historically, users have shifted operating systems during periods of fundamental changes in hardware platforms.
He believes the PC vendors embrace of 64-bit computing will provide desktop Linux a unique window of opportunity, which, if missed, may not come along again for many years.
To make that happen, Raymond said at the 2006 San Francisco LinuxWorld, no matter how painful it may be to some free software purists, Linux must support popular proprietary software such as Windows media files, as well as proprietary hardware like Apples iPod.
Just before this, Linspire had launched Freespire.
This Linux operating system is a community-driven Linux that gives users the option of combining free open-source software with certain proprietary codices, drivers, and applications.