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openDesktop.org launches "open to all" Linux marketplace (english)
January 15, 2009
openDesktop.org, the online network for open source and IT specialists, launched a free Marketplace on the portal and opened it to all developers and designers. The Marketplace on openDesktop.org does not take a commission on sales. It also doesn't dictate which applications, artwork and documents may be listed. Instead, all applications and artwork are welcomed, including icon designs, wallpapers, document templates and binaries of free software. This is groundbreaking for the free software world.

Like other Apps stores, the Marketplace on openDesktop.org offers developers a choice: They may decide to give their apps or artwork away for free, or to sell it at a price they think reasonable.

"Our Marketplace is open to all developers of all applications, artwork and documents - whether they want to sell their work, or give it away for free," said Frank Karlitschek, CEO of openDesktop.org.

“openDesktop.org merely provides the online platform and the payment facility (which is Paypal) and is not a party to transactions concluded on the portal. The only cost incurred by the seller, is the commission charged by Paypal,” Karlitschek said.

He expects the Marketplace to increase interest in and traffic on openDesktop.org. "We rely on advertising and sponsorships to cover the portal development and operational costs and hope increased traffic will lead to increased advertising revenue," said Karlitschek.

“We hope the Marketplace will stimulate the market for free software and bring developers and users closer together,” he added.

The Marketplace is already very busy with daily downloads averaging 200,000, he said. Karlitschek ascribed the high level of activity to two factors. "Firstly, the software and artwork on offer has grown exponentially. All in all we now stock about 62,000 applications, artwork and documents. Secondly, new applications and artwork are added at the rate of about 100 per day. The size of the shop and the fact that new stuff is added daily, are pulling the crowds," he said.

openDesktop.org receives 5.7 million visitors per month. They view on average 14 pages per visit for a total monthly page view statistic of almost 80 million.

"To date the financial markets crisis hasn't impacted negatively on us. In fact, up- and download activity has increased in the wake of the crisis," said Karlitschek.

The free registration is only required for users intending to upload applications, artwork and documents to the portal - not for buyers, or downloaders of free software. To date 120,000 users have registered.

About openDesktop.org:

The story of openDesktop.org began in 2001, when Frank Karlitschek (35) started KDE-Look.org as a community site for the K Desktop Environment (KDE). In 2003 he launched a portal for KDE applications and named it KDE-Apps.org. Upon the request of the GNOME community he launched GNOME-Look.org a few weeks later. More requests were received from free software projects and everytime another portal was launched. By 2006 there were over 20 portals - all sharing the same infrastructure and user database. In 2007 the content of all the sites were aggregated on a single portal called openDesktop.org. Since then users of all the portals have been meeting friends, creating groups, exchanging messages and micro-blogging on openDesktop.org.

openDesktop.org is a free community portal. The hosting and other costs are covered by advertising and sponsorships. Although KDE and GNOME is prominent on the portal, openDesktop.org is independent and offers a home to all free software projects.
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