The companies have nothing to say no to this! Greg Kroah-Hartman, an active Linux hacker, has offered developing Linux drivers for devices, for free. All that is required is a specification of how the device works, which hopefully will be available.
All that is needed is some kind of specification that describes how your device works, or the email address of an engineer that is willing to answer questions every once in a while. A few sample devices might be good to have so that debugging doesn’t have to be done by email, but if necessary, that can be done.
There is also a NDA program for companies that might feel threatened by sending the specification across.
Kudos to the Linux driver developer community to come up with something like this. Companies have always complained that it was tedious to develop and support Linux drivers for their devices. And lack of drivers of third-party devices has been a thorn in Linux adoption This wholehearted effort to eliminate it is laudable. It not only helps the Linux users, but also benefits the companies which can now have a Linux customer base.
The Linux community has offered the best that they can, let us see if the companies reciprocate. The only possible hurdle can be because of licensing and open sourcing of the drivers, which should be sortable considering the advantages. If this works, it will definitely usher in a better 2007 for desktop Linux.