Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Here is a selection of generally interesting articles from this week.
- Inter@ctive Week's Charles Babcock says that
the proprietary Unix vendors should support Linux. "In exchange
for conceding some small-server sales to Linux, HP, IBM and Sun
would expand the Unix user community -- at the expense of Windows
- It seems like a little while since we've had a truly good,
laughable FUD piece. Well, wait no longer...
this PC Week hatchet job fills the bill nicely. "I've done a
fairly good job of keeping my mouth shut regarding Linux until
now. I felt that to even talk about Linux in a column on networking
technologies was to dignify the software beyond what it
deserved." As always, please try to keep the high moral ground
if you reply to the author. Flames will only solidify his
position. (Thanks to Larry Davison).
- Nicholas Petreley has "An unabashed FUD piece on the future of Windows NT" in LinuxWorld
currently. It's a view of NT with the Halloween documents as a backdrop.
It's worth a read, as is most of Petreley's stuff.
- While we're on NT FUD pieces,
This John Dvorak column which never mentions Linux is worth a read
anyway. Mr. Dvorak has joined the ranks who say that NT 5.0 (aka
"Windows 2000") is going to be an outright disaster. "35
million lines of code? What exactly does this thing do? And how is
it supposed to become the operating system for the rest of us? By
that I mean how do we find ourselves going from Windows 98 to this
monster in a couple of years? Forget about it! This has disaster
written all over it. Microsoft had over 3,000 bugs in Windows 95,
which was under five million lines of code for sure. Folks, this is
becoming a joke." (Found in OS News).
- Fortune magazine discovers Linux in this highly positive introductory article. "Is all
the activity around Linux happening because it's free? No. The
main reason is that it's so reliable to begin with."
- Dan Gillmor of the San Jose Mercury says that
IBM should release Lotus SmartSuite as an open source product.
"This time, IBM should look outward, not inward. Open-source is
- Salon Magazine compares Linus to Martin Luther. It's an amusing article, with a good
picture. Check it out. "Torvalds' disciples also show the
earmarks of the true believer: Giddy with empowerment, but with the
memory of oppression yet fresh in their minds, they gleam with
ideological fervor. This style of unbridled zeal led some of
Luther's true believers to propose more radical extensions of his
reforms, like the 'slaughter of the ungodly.' We can only hope that
Linux sectarians will propose more moderate courses of action."
(Thanks to Robert Graziani).
Quite a bit of this week's press was inspired by Comdex - either by the
direct Linux presence there, or by announcements that were made in that
setting. These include:
A bit of late Halloween memo coverage trickled in, much of which claims
that the importance of the memos has been overblown.
- ZDNet reports from the Comdex Linux pavillion. "At first, it's hard to
tell why some of the center aisles in the out-of-the-way Sands Expo
at Comdex are so crammed with people. Then you spot the
- Steve Ballmer (briefly) on Linux in MSNBC. "We're going to think about
the issue, and I don't think the advantage to Linux is that it's
free. The issue is their flexibility opening source code and how do
you do that in an NT environment?"
- MSNBC also covered the Comdex Linux Pavillion. "Melissa London, a
spokeswoman for Red Hat software, expects the Linux Pavilion to be
jammed, despite its locale away from the main floor."
- Here is an interesting TechWeb article saying that, while Comdex is seen
as being in decline, a strong Linux presence may serve to keep the
conference relevant. "One of the busiest sections at Comdex may
be the new Linux pavilion, where hardware and software developers
will try to persuade attendees of the viability of their upstart
open source platform." (Editor's note: the Linux Pavillion
has, as we recall, been a fixture of Comdex for a while now).
(Found in LinuxToday).
- Red Hat steps up the Linux beat in PC Week talks about Red Hat's Comdex
- Linux piques Comdex curiosity in Sm@rt Reseller is a brief piece about
the Linux Pavillion.
There was some coverage on the "Linux in business" theme. Not
too long ago this sort of press was rare; things have changed.
- For example, this Internet Week column says that Linux need not worry.
"Let me just reiterate that Linux sprang up very nicely in a
development universe free of Microsoft. The independent community
is developing faster than Microsoft can. Its very nature means it
doesn't need to worry about profit or market share. So why are
they suddenly popping Rolaids just because Microsoft is
- PC Week's latest Halloween article takes a similar position.
"The fact is that the Linux community can react
faster than Microsoft in adopting these new extended
protocols. Microsoft would be at the wrong end of the paradigm,
spending a lot of money to develop new protocols while ignoring the
possibility that no one needs them and that they can be
reverse-engineered fairly easily for free."
- Here's Halloween, Friday the 13th, Microsoft in Web Review. "But we don't
really need to guess what Microsoft will do to combat Linux: We can just
look at what it has already done."
- Information Week ran this piece about
Halloween; fairly straightforward stuff. "What the Microsoft strategy
spelled out by Valloppillil fails to take into account is that by making
Windows more proprietary to compete, Microsoft would essentially make
Windows more difficult to integrate into a heterogeneous environment-the
kind of environment that most Microsoft customers have."
Then...there is the "reviews and awards" category...
- IBM hops on the Linux express says ZDNet. They talk about the DB2
beta release for Linux, now due December 7. "[IBM manager]
Jones said IBM was responding to the demand for DB2 on Linux from
academic institutions, and that it would freely distribute the
database from its web site in the first half of next year"
- Information Week has this longish article about growing business acceptance of Linux.
"Besides the attractive price, Linux is gaining steam because of
its solid business benefits."
(Found in Linux Net News).
- U.S. News and World Report ran
a lengthy article about Linux. It's mostly introductory in
nature, with some talk of the Halloween documents. "And then
there's the weirdness factor. Even if their tech people love it,
many top executives can't quite grasp the idea of tying their
corporate data systems to something developed free on the
Internet." (Thanks to Mike McLoughlin).
- No FUD here...Linux: Back door to the front office in PC Week talks about rising
acceptance of Linux in corporate environments. "Industry
pundits say Linux is about to take off in the enterprise. IT
administrators will tell you it already has." Worth a read.
This Business Week article concludes that Microsoft need not fear
Linux much; Linux is, instead, a greater threat to other Unix
systems. "A winner from the Linux onslaught could be Dell. It
stands alone as the only major computer maker in the server market
that doesn't have its own version of Unix. If Linux were able to
consolidate that market, then Dell could easily sell
Linux-compatible servers while its rivals would hesitate so as not
to cannibalize their own Unix product." (Thanks to Yun Ye).
- PC Computing has unveiled its "MVP Awards" for the year. Linux
rates an occasional mention, but the only winner is the Cobalt
Qube, which won both the small business server and innovation of the year awards. (IIS won the web server award - no
- ZDNet compares Red Hat and Caldera OpenLinux 1.3. (The Red Hat version isn't
specified, but looks like 5.1). "Despite attempts by RedHat and
Caldera at simplification, their products are still Linux, which
means frequent visits to the command line and a chance to get
chummy with your favorite text editor."
- LinuxWorld ran a review of S.u.S.E.'s Office Suite 99 product. The reviewer thinks
it has a way to go yet.
- PC Week ran this review of Red Hat 5.2. It's fairly insubstantial, but mostly
positive. "Red Hat won't win any artistic achievement awards
with its blue and red installation menus, but installation in tests
was blazingly quick and reasonably easy, even when compared with
Windows NT 4.0 and recently released NetWare 5."
- Here is another review of Red Hat 5.2, this one in Information Week. This one
too praises the installation proceedure. The "too hard to install"
attack against Linux looks like it could be the next one to fall.
"It took me less than a half-hour to perform a complete
installation of Red Hat 5.2-including all of the bundled software
packages, network hardware and software configuration, and display
configuration-to configure an NFS share and user accounts, and to
get Windows NFS clients connected to it." (Found in LinuxToday).
- Linux has won PC World Denmark's "Innovation of the year" award for
the Software category. "Linux. The 'Ugly Duckling' that turned
into a beautiful swan and became - to put it briefly - the most
widely used operating system for Internet servers world wide,
despite the marketing muscle of the larger companies." See
the award announcement for more. (Thanks
to Henrik Størner and Kaare Rasmussen).
- Linux vs. Windows 2000 is a longish article on ZDNet, looking at the
server function. On one hand, the author rates the installation
procedures for the to systems to be equally easy. On the other,
there's lots of complaining about command lines and support.
"If you're looking to set up your own server, or a server for
your small business, you may very well go with Linux. The initial
investment is low enough; just remember that much of the savings
may be lost in time." (Thanks to Sean Shore).
And here is a set of miscellaneous and introductory, and non-English press.
For some amusement from the "doesn't get it" department, check out this letter published in The Industry Standard (scroll about halfway down).
"Yes, [Linux] is free today; however, if it ever picks up steam and gets
enough functionality to handle larger operations, I can guarantee you that
some entity will own the rights to it, or to the service of it, and they
will charge a large price. Then it will defeat its original purpose of
being 'free' and 'open' and 'universal.'"
Internet World says Yes, you can build a router from a Linux box. But be prepared to
upgrade it later on.
Don't forget the Bob Young/Ed Muth faceoff in Network World Fusion. Both have put
in pieces saying why they think their system is better. (NW Fusion
is a registration-required site).
Some coverage of this forum can also be found in
this CNN article, reprinted from NW Fusion.
ZDNet UK interviews Corel's Mike Cowpland. "...we're getting WordPerfect 8 out
next week to the enthusiast community - a very substantial
community - and after that we're making sure our suite works with
KDE ... and GNOME..."
French-capable readers may want to check out
this article in Libération (in French) entitled "Linux et les
logiciels libres: Vers une nouvelle utopie concrète?" ("Linux and
free software: towards a new concrete utopia?"). It's a fairly
academic piece about free software and capitalism.
There is also an English translation of this article,
thanks to Elliott W. G. Noel.
(Found in NNL).
Klaus Krtschil wrote in about this brief article (in German) about HP's Firehunter and Intel's
Torrent demonstration. (Babelfish translation available here).
Windows NT Magazine has run a Linux article this month.
Unfortunately, it won't appear on their web site for a few months.
Fortunately, Christopher Young wrote up and sent us
a summary and review of this article.
Pål G.Larsson sent us a pointer to this article in Aftenposten. If you don't read Norwegian, however,
there's not much to appreciate above (what appears to be) a
university-era picture of Linus. The article is evidently about
the Holloween documents and the qualities of Linux in general.
Pål also pointed out this article, also in Norwegian, which is a review of StarOffice.
This article in InfoWorld talks about the upcoming 2.2 release and the
growing acceptance of Linux in general. "...the writing is on the wall:
Linux is growing fast." (Thanks to Didier Legein).
Here is the Guardian article on Richard Stallman. It actually spends as
much space on Eric Raymond as on rms. "Raymond's movement might
be designed to exclude Stallman, but it's not one he wants to
join. 'Please make it clear that I have nothing to do with Open
Source,' he says. 'I do not describe what I do as Open Source. That
term is a mistake.'"
"There is life after Windows" declares this article (in Portuguese) in the Brazilian "Diario de
Parnambuco". It's an introductory article about KDE, primarily.
(Here is the Babelfish link, but it's tough going). Thanks to Paolo Sedrez.
"Benji" sent us a pointer to Linux: It's Free, It Flexible, and It's Here to Stay (Part 2) in
Intraware SubscribNews alert. It concentrates on reactions
from the first article, touching on cost and support issues. There
are some silly numbers being passed around, though: "With
150,000 developers reportedly working on the kernel alone, Linux
has the resources and flexibility to stay nimble." No wonder
the linux-kernel list is so busy...
C|Net covers the Applix OLAP offering. "It's only now that corporations
are coming forward or even finding out that Linux is running in
A lot of folks sent us pointers to Transmeta-related information this week,
in the wake of their new patent on (what seems to be) a multi-instruction
set processor. People interested in pursuing the subject further can see,
for example, this Wired News article or
this one in
November 19, 1998
``Linux may be a great way for computer-literate individuals to get under the hoods of their computers for little cost, but it's nothing more than a convenient form of protest and public relations for the major software vendors that plan to support it.''
Michael Surkan, PC Week
``Linux ... retains the potential of being a successful desktop operating system. I say 'potential' because its main success is in functioning as a sleek dedicated server.''
Charles Babcock, Inter@ctive Week
``Why Microsoft is freaked out about Linux is no mystery. Redmond pretty much designed Windows NT and IIS to be the cheap Web and Intranet server platform. Along come Linux and Apache-a pair that does everything NT can do and is just a bit more stable, faster and cheaper.''
Oliver Rist, Internet Week
``Uh, what? 35 million lines of code? What exactly does this thing do? And how is it supposed to become the operating system for the rest of us? ... Folks, this is becoming a joke.''
John Dvorak, PC Magazine