Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
This week's recommended reading:
- Forbes Magazine has an article about Red Hat Software. "But not much of a future
lies in selling $49 software. In February Red Hat began offering
costly support contracts. Young figures this could be big; so far
he's found few takers. Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp. in
Burlington, N.J. is spending $1 million or so to buy 1,250
Linux-equipped PCs from Dell, but it won't pay Red Hat a dime for
support, says Michael Prince, chief information officer. 'I suppose
Red Hat's business model makes sense to somebody, but it makes no
sense to us,' he says." (Thanks to Marty Leisner).
- What if Microsoft opens the source to Windows? asks the Industry
Standard. "So don't save all your money for the rumored RedHat
IPO that's supposedly coming later this year. Freely available
source code will go a long way toward satisfying Microsoft's legal
and regulatory adversaries. And the contributions from a broader
group of programmers will make Windows stronger, as security holes
are identified and plugged and optimized code makes programs run
faster and more logically." Amusingly, the discussion of
Apache links to a stock chart for Apache Corporation - an oil and
gas exploration firm.
- FatBrain interviews Linus Torvalds. "I get about 200 a day. I read all my
e-mail. Well, I read the first five lines of e-mail. If there is
nothing interesting, then I just delete it. And I can see who sent
it. I get e-mail from friends and family occasionally, but mainly,
they send e-mail to my wife. She's my social manager."
- Also on FatBrain: The growing Linux divide by Robin Miller. "In a very crass
sense, these new Linux users represent income opportunity for Linux
manipulators. Just as Windows users are in the habit of paying
Windows manipulators to solve computer problems for them, users who
chose Linux for its stability and flexibility, rather than because
it's a neat tech-toy, will need lots of hand-holding, and most of
them will be happy to pay for it." (Both found in NNL).
The hot topic for this week is Open Source:
- It's The World of Open Source by (GNU C++ creator and Cygnus founder)
Michael Tiemann on ZDTV. "In 10 years, open source will be
broadly applied. To give a geopolitical analogy: The adoption rate
of open software is a lot like the adoption rate of democracy. It's
not yet 100 percent, but it's compelling, it's rewarding, and it's
the best way to do it."
- CNN covers Bob Young's Linux Expo Keynote. "...the content of his
address seemed to say that the introduction of a viable open source
model to the business world has already spelled victory for the
open source movement."
- The Denver Post has an article about Red Hat Software. "Eric Raymond, president of
the Open Source Initiative, points out that Red Hat can never
dominate the way Microsoft does because if it angers the community,
nobody will cooperate with the company or buy its products."
See also the second part of the article which, inexplicably, is not linked
from the first part.
- Computing Canada has run an article about businesses getting into open source software.
"More and more companies, for example, are providing their
source code - either including it as part of the package they sell
or by making it available to anyone on the Internet - as a way to
expand the market for their products or services and to allow
others to build on it." Zope is used as an example.
- Mac World discovers Apple's open source moves. "'It's as if we had hired a
bunch of programmers for free,' asserts Ernie Prabhakar, Apple's
product manager for Mac OS X Server. 'We'll have a final product
with better performance and new features.'"
- qui profite le logiciel libre? (Who profits from free software?)
asks TechWeb France. The answer, of course, is Red Hat Software.
The article attributes a lot of Red Hat's success to the RPM
package manager; it also touches on the Mandrake distribution.
English translation available via Babelfish.
(Found in NNL).
Linux and business:
- News.com speculates on Linux IPO possibilities. "One factor to consider as
ponders going public is compensating the myriad programmers who
have contributed to Linux over the years... If a company such as
VA or Red Hat went public and made a lot of money off Linux, 'What
does that mean for all those people who've done a lot of work and
don't necessarily' make money out of it? Will they still want to
contribute to Linux? 'That's one of the issues we're struggling
with,' Augustin said."
- ZDNet compares Red Hat's and Caldera's distributions. "In testing these
releases, PC Week Labs found that Caldera Open Linux 2.2 (released
in April for $49.95) is the more polished of the two but that Red
Hat Linux 6.0 (released in May for $79.95), with its GNOME (GNU
Network Object Model Environment) interface and Web-based linuxconf
administration tool, has greater potential to make life easier for
network managers. Client licenses for both operating systems
continue to be free." (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann).
- Techweb talks about the two companies (KeyLabs and LinuxCare) which are
competing to do Linux compatibility certification for hardware.
"KeyLabs already offers certification and benchmarking for other
operating systems, including Windows NT, Unix and NetWare. KeyLabs
also is responsible for Sun's 100 percent Pure Java Certification
program. But Art Tyde, executive vice president at Linuxcare,
which provides Linux support to vendors and IT organizations, said
it has more expertise in the open-source platform than
- Here's a News.com article about Dell's latest moves. "Also today,
Dell lopped off the $20 difference that used to make its Linux
systems somewhat more expensive than its computers running
Microsoft Windows, a spokesman said."
- ZDNet marvels at the lack of a Linux backlash. The article is mostly about
recent commercial events. "The amoeboid spread of Linux
continues, as vendors scramble to line up partners, certify
hardware and integrate applications with the open-source software
system, which they believe offers a stable, modifiable platform at
low cost to the enterprise." (Thanks to Cesar
A. K. Grossmann).
- E-Commerce Times reports on IBM's Linux moves. "IBM (NYSE: IBM) this week disclosed,
in a barrage of announcements, collaboration with several key
players in the increasingly popular Linux market, taking the
open-source operating system (OS) another step towards broader
- The Atlanta Business Chronicle looks at Realm Information Technologies and its thin server products.
"Founded in 1996, Realm initially was selling into a basically
unknown market. This forced it to look for a less expensive but
highly functional and stable operating system on which to base its
software. Realm turned to Linux early and is now a member of the
board of Linux International."
- Here's a ZDNet article about e-smith and their new distribution.
"The company's E-smith server and gateway converts PCI-based PCs
into Linux communication servers. The product is based on Red Hat
Software Inc.'s Red Hat 5.2. E-smith is pursuing the small and
medium business market, and is cultivating relationships with
- Lotus will release a Linux version of Domino by the end of the
year, but nothing for Netware according to this TechWeb story. "The simple answer is that, under the
circumstances of relative market share and projections we see for
enterprise deployments of NetWare, we're not planning to resurrect
Domino for NetWare."
- The Seattle Post-Intelligencer writes about Microsoft's new anti-Linux team. "In the past,
Microsoft has publicly scoffed at the notion that Linux, the
upstart operating system that has attracted huge media coverage and
technological acclaim, poses any threat to its Windows-based
hegemony. Not anymore."
- Here's a whole set of articles by Charles Babcock in Inter@ctive Week:
- IBM Turns True Blue For Linux is, not surprisingly, about the
IBM/TurboLinux deal. "Executives at alphaWorks, IBM's Silicon
Valley center for emerging technologies, declined to comment on
what IBM might do next to buttress Linux. But John Wolpert, a
director of emerging technology development, said 'huge'
announcements regarding Linux are still to come."
- Linux App Vendors Challenged talks about the potential difficulties
of selling applications in this market. "...as Linux
application vendors allocate resources to beef up their products,
they face the possibility that open source code developers may
bring out free software packages, and that Microsoft may enter the
Linux applications market."
- And this one talks about competing office suite projects. "KOffice
and the Gnome Workshop are not necessarily producing large,
distinct applications per the example of Microsoft Office so much
as components that will be able to work when summoned or be
embedded in a variety of applications, according to developer
statements on the two respective Web sites."
- CPU Review looks at Caldera OpenLinux 2.2. The review is quite positive, with a
"I would caution corporate users to familiarize themselves with
the OpenLinux license agreement; due to Lisa and some other
proprietary tools you are not allowed to install OpenLinux on more
than one PC (unless you ftp and install the 'lite' version from
- Here's another article on 'is Linux ready for business?'. In a poll
conducted by silicon.com the answer was 71% yes.
- Here's an introductory article in the Washington Post. "Linux is ...
another way to drive your computer -- an operating system
like Windows 98 or the Mac OS, but cheaper, faster, harder to use
and a little bit cooler. Think of it as the stick shift of
- Here's a New York Times article about Linux winning the Prix Ars
Electronica. "In a statement on the contest's Web site, jurors
explained that their decision was meant to show that 'the .net
category is not a prize for the most beautiful or most interesting
home page on the World Wide Web... It is also intended to spark a
discussion about whether a source code itself can be an
artwork." (Thanks to Peter Link and Conrad Sanderson).
- Fast Company has published the diaries kept by the participants in Red Hat's "GeekWorld"
publicity thing. "Ummm...9 a.m.???? Dudes, most of us were up
half the night coding, putting out fires and bug fixing for stuff
back home. The rest were intently watching 'Austin Powers,' making
the RealVideo encoder work or conquering FreeCiv."
- An LA Weekly writer gets slashdotted, and does not appreciate the
experience. "...mostly, the thread of discussion on Slashdot
could be best described as Orwellian. I was shocked. Could these
Linux fascists be related to the freethinking, friendly Linux
community I met years ago on the Internet Relay Chat, where once a
helpful soul stayed up half the night walking me through the setup
for Slackware?" The article comes with a bizarre illustration
of a crucified penguin.
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
June 3, 1999