Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Commerce page.
SGI will be unloading its NT business, and concentrating on Linux on the Intel platform. They see this as one of the important steps toward their recovery as a profitable company. The NT systems will be put into a separate "business unit," and, apparently, sold off.
It's not that long ago that SGI and almost all of the other major computer vendors were seeing NT as their future and running headlong in that direction. NT was truly the Unix killer. Isn't it funny how times can change. The NT market doesn't look as good as it once did, and Unix - led by Linux - is experiencing a major resurgence. These are interesting times we live in.
Motorola has jumped into Linux in a big way, with announcements of an "aggressive" Linux strategy, a set of server platforms, and a network appliance product. They are teaming up with Caldera Systems and Lineo (formerly Caldera Thin Clients) on the Linux software side. The word here on the LinuxWorld floor is that they are moving quickly away from their OEM agreements with other system vendors. Wayne Sennett, MCG corporate vice president and general manager attended the LinuxWorld show in person to make their announcement. In talking to us afterwards, he commented that he was simply amazed by the energy in Linux. "Where did all this energy come from?" he asked.
For Motorola this looks to be a good move for all the right reasons: they get a quality system at the right price. For the sorts of embedded systems that are being put together here, there is no latitude for problems or support calls - the margins just do not support that. So things have to work right the first time, and keep on working. So Linux is a great fit.
For the two branches of Caldera, it is also a good deal. They have just opened up a channel that extends through Motorola's extensive OEM market; this should help them to move a lot of units. While they are at it, they have not lost track of the notion that thousands or millions of embedded web browsers can be shipped configured to point to their web site. There were some real smiling faces on the Caldera side this week.
Linux has been expected to move into the embedded world for a while; here we are seeing the first actual motion in that direction. It has started with a big step.
Just a reminder of some of the announcements made at LinuxWorld:
LinuxCare had free tutorials offered in the exhibit area.
Applix offered free training on their products.
OMNIS Software had announced that they developed the Linux based information kiosks used at the event.
Inter@ctive Week has put out this press release saying that next week's issue will contain a story claiming that Dell will start selling desktop systems with Linux installed. Dell has, thus far, limited itself to the server arena. "The Internet newspaper's senior technology writer, Charles Babcock, learned that the PC hardware vendor's popular Dimension desktops, priced from less than $900 to $2,200, will be available with Linux by October. This was confirmed by a Dell spokesman who said the company also will offer Linux as an option on its Inspiron notebook line by the end of the year."
It's the iGeek, a new, colorful system from Be Computing. Which operating system does it run? "Debian or RedHat Linux pre-installed with optional BeOS."
Software: Another "enterprise software" piece has arrived: UniTree Software has announced the availability of its hierarchical storage management (HSM) product for Linux. HSM systems transparently move files between disk and secondary storage (such as tape), thus providing a large "virtual" disk farm.
Sun claims to have given away 100,000 copies of Solaris over the last nine months, with the majority of them going to "Windows and Linux developers."
Section Editor: Jon Corbet.
August 12, 1999