Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
PC World has run a lengthy article about PC operating systems; included therein is a substantial section on Linux. It has problems in spots (it says, for example, that you essentially can not order a computer with Linux installed), but covers a lot of ground. "As Windows users, we were dumbstruck by OpenLinux's reliability: In a month of use, we experienced only two application crashes, neither of which brought the operating system down. In fact, we never had to reboot the OS."
Robert X. Cringely rides again with Why Microsoft and Intel both lost ground this week to the open source movement. The article, examines the acquisition of StarDivision and the end of Windows NT on the Alpha processor. "Compaq will still be using the chips in their Tandem Himalaya servers. Samsung is also designing Alpha motherboards that fit PC models. What's more, the AMD Athlon chip runs on the Alpha EV6 processor bus, allowing the potential reappearance of Alphas in mass-market CPU boards. But what operating system will nearly all of these Compaq and third party machines be running? Thanks to Microsoft this week, nearly all of them will run Linux." (Thanks to Larry Davison).
Sun and StarOffice:
The Economist covers Sun's plans with StarDivision. "By acquiring Star Division, founded in 1985 by Marco Borries, then aged 16, Sun is taking direct aim at Microsoft's Office, which includes word processors and spreadsheets. This cash cow, which generates about 40% of Microsoft's revenues, is now threatened by Sun's promise to give away Star Division's much-admired competing product, StarOffice, which can work alongside Microsoft applications and also runs on Linux and Sun's own Solaris operating system."
Nicholas Petreley looks at Sun and StarOffice in this InfoWorld editorial. "But I am actually quite ambivalent about the possibility that Sun could cause irreparable damage to Microsoft Office as a product. I happen to prefer StarOffice 5.1 to Microsoft Office 2000, but I don't want to see innovation in the office-suite market grind to a halt the way it did in the browser market. Notice how Netscape's browser has stagnated ever since it stopped making the company any real money. Microsoft hasn't done much with IE, either, at least not since it came close to feature parity with Netscape Communicator."
allNetDevices sees big things in Sun's plans for StarOffice. "Our prediction: StarOffice will spur growth of handhelds and thin clients and will become the leading application suite for those devices. That, in turn, will lead to erosion of Microsoft Office's market share on the desktop." (Found in OS News).
Here's a Reuters article about the latest craziness with Red Hat's stock price. "In addition, influential Wall Street brokerage Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of Red Hat with a market outperformer rating, saying it was well-positioned as Linux open source software becomes mainstream, and that its share price wasbenefiting from a scarcity of opportunities to otherwise invest in Linux."
News.com reports on the billionaires of Red Hat. "Red Hat founder and chief technical officer Marc Ewing, age 30, owns 9.088 million shares in the company, while CEO Robert Young owns 9.081 million shares. At $108 per share, Ewing holds Red Hat stock worth $981 million while Young holds a stake worth approximately $980 million. Should the stock hit $110.11, both will be billionaires."
AsiaBizTech reports on Red Hat's Japanese office. "The company is proceeding with the work of converting the latest version of Red Hat Linux6.0 into Japanese, and is expected to put it on the market in October 1999, at the latest. It says that it will provide a free-of-charge upgrade service to the Japanese version of Red Hat Linux6.0 for users of the Japanese version of redhat Linux5.2, which has been available from Itsutsubashi Research Co., Ltd."
News.com interviews Red Hat's Marc Ewing. "Any time you're sort of slacking off or saying you're thinking of taking a day off our president says, 'You know, I'll bet Bill Gates is working today.'" (Thanks to Alberto Schiavon).
Also in News.com: this article about the deal with Gateway and the new Japanese office. "Red Hat's decision to set up its own international office is a change of direction for the company, which previously had partnered with Itsutsubshi Research to develop and market Red Hat Linux for Japan. 'They had asked for more money than we wanted to pay,' said Red Hat spokeswoman Melissa London. 'We wanted to work together but realized wasn't going to work out. They wanted huge amounts of money.'" (See also last week's LWN for more info on the Japan office and Itsutsubshi Research).
TechWeb covers Bob Young's talk to the New York Linux Users Group. "'We feel sympathy for Microsoft.... Because of our visibility, the volume of support requests are going up.'"
Sm@rt Reseller ran this article about the Red Hat trademark blowup. "While new gray-market distributors of commercial Linux binaries can be expected to complain loudly about this re-enforcement of Red Hat's trademark and products, the development is music to the ears of official Linux resellers."
Joe Brockmeier of the Linux Mall sounds off on the coverage of the Red Hat trademark issue. "I don't think that the press has really been reporting the truth, here. Red Hat's policy isn't new, but every story makes out like it has only been this way since Red Hat went public."
EE Times looks at Nokia's new mobile TV/Internet product. "Nokia's MediaScreen, with an embedded computer running the Linux operating system and a GSM phone used as a return channel, was shown in action as both a portable device within a booth and as a mobile unit installed in a car that could be seen cruising the IFA exhibition halls."
Some motherboard manufacturers are considering more direct support for Linux, according to this Computer Reseller News article. "Elitegroup Computer Systems Inc., Fremont, Calif., plans this summer to unveil a low-cost Linux PC system featuring a motherboard integrated with software and hardware specifically for use with Linux."
General Motors is considering putting Linux into 7,500 dealerships, according to this ComputerWorld article. "David E. Hutka, operations manager of GM Access, the dealership network, told Computerworld senior writer David Orenstein that the automaker is considering a move from Windows to Linux only because of how much the Microsoft Corp. operating system taxes server hardware."
Linux in a three-piece suit is a lengthy set of business case studies in ComputerWorld. "Like any integrated oil company, Amerada Hess Corp. lives and dies by the quality of its seismographic analysis. Its proprietary 3-D analysis software used to run on expensive AIX-based, IBM RS/6000 SP2 computers in the company's Houston offices. Now it runs on Linux, installed on 96 network-clustered Dell Computer Corp. workstation Model 410 machines."
This brief IT-Director.com article suggests that HP may be about to drop HPUX and fully adopt Linux. "The proposition is simply this: at the moment Linux lacks a number of scalability functions. It scales in the sense that it has been implemented on configurations with 32 nodes and more, but such implementations are far from fully tailored and tuned. The question then is; who is going to step forward and try and fill this gap and, more importantly, will it be Hewlett-Packard?" (Found in NNL).
Linux makes inroads into Windows/Unix territory says the Australian Financial Review. "Office products supplier Corporate Express, for instance, uses Linux for its e-commerce and EDI operations, while TAB Queensland runs Linux on 1,000 computers for branch communications and in its phone-betting call centres."
Linuxcare isn't in a hurry to do its IPO, according to this News.com article. "Instead, [CEO] Sarrat is busy signing Linux-support contracts so the company has a solid revenue stream before launching an IPO. Linuxcare, which provides technical support and training for Linux, is raising enough in corporate investments 'to have enough flexibility to pick our IPO time whenever we want next year,' he said. What's going on here--sober, rational thought in the midst the hype that surrounds Linux?"
Here's a Reuters article (in TechWeb) about Corel's stock price (yet again). "Owned largely by retail investors, the stock can rise or fall based on gossip circulating in chat rooms. Interest in Linux will continue to have an impact as investors learn more about the technology's market potential."
Will Linux replace Windows? asks the Philidelphia Inquirer in this introductory article. "For some area companies, it already has." (Thanks to Dave Lugo).
Reviews and Comparisons:
Here's a News.com article comparing Caldera Systems and Red Hat. "Caldera and Red Hat may be similar in some ways, but their product focus is different. Where Caldera has chosen to focus on relatively unsophisticated users, Red Hat sees big opportunity in expanding into ever more powerful servers. That could change in coming months, with the release of a new version of Caldera Systems' Linux aimed specifically at servers."
Salon Magazine looks at the pains of installing Linux on laptop systems. "It's just no fun to buy a new IBM Thinkpad and then discover that no matter how good a hacker you are, you simply can't get the built-in modem to work with Linux."
PC World provides a set of second steps with Red Hat Linux - things to do after the installation. "Unlike a certain operating system out of Redmond, Washington, Linux offers a remarkably stable and secure platform. Unfortunately, any computer connected to the Internet will--at some point--attract trespassers. And a standard Red Hat installation provides online thugs with plenty of ways to hack into your system."
AboutLinux looks at the effects of optimization settings on AMD Athlon performance. "...by following the optimization settings shown in the article, you can get up to 73% improvement on some types of code."
OS Opinion Editorials:
Here's a CNN article remarking on the lack of glitz at Linus Torvalds' LinuxWorld keynote. "The truth is, of course, that the Silicon Valley style wouldn't suit Linux any more than a tie-dye T-shirt would suit Oracle style magnate Larry Ellison. In fact, such glitzy launches and buzzword-infested speeches are the antithesis of everything Linux has come to represent -- namely, grassroots software developers making products for the community, not profit."
The Boston Globe casts doubt on the future of Linux by comparing it to Java and quoting a lot of Microsoft executives. "Plainly there's no need to mourn for Java's fate. But its success as a sort of welding tool for computer networks is a long way from the early visions of Java partisans. Talk to Microsoft executives and they'll tell you that a similar fate awaits Linux. Charles Fitzgerald, director of business development in Microsoft's software development unit, says the Linux hype has already peaked." (Found in Slashdot).
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
September 9, 1999