Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
The Red Herring ran this article trashing Corel, CEO Michael Cowpland, and his Linux strategy. "Mr. Cowpland's pursuit of instant gratification by capitalizing on the Linux hype is as transparent as the open-source code he purports to worship."
Morningstar analyst Pat Dorsey says that Linux companies are seriously overvalued. "Sure, some companies might run successful businesses by making Linux easier to use and offering technical support for the systems, but no business model based on service and support is ever going to approach the incredible level of profitability of a Microsoft-style 'pay us for breathing' business."
NTK marvels at the upcoming 2.4 kernel code freeze and its coincidence with Windows 2000. "...a disaster comparable to Y2K, as every First Adopter on the Net simultaneously hoses their machines in their eagerness to uncover the new bugs in these latest versions..."
EE Times reports from the Real-time Linux Workshop in Vienna. "Developers of embedded-Linux systems established some common ground at a gathering last week, as they laid the foundation to build common threads among their various efforts and also decided to back Cygnus Solutions' EL/IX as a common applications programming interface (API) for embedded Linux."
VARBusiness ran this brief article about The Bazaar. "The Bazaar, presented by Earthweb, was true to its name with a freer feel, more men with beards than suits, robust t-shirt and Linux CD giveaways, and even children running around the exhibition space. But that didn't mean there wasn't a business side to this event."
Here's an article in the Red Herring about Linuxcare's latest financing round. "Linuxcare set out to raise $25 million, and was offered a total of $300 million, Mr. Sarrat claimed. A number of Japanese banks were among those shut out of the round."
The National Post reports on the purchase of the Puffin Group by Linuxcare. "In its effort to try to capitalize on the growing worldwide interest in the revolutionary, open source operating system, Linuxcare will swoop up Puffin Group's small but highly regarded group of Linux developers and gain a foothold into the Canadian market."
This article in Inter@ctive Week talks about Linuxcare and its potential IPO plans. "Existing technical support organizations, such as IBM's Global Services, or consulting organizations, such as KPMG International, are likely to increase their existing Linux expertise. But even so, said Michael Hoch, an analyst at the Aberdeen Group, they are unlikely to reduce the potential of Linuxcare's market, because Linuxcare provides a deeper level of technical support. IBM, which already offers Linux on its Netfinity servers, contracts with Linuxcare for that support, he noted."
Here's News.com's take on Red Hat's quarterly results. "The company attributes its strong quarterly revenues growth partly to an increase in the number of total enterprise customers, to 60 from 34 last quarter; the expanded scope of service offerings it provides by supporting popular open source applications; and the recent acquisition of Cygnus Solutions."
Newsbytes looks at Red Hat's plans in Asia. "Mark White, the new general manager for Linux distributor Red Hat Asia Pacific said that the firm has yet to decide upon a location for its regional headquarters, which will oversee operations in Greater China, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Korea and India."
ZDNet covers a talk by Bob Young. "Robert Young, chairman of Red Hat, said Sun Microsystems has failed to learn from the open source model of software if it has turned away from establishing an international standard for Java."
PC Week worries about where Red Hat is going. "Could it be that the heads of Linux vendor Red Hat's top managers are growing too large for their own hats, red or otherwise? With the company's stunningly successful IPO and aggressive acquisition strategy, it seems that Red Hat's leaders are listening more to Wall Street's panderers of quick wealth than to the customers who use the product."
This Reuters article talks about today's runup in the price of Be Inc. stock. "Shares of Be Inc. , a developer of an operating system for digital media and Internet appliances, rose about 48 percent on Thursday, amid market rumors that the company could be acquired by Red Hat Inc."
News.com looks at Corel's latest partnerships. "The company has licensed Bitstream software that will allow Linux to display Postscript and TrueType fonts. Creative Labs' sound card driver has been released into the open-source programming community that collectively writes Linux. And a new driver for S3's latest video card, which uses IBM's Fire GL chip, will be bundled with Corel Linux."
Corel is the focus of the Motley Fool's "Daily Double" column. "With a spotty history of creating shareholder value, seeing the stock trading at near 80x forward profit estimates may give some value investors a fear of heights. However, if you're looking at Corel's $1.6 billion valuation against Red Hat's $16 billion market capitalization, Corel represents a downright Linux bargain even at today's levels. Of course, further research is the best medicine to decide whether there is any real fire to go with all the Linux smoke."
The Red Herring has posted this followup piece to its previous anti-Corel article (see recommended reading). It seems the author got some email... "I say, choose the OS you'd like to use, and may open source and Linux prevail. But please don't mandate that everybody buy the stock of the corporation of your choice so that certain individuals can benefit financially from a software movement that purports to be free of greed."
Reuters looks at Corel's stock price. "The recent shine on Corel Corp. shares got roughed up a bit on Monday in a round of pre-Christmas profit-taking."
ZDNet looks at Corel's fourth quarter loss. "The latest profit warning is bad news to investors that bought into Corel at the peak of its Linux hype. On November 12, Corel closed just under $9 a share. Less than a month later, Corel closed above $39."
Salon ran this article about Richard Stallman's call for a boycott against Amazon.com. "Stallman is both a visionary and a crank, and something tells me that Jeff Bezos is not losing sleep over his manifesto. But the same network magic that leverages the information on Amazon's hugely successful and convenient Web sites also has the capacity to turn quiet arguments into raging wildfires of protest."
News.com ran this article about HP's work to port Linux to the PA-RISC architecture. "The work sponsored by HP closely parallels the Trillian effort to bring Linux to the 64-bit chip family Intel plans to launch next year with the introduction of its Merced processor. Intel, HP, IBM, VA Linux Systems and several other companies are participating in that initiative."
Bob Metcalf talks about Sendmail, Inc. in this InfoWorld column. "If buying commercial sendmail becomes popular, then maybe free open-source sendmail will go the way of ITS. This is probably also what the capitalists developing Windows 2000 have in mind for Linux. May the best software win."
LinuxPower talks with the developers at Loki Entertainment Software. "So when you buy one of our games you support Linux gaming in two ways: 1) by showing others that Linux products can be successful, and 2) by supporting our efforts to create all the open source tools necessary to create games on Linux with all the features and advanced technologies of any Windows game."
News.com writes about Covalent Technologies. "Covalent sells technical support and enhancements for the Apache Web server, much like Red Hat provides services based around the Linux operating system."
Also from News.com: this report on Sun offering SparcLinux in its online store. "Sun may also be positioning itself to stave off the advances of Dell Computer, which in the third quarter captured the top spot in Windows NT workstations, according to International Data Corp. (IDC)."
This Red Herring article is about the Andover.net IPO; it focuses more on the mechanism than the company. "Andover.net chose to work with W.R. Hambrecht because, according to Bill, philosophically they meshed. W.R. Hambrecht was able to extend the bidding process to all Linux developers, and for a company that relies on its developers for its success, that makes sense."
According to ComputerWeekly, Racal Defence Electronics is looking at putting Linux on its desktop systems. There is a pilot program in place now. "If the pilot is successful, it could lead to one of the largest implementations of Linux on the desktop. Steve Lewis, one of Racal's IT executives who is leading the project, said the move was a bold step for the defence contractor, but the potential cost savings had proved to be too attractive to ignore." (Thanks to Ian Harper).
The Ottawa Citizen ran this introductory article, which concentrates on the confrontation with Microsoft. "There's never neutrality in the bleachers when David takes on Goliath -- and that's why there's been a lot of cheers heard since Linux took on the dominant Microsoft Windows for leadership in the computer operating system market."
SmartMoney.com comments on the flood of press releases from "Linux wannabe" companies. Evidently such releases have the desired effect of raising stock prices - at least for a while. "Linux lunacy led Zap.com (ZPCM), an Internet search engine, to inform the world on Dec. 9 that it just added several Linux-related Web sites to its list of the 200 best Internet sites.... Is it too cynical to suggest the release was intended to give Zap.com's stock a zap - especially since its share price was falling in the days preceding the announcement? Zap.com's stock rose nearly 33% from Dec. 9 to Dec. 12, before giving back some of those gains." More "wannabe" announcements can be found in last week's LWN commerce page. (Found in NNL).
Here is a mostly introductory article in the Sunday Times which emphasizes the recent stock market activity. It is not entirely accurate. "Linus Torvalds, who was a 21-year-old graduate student at Helsinki University when he wrote the Linux operating system in 1991, deliberately gave away the source code on the internet so that programmers could modify it for their own use. The only condition he imposed was that they share their modifications with everyone else and never make money out of Linux." (Thanks to Andres Kruse).
Jerry Pournelle installs Red Hat 6.1 and Word Perfect, has trouble with both, but comes out pretty pleased. "Let's hope Corel decides to revisit its counterproductive policy of non-support for the Linux installation process, before it winds up shooting itself, and by extension the entire Linux effort, in its collective feet. Linux truly has the potential to fulfill the Macintosh's promise of being the OS for 'the rest of us,' and I for one want to see that potential realized to its fullest. The next step will be the Corel Office Suite for Linux, available sometime next year." (Thanks to Chris Walton).
Here's a classic Linux is hard to install article from USA Today. "To get my printer to work, I must first learn a powerful yet hard to use word processor called the vi text editor. Vi (pronounced vee-eye) is all command lines -- no menus, no point-and-click, just glowing letters on a blank screen."
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
December 23, 1999