Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Commerce page.
Gartner Group: ISV Enthusiasm for Linux: A House Divided . The Gartner Group's latest pronouncement on Linux has to do with the interest of independent software vendors. "By 2005, Linux will be among the top three to four ISV porting priorities for 60 percent to 65 percent of ISVs, but will not dislodge current top-tier operating system platforms (0.6 probability). From 2000 on, no more than two to three Linux distributors will be financially strong enough to be accepted as broad enterprise operating system vendors (0.7 probability)." (Found in Portalux News).
Layoffs at Linuxcare. Linuxcare has laid off a substantial portion of its workforce - by one report, 80 people, or about 35%. The company itself isn't talking much about what is going on, so there's not a whole lot of hard information around. It seems clear, however, that Linuxcare has the dubious honor of being the first open source downsizing. One can only wish that it will be the last.
This move does not mark the end of the road for Linuxcare. The company remains positioned in area that should prove lucrative, and (one can assume that) it still employs many well-known Linux developers. Linuxcare played the IPO game, and lost. Without the influx of cash from an initial offering, belts had to be tightened. Linuxcare is positioning itself to go a longer than expected route with the resources that it has.
Meanwhile, it's official: here's the withdrawal letter filed with the SEC by Linuxcare cancelling its IPO.
Changes in the VA Linux/Andover.Net deal. When VA announced that it was acquiring Andover.Net, part of the deal was a $60 million cash payment to Andover's stockholders. The deal has been criticized by many, but this payment was singled out for particularly harsh treatment. No more. The two parties have announced that the deal has been changed to an all-stock exchange. The official reason cited is "tax concerns"...
For those wanting more information, here's a registration statement filed by VA Linux Systems as part of its acquisition of Andover.Net. If you're curious about the details of the deal, you'll find all of the answers there, though you will have to dig through a lot of legalese to get to them.
Officers at Andover.Net will do well - some or all of their options will vest immediately on completion of the merger. On the other hand, Andover stockholders subject to the holding period will still have to wait until that period is up before they can sell their new VA stock.
(See also: this brief Reuters article about the change in terms).
VA Linux Systems acquires Precision Insight. While we're on the topic of VA acquisitions: on Precision Insight's web page is the following notice: "Precision Insight Inc. has merged with VA Linux Inc. PI's management and its entire engineering team have remained with the company and will continue to support open source development as they have while at PI. This merger adds a significant graphics, video, and multi-media development and support capability to VA Linux." VA has not yet released any information on this move.
PI works with XFree86, providing support services, developing video drivers, and so on. They developed a number of video drivers for Red Hat, and are currently working on the Direct Rendering Infrastructure with support from Red Hat and SGI. They list Darryl Strauss, David Dawes, and Brian Paul as part of their development team.
With this acquisition, VA adds greatly to its graphics capabilities, and to its development staff in general. PI is a group of sharp people; this could prove to be a very good move on VA's part.
Andover.Net announces new magazine. Andover.Net has announced a new print magazine called "Open," which will launch in August. It will offer trade-rag style free subscriptions; signups are already possible at the OpenMagazine.net web site.
Bluepoint signs agreement to develop embedded Linux system. Bluepoint Linux Systems has announced the signing of an agreement with Shenzhen Debole Electronics Development Ltd. to develop an "intelligent housing system" which will handle functions like "security alarm; automatic water, electricity and gas meter reading; appliance control (5 ports minimum); subdivision fee collection; information broadcasting; Internet connection; Internet-based remote management; E-Commerce Service; and touch screen with at least 50 Chinese display." There is apparently already an order in place for 6000 units.
Miracle Linux press release. Thanks to Maya Tamiya, we now have an English translation of the press release announcing the creation of "Miracle Linux" -- the new distribution startup being created in Japan by Oracle, NEC, and TurboLinux.
Open letter to Congress on immigration reform. A group of prominent technology figures, including Linus Torvalds, has sent an open letter to Congress asking it to make it easier for immigrants to get green cards. As of a little while ago, at least, Linus was still waiting for his...
Inprise/Borland board requests update of fairness opinion in Corel merger. Inprise has announced that its board of directors has requested that its advisor take another look at the merger deal with Corel. The deal looks increasingly in peril - this is the Inprise board, and not just a couple of dissident members, that is showing signs of having cold feet.
Troll Tech and Inprise/Borland collaborate on Linux GUI. Troll Tech and Inprise have announced a deal wherein Inprise will use the Qt toolkit in its Delphi product.
Perforce offers SCM System for IA-64 Linux. Applications for the IA-64 are already beginning to show up - before the hardware is available. Perforce has announced the availability of its software configuration management system for TurboLinux's IA-64 port.
LinuxMall CEO on Microsoft split-up. LinuxMall.com has issued a press release with CEO Mark Bolzern's opinion on the proposal to split up Microsoft. "Bolzern said no matter what happens in the Microsoft case, the end result will show that people are tired of the operating system dominance of Microsoft, and Linux will continue its rapid increase in marketshare and importance as a viable alternative operating system for businesses and individuals."
Amazon opens Linux store. Amazon.com, heedless of its current difficulties with the Linux community, has opened up its own Linux software store. The store's offerings currently seem somewhat incomplete: its distributions section is missing SuSE and TurboLinux (and all of the smaller distributions), the word processors section features only Corel, etc.
Section Editor: Jon Corbet.
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.
May 4, 2000