Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Commerce page.
Mark your calendars. As most LWN readers will already know, when a company goes public the "insider" shareholders are prevented from selling their shares for a defined period of time. This lockup serves to keep the stock price higher while its market stabilizes. When it ends, however, the stock price can suffer as all of the insiders, who have been waiting patiently all this time, cash in some of their holdings.
Of particular interest to Linux investors is the fact that Andover.Net and VA Linux Systems both emerge from their lockup periods in early June. Andover comes out first, on June 5; a total of just under 8 million shares, or 50% of the company, will become trade-able on that day. VA comes out the next day (June 6) when 35 million shares - a full 85% of the company - will be unlocked.
The end of the lockup does not necessarily spell disaster for the stock price, however. Cobalt Networks came out of lockup on May 2 with no long-term impact. And 30% of Red Hat's shares (part of a longer lockup due to its secondary offering) were turned loose on May 3; in this case the stock's price did fall somewhat, but it is hard to attribute a cause to the drop.
(Information courtesy of IPOLockup.com).
Corel/Inprise merger cancelled. From the beginning this deal seemed a bit lopsided. Inprise is the larger company and yet Corel was to do the acquiring. Inprise would get Corel stock and Corel would gain access to Inprise application software, which it could then port to Linux. It could have been very good for Linux, but some would argue that it was never a good deal for Inprise and its shareholders. The recent drop in Corel's stock made the deal even worse for Inprise, and so now the deal has been cancelled. This paragraph from Corel's press release sums it up pretty well. "Because of significant changes since the merger was agreed to more than three months ago, Corel has concluded that it is in its best interest to terminate the agreement at this time. Corel and Inprise/Borland are parting on amicable terms and will continue to pursue opportunities for ongoing partnerships."
Inprise has already ported some of its applications to Linux. The deal with Corel might have made the process go faster. Certainly with the deal in place we would have seen Inprise applications bundled with Corel Linux OS. Since opportunities do exist for ongoing relations between Corel and Inprise we may yet see more Inprise applications ported to the Linux desktop and some will no doubt be bundled with Corel Linux. The cancellation of this deal has hurt Corel, as has the recent devaluation of its stock price, but don't count them out yet. The Debian-based Corel Linux OS is still very popular, as is its WordPerfect Office product (for Linux and other OSs). The expected Linux versions of Corel's CorelDRAW and PHOTO-PAINT are still on schedule. Corel may be down, but it is far from out.
For Inprise, the cancellation will have even less impact. They will no doubt continue porting at least some of their applications to Linux, though without Corel's expertise it may take them a bit longer. Here is Inprise's brief announcement on the cancellation.
[Editor's note: Actually Corel is larger than Inprise. The reverse was incorrectly assumed from 1st quarter 2000 performance.]
IBM announces Linux on the S/390. IBM has finally announced that Linux is available for its S/390 mainframe system. IBM will also be offering services and software (such as DB2 Connect) for the S/390 platform. (There is also a photo that goes with the press release).
TurboLinux lost no time in announcing an S/390 distribution, which will be available "later this year."
Here is SuSE's press release announcing its S/390 offering. They will have a beta version available in late June, with the real product becoming available in the third quarter of the year.
BMC Software Inc. has announced a systems management solution on Linux for S/390.
Finally, here's a Reuters article about the announcement. "'Putting mainframes and Linux guys together, well, it's almost difficult not to laugh,' said David Floyer, analyst with ITcentrix. 'You couldn't get people farther apart in culture. Linux is the ultimate open system, and the mainframe is the ultimate proprietary platform.'"
AFUL statement on ILOVEYOU virus and Linux. The Association Francophone des Utilisateurs de Linux et des Logiciels Libres (AFUL) has issued a strongly-worded statement (in French) on how Linux systems were not affected by the ILOVEYOU virus. It castigates Microsoft for continuing to ship vulnerable software, and talks of possible liability for the damages. There is a strong recommendation for businesses and governments that they should switch to free software to avoid these problems in the future. AFUL also warns against using proprietary software on Linux, and singles out StarOffice explicitly as being possibly vulnerable.
English text is available via babelfish.
Indrema Announces OpenStream Collaboration for Linux Video Project. Indrema Corporation announced the Open Source OpenStream project, a collaboration of several development groups working to create a new "royalty-free gold standard for professional video on Linux".
FreeDesk licenses VistaSource Anyware Office. VistaSource (Applix's Linux-based spinoff) has announced that FreeDesk has licensed its "Anyware Office" product. This product is essentially a version of ApplixWare which can be served over the web.
LinuxBazaar.com launches. The Linux Journal has announced the launch of the LinuxBazaar.com site. It is, of course, a place to buy Linux-related hardware and software, and thus looks like a competitor to Red Hat's Marketplace.
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.
May 18, 2000