[LWN Logo]

 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Back page
All in one big page

See also: last week's Linux in the news page.

Linux in the news

The character of the press coverage of Linux has changed considerably over the last few months. Gone are the introductory articles and the general "Linux is hot" pieces. Instead, by far the largest part of the press coverage of Linux this week had to do with business in one form or another.

Business articles as a whole are down below, but, first, here's this week's recommended reading:

  • The folks over at LinuxPower have run an interview with Mozilla's Jamie Zawinski. "...I use Linux, and have been, off and on, since 1994. It's like a love-hate relationship, but without the love... Linux sucks. But Linux sucks less."

  • This week's Petreley column in InfoWorld is about Linux and Intel. "The problem for Intel is that Microsoft keeps making Windows fatter, slower, buggier, and more expensive. That means Wintel-based computing is less competitive with higher-priced RISC architectures than it should be. Enter Linux. Linux offers the speed, stability, and scalability that is lacking in Windows NT."

  • John Markoff has a column about Wine in the New York Times. "Each incremental Wine improvement offers evidence of the growing strength of the so-called open source software movement, a quasi-spiritual commitment by engineers within the software industry whose deity is the Linux operating system." (NY Times is a registration-required site). (Thanks to Douglas Ridgway).

  • Jesse Berst comments on the latest announced delay in "Windows 2000." "What's a poor customer to do? More and more of them are answering that question with 'switch to Linux.' And choosing Linux over NT will get even easier next month when Compaq partners with Red Hat Software to preload Linux on its servers and to offer 24x7 support." (Thanks to James Thompson and Joao Carlos).

  • Amusement of the week: here's some Bold and fearless predictions for 1999 from Computer Currents. "Computer magazine reviews trash the Linux user interface. Disgruntled Linux zealots storm the offices of PC World and PC Magazine but find only empty cubicles. Hand-written invitations to Bill Gates' summer slumber party confirm the nerds' worst fears."

  • Need to Know mentionedEric Raymond's talks in London. "...ERIC S RAYMOND, editor of The New Hacker's Dictionary, author of The Cathedral And The Bazaar, Neo-Pagan, Anarchist Wacko and Saint, will be taking *your* questions - and because of our tyrannical gun laws, he'll be unarmed."

OK, here comes a pile of general Linux and business coverage...

  • Sm@rt Reseller ran a review of Netware for Linux. The review is quite positive, pointing out how a full Netware implementation will help to place Linux into many corporate environments. "Making the case for Linux to your customer will be a lot easier when you can manage Linux servers with the power of NDS, while still running Linux applications." It's distressing how much the PC mindset has taken over, though: they were pleasantly surprised that they could run Apache on the system after installing Netware.

  • Sm@rt Reseller also has this articleabout Pacific HiTech's move into the U.S. "Coming out in March will be Pacific HiTech's new TurboLinux Enterprise Server 3.0, bundled with numerous apps, including five licenses for the Oracle 8 database. Miller, eyeing the higher-end corporate marketplace, is mulling over a starting price of several thousand dollars."

  • PC World has run a highly positive review of the Cobalt Qube 2 server. "Overall, I was impressed with the Qube 2. It is a fine example of how Linux and other open-source tools can be used in a business environment."

  • Information Week also ran a brief article about the new Cobalt Qube.

  • Windows will be superceded within five years, according to this BBC article. Interestingly, this information comes from Microsoft's Nathan Myhrvold. "It's virtually certain Windows will be superseded by something else within the next five years. In fact, something may already exist, so today the seeds of the next contender to Windows - maybe its Linux...may be there now."

  • This National Post article is ostensibly about Corel's return to profitability, but it degenerates into one of the stronger "no support" attacks that has come along in a while. "If you're going to storm the castle gates with a computer that just runs on Linux, I would not be interested in investing in your company." (Thanks to "aandres").

  • Internet Week ran an interview with Jeff Papows (President and CEO of Lotus) that touches briefly on the Linux announcement.

    InternetWeek: You've changed direction on Linux, and now say you'll offer a port for it. What happened?

    Papows: People both inside and outside the company were bugging me, [but] at the time I just didn't want to be distracted. It turned out once we got the R5 work done, it was actually very minimal work necessary to get a Linux version done.

  • News.com also coversthe Lotus Notes for Linux announcement. "But this doesn't mean we're going to provide open source, or any freeware, so checks and money orders are still welcomed." (Found in Linux Reviews).

  • ComputerWorld speculates on Informix's upcoming announcement on increased Linux support. "Though Informix officials declined to give further details, they did say that after noting 19,000 downloads of the Linux version of the database, the company will bring support for the system on par with its Windows NT and Unix versions."

  • Loki Entertainment Software and their quest to port commercial games to Linux are the subject of this brief LA Times article. "The game industry is a business where development costs are very high... So far, they're willing to do anything to find new ways to bring in additional revenues for their already successful titles."

  • Network World Fusion has an article about SGI's ambivalent attitude toward Linux. "SGI's official interest in Linux was short-lived - it peaked early and seemingly waned quickly after. In summer 1996, the company hired an intern to port Linux to SGI's Indy workstation. The intern, who also ported Linux to Sun's SPARC, left soon after finishing the kernel part of the SGI/Linux port. The company has not filled this Linux position." Said intern was, of course, kernel hacker David Miller. (NW Fusion is a registration-required site). (Found in LinuxToday).

  • Computer Reseller News has not just one but twoarticles about a recent reseller poll they did. The result? "Sixty-two percent of the 200 resellers surveyed said Linux would be a viable platform in the enterprise market, an alternative to Windows and other Unix variants. Fifty-eight percent of resellers said the same for Linux in the small-company market."

  • PC World ran an article about the new Corel Netwinder server. "While the GS competes with stand-alone, plug-and-play intranet server devices such as the Cobalt Qube and Microtest WebZerver... it differs in being a full-fledged Linux computer that can be also be used for running and developing Linux applications."

  • Oracle and Sybase are considering following in IBM's steps and raising prices on their database products for Linux, according to this Computer Reseller News article. "'The community is not really saying that everything has to be free--they want the true leaders in the database industry providing good solid products,' said Janet Smith, director of product marketing and management at Informix."
  • Sm@art Reseller ran a brief note about selling open source solutions. "If your customers don't have their hearts set on NT or Solaris, why not build them a comparable solution based on open-source products? The money you save by not having to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars in operating-system and application products can go right into your pocket."

  • Another Sm@rt Reseller article, this one is about the increasing corporate presence in open source development. "Just like the separation of church and state, a careful line has to be drawn between commercial and open source. At the same time, corporations with their hordes of patents, programming dollars and talent eventually will have to become trusted stewards of the open-source development process--especially if this software model expects to thrive in new, more robust markets, like app servers and databases."

And here is a mixture of the rest of the press out there.

  • There is a lengthy article in InfoWorld about Linux and desktops. It's generally pretty accurate and positive, though with a couple of strange notions. "Linux's virtual desktops are a descendant of the days when scarce Unix workstations had to be shared, but they can help individual users organize their work as well." (Thanks to Pete Link).

  • Net.opinion has put out a "market requirements document" for Linux on the desktop. Device drivers and simplified configuration top the list. (Thanks to Paolo Amoroso).

  • Here are some survey results published in Network Computing. In a sort of "Hitchhiker's Guide" flashback, they don't tell us what the questions were. But we know that "Linux" topped out the answers at 79%...

  • Another journalist tries the "see if I can work under Linux" approach over at the UK version of PC Magazine. "There is one aspect of moving to Linux that concerns me, and it's also one of the system's greatest strengths -- the Open Source approach... Programmers need to be paid, and I just don't believe that this approach can be applied across the board."

  • This article in the Australian "The Age" is about the benefits of being an open source developer. The biggest of these is access to jobs, but also... "One of the beneficial side-effects of this style of development is reduced likelihood of losing your code. When Russell's hard drive failed a few months ago, normally potentially disastrous, he simply went on the Net and asked the Linux community to send him the latest code he had uploaded a few days earlier." (Found in LinuxWorld).

  • Here is an interview with Linus Torvalds (in Swedish) in Aftonbladet. (Thanks to Sven Wallman).

  • Intraware SubscribNews Alert askswhether Linux is a fad; their answer is "no." "Unix had to return to its roots to regain its dynamics [sic] qualities. Those who question whether Open Source is a viable method for competing against established commercial vendors can look to the history of Unix as a possible blueprint." (Thanks to Joe Doran).

  • Not too technical: here is a personality piece in the (Raleigh) News & Observer about the GNOME team. "Federico explains, he doesn't like Enlightenment's structure. 'I'm not satisfied with the way [it] works. I'm really tempted to rewrite it.'"

  • Internet Week has an article about Wine. The author does not seem to have actually done much with Wine, the article is mostly about what Wine could be. "The competition between NT and Linux was close enough when you considered Linux's financial advantages vs. Microsoft's third-party software development advantages. If Wine lives up to expectations, Linux will have a significant advantage in terms of usable applications on its platform."

  • The folks at OS/2 Headquarters have revamped their analysis of the first Halloween memo from an OS/2 point of view, and have also added a similar look at Halloween II.

  • The U.S. government is busily trying to defeat Microsoft's "Linux defense" in the antitrust trial according to this Washington Post article. "'In looking at the [Linux] box, did you notice how long the installation manual was?' [government lawyer] Boies said to the witness. 'Would it surprise you to know that it was 300 pages long?'"

  • There's a couple of brief mentions in this Internet Week 1999 look-ahead column. "Commercial operating systems face pressure from the open-source movement. Linux is gaining momentum..."

  • ComputerWorld ran a brief articleabout the upcoming 2.2 kernel release.

January 21, 1999


Next: Security

Eklektix, Inc. Linux powered! Copyright © 1999 Eklektix, Inc., all rights reserved
Linux ® is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds