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Linux in the news

John Dvorak at PC Magazine is catching on. This column is about the PDA market, but he drifts into why Microsoft isn't (yet) taking it over: "I also believe that developers are trusting Microsoft less and less because of its public reputation as a take-no-prisoners kind of company. Why develop for a Win CE machine if you suspect that Microsoft will take over your niche if it's showing profits? ... I suspect we'll see developers slowly moving away from Microsoft's platforms out of a simple need for self-preservation. Once this trend reaches critical mass, things will change. It bodes well for Apple, Linux, and Palm, among others."

Shawn Porter wrote in about this C|Net Builder article comparing Red Hat 5.1 and NT 5.0 beta 2 for a web server application. "In the end, Linux gets my vote over NT. Although I am a big fan of development tools like Cold Fusion, Linux offers the hard-core flexibility essential for a working Web server platform."

Interactive Week has published a column describing Intel's increasing interest in Linux, and going into the reasons for that interest. "Under the circumstances, why not seek future customers by supporting another powerful operating system: Linux? In another year, Linux will have a Windows-like front end, and its popularity will extend beyond the confines of the technical cognoscenti to users who dare surf the Internet with a cool system whose origins more closely reflect the Net itself. A little support from Intel could make this a more likely scenario."

Here is an article in AsiaBizTech entitled Linux surfaces as alternative to Windows NT. It is a longish introductory article, with an interesting (from Japan) perspective on Linux and its prospects. "So far, Linux has been handled only by medium- and small-scale system integrators. But, here, large-scale vendors have forecast a good business opportunity in it, and have finally made their debut in the Linux market."

Nicholas Petreley asks: People hated OS/2 and network computers; why don't they hate Linux?. He has a few reasons, including the higher moral ground that Linux advocates seem to occupy. "The ones who charge you for buggy software and keep the source code secret are the nasty black hats. The white hats keep source code open and often donate their time and effort for the good of the cause. As a result, to quote Red Hat Software President Bob Young, 'attacking Linux devotees would be like attacking Mother Teresa.' Any effort to do so would surely backfire." This article has also been republished by CNN.

Petreley also has another InfoWorld forum going. Here he, too, notices all the good press that Linux has gotten: "I find it fascinating that so many mainstream publications would suggest that Microsoft is threatened by Linux. The idea itself doesn't surprise me. It's the spin -- or, rather, the conspicuous absence of it."

Thanks to Paolo Amoroso for the link to this net.Opinion column which is ostensibly about Netware 5.0. The author concludes, however, that the best network operating system available is Linux.

Here is an article in Computer Reseller News which talks about a heart clinic in Florida which replaced its struggling NT server with a Cobalt Qube. "The Qube is an unqualified hit..." This is beautiful, FUD-free good press, both for Cobalt and for Linux.

Yet another story about NASA's anti-computer-crime Beowulf system can be found in Government Technology news (you'll need to scroll down some to find it).

There are not one but three separate articles in the Australian "The Age":

  • Welcome to Linux's vision of a free world is a Stallman-centric introductory article. "Proprietary software that runs on a free operating system is not the ideal. It's not what our community needs. It's only a half measure." (Found in the Threepoint Linux news mailing list).

  • Servers with Hart seek increased market share is mostly about Red Hat's Robert Hart, who is currently (back) in Australia. "He puts the success of the Red Hat Linux distribution down to `skill in managing the links to the Linux development community' - a process he says has been compared to `nailing jelly to a tree'."

  • Intel identifies a new greenfield: V8 servers talks about Intel's recent moves. "'We've got all the Unix OS vendors behind us,' said Van Deventer, ticking off his fingers, 'SCO, HP, Solaris, as well as freeware and open source such as Linux and FreeBSD.'"

Douglas Ridgway pointed out this Chronicle of Higher Education article about the self-destruction of the Freedows project. "[The project leader] modeled the project's organizational structure on those of other cooperative efforts to design operating systems, some of which have been successful. Perhaps the best known of those efforts is the one that created Linux, a free version of the Unix operating system."

Jimmy Aitken sent us a couple of links to stories in "Computing." (A U.K.-based weekly newspaper). Linux: All systems are go is a fairly positive, longish introductory article. "But there is an added attraction. The legal wording of the Linux licence prevents anyone getting control over the kernel. Even if someone came along with a pot of money and suggested that Linus Torvalds, the inventor of Linux, quietly went away, it would be very difficult to bring the whole operating system under commercial control." There is also a shorter article entitled Red Hat rival to Windows which really seems to be about Digital Networks (a new Linux VAR in the UK).

There is an article in Techweb talking about how the high price of Windows is making life harder for the ultra-cheap PC vendors. Linux is mentioned as an alternative, but essentially written off. "Several vendors have attempted to chip away at Microsoft's lead in the OS market by releasing versions of Linux, an open OS. Sophisticated PC users have embraced the stable, Unix-like environment because it's easy to program and customize. However, the two leading retail versions, Caldera Linux and Simon & Schuster's Complete Red Hat Linux 5.1, hold only 1.6 percent of the U.S. market, according to PC Data, Reston, Va." Thanks to Maciej Jastrzebski for pointing this one out to us.

This Sm@rt Reseller column by Brett Glass compares Linux with FreeBSD and talks about why resellers may want to go with the latter. "Also, FreeBSD's development has been less chaotic than that of Linux. The software is updated and improved by a group of core developers. That makes for slower development than the widely modified Linux, but higher stability."

Olivier Montanuy wrote in about this brief piece (in French) in Le Monde Informatique. Therein, Bill Gates is quoted as saying that Linux will never have goodies like voice recognition software, and that he sees it already joining OS/2 in the history of data processing. For non French-capable readers, Jason Sproul has put up a page with the Babelfish translation of this article.

ComputerWorld has a brief introductory piece entitled Good (and bad) news: No one owns it. Not much new here; it is a mostly favorable introduction. Thanks to Dan York for pointing this one out.

Confused columnist of the week: Windows NT Now Open in PC Week makes the claim that Windows NT is going open source. Enough "clarifications" have come out of Microsoft to make it clear that this is not true... The author has some nice things to say anyway: "According to many in the developer community, open-source software - including the Web server Apache (which runs almost 50 percent of all public Web sites), Linux, and Perl - are superior products compared with their commercial counterparts from Microsoft and others.".

Design Shrink has a comparison between Linux and NT from a productivity perspective. (Found in the threepoint news mailing list).

A brief mention in the San Jose Mercury: this column wanders through a few topics, touching on the author's disappointment with an upgrade to that other operating system. "For 7 million computer users around the globe there is an alternative operating system. It's called Linux, and it's free for downloading at many Linux sites..."

Another brief mention: this article in the Albuquerque Journal is about the dominance of Microsoft in PC software. They try to do the right thing in pointing out alternatives, but have a few accuracy problems: "...a fairly new system called Linux is gaining favor among more advanced computer users; Unix (which served as the basis for Linux) is still used in about 1 percent of computers. There are also IBM's OS/2, Solaris, VMS and BeOS. All of the above, save for Macintosh, can be used to operate a standard PC if the user uninstalls Windows." VMS on a PC?

Joao Carlos pointed out this interview with Linus in Portugese in the Brazilian magazine INFO Exame. This appears to be a translation of the Boot Magazine interview from a few months back. They also have a page of Portugese Linux links.

September 24, 1998


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