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Caldera OpenLinux 2.2 is out. This distribution, released this week with great fanfare at Comdex (press release here), has been drawing some serious attention. Nicholas Petreley raved about it in InfoWorld, saying that it brings the desktop battle to Windows "51 weeks ahead" of what he had expected.

And this looks to be an interesting release. Since when should Caldera, long known as the slowest and most conservative distribution in its adoption of new software, be the first to come out with the 2.2 kernel? The ability to start the installation under Windows and handle making room and repartitioning the disk for the user is a great touch. If it works as well as they say, Caldera has just addressed one of the more difficult aspects of getting into Linux - getting it installed in the first place. The "Linux is too difficult to install" attack is rapidly losing credibility.

On another front, Corel has announced that its distribution will be based on KDE and the Debian distribution (see Corel's press release for details). Going with Debian is an imaginative and somewhat brave move on Corel's part, and it shows the stature that Debian has been able to attain over the last year. Corel's distribution (due toward the Fall) is looking more interesting all the time.

In comparison to all this, Red Hat's upcoming 6.0 release, to be announced on Monday with a rumored May 10 delivery date, seems somewhat lackluster. Its main points thus far seem to be the 2.2 kernel (of course) and a higher price. Red Hat may yet have an ace or two up 6.0's sleeve, and, in any case, nobody need worry about Red Hat's immediate prospects. But recent developments look sure to remind the world that there is more to Linux than Red Hat, and that can only be a good thing.

(We have no complaint with Red Hat, incidentally. They make a quality distribution - the one that LWN runs on - and their support for Linux development has been substantial. But much of the world has not yet caught on that there is more to Linux than one company.)

The Mindcraft report. This report, which stirred up a lot of fuss last week, sure seems to have faded away in a hurry. Press coverage of the report has been minimal, and what little there has been has been almost entirely skeptical of the report. Microsoft, of course, is pushing the reportin an attempt to get their money's worth out of it, but people aren't buying it.

The Linux community should congratulate itself here. The response to the report was almost entirely calm, mature, and factual. The result is that this study got debunked before it even got off the ground. This is a real victory, and it shows how much respect Linux has earned.

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April 22, 1999


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