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Linux and business

The big PC vendors take another step toward Linux. Perhaps the biggest commercial Linux news this week, once one escapes the morass of IPO stuff, is this announcement of a deepening strategic alliance between Red Hat and Dell. There are two aspects to this announcement:
  • Dell is now offering Red Hat Linux on its entire PowerEdge server line. Previously, only a small subset of Dell's systems came with a Linux option. The decision to expand the Linux offering suggests that Dell is seeing real interest from its customers - enough to be sure it has Linux-compatible components available across its entire server line.

  • Dell servers also come with 90 days of Red Hat phone support. Dell has offered support for its Linux systems for a while - but that support was provided by Linuxcare. The Linuxcare option is still available, but the first 90 days come from Red Hat.

Nobody is talking, of course, on how this deal came to be. It has the look, however, of Red Hat using its new strength to push a competitor out of the way. Red Hat has a pile of money and no immediate need to show a profit; one assumes that it has made use of both to give Dell an attractive offer. Thus Red Hat establishes itself as the provider of both distributions and support to U.S. businesses.

On another front, Gateway has announced its new Linux-based server appliance. This box is aimed at the small office market, and features a low price tag. The attentive reader, on looking at the Gateway Micro Server page, will notice a certain resemblance to the "Qube" produced by Cobalt Networks. And that is exactly what it is: Gateway and Cobalt announced back in October that they would be working together to market server appliances.

Gateway has still to jump into Linux in any big way. If the server appliances sell well, however, it makes sense to expect that they will become more interested in the future.

O'Reilly network launches - sort of. O'Reilly has announced the existence of the O'Reilly network, which is intended to be "a reference site for the community of independent developers who rely on O'Reilly books to provide in-depth reference content on the technologies important to them." O'Reilly is busy signing up affiliate sites; the current list includes xml.com, ApacheWeek, and MySql.com.

The official "real" launch of the O'Reilly Network is scheduled for January 10.

cascade image] Matra Datavision open-sources Cascade Matra Datavision has announced that its Cascade libraries will be released as open source. Cascade is a set of C++ libraries aimed at graphic modeling applications; it appears to be a powerful framework for the creation of complicated CAD (and other) systems. They claim that $75 million was spent developing this code. Of course, few companies can release code without coming up with a new license to go with it; in this case Cascade is covered under the Open Cascade Matra Datavision Public Licence (MDPL), which is essentially like the GPL. More information, including demonstrations, at the OpenCascade.org web site.

Press Releases:

    Products For Linux:

  • Bittco Solutions announced that its "NetReality" search agent is available for the Linux-Mandrake distribution.

  • CSP Inc. announced that its ViewMax e-commerce package is available for Linux.

  • CSV Technologies Inc. announced that EZTerm Software will be packaged with Red Hat Linux 6.1.

  • Easysoft announced the Easysoft ODBC-ODBC Bridge which allows access to any ODBC enabled database using standard Linux development tools and desktop applications.

  • ILOG announced it has just completed porting its entire product line, embeddable optimization, visualization and rules engines in Java and C++, to the Red Hat and SuSE Linux operating systems.

  • InfoExpress announced (what it claims is) the first virtual private networking package for Red Hat 6.1.

  • Metro Link announced that the Metro-X Enhanced Server Set on CD-ROM is now available in retail stores worldwide. The new CD release from Metro Link supports both Linux/x86 and FreeBSD/x86.

  • Omnis Technology Corporation announced that Omnis Studio was a finalist in the Best Enterprise Software awards at Comdex in Sydney, Australia.

  • Perle Specialix announced that Linux drivers - with source - will be available for its entire line of serial I/O boards.

  • PlugSys International announced a more generous licensing model for its software, starting with Max for Linux version 1.1

  • Simply.com announced its under critical path in their port of Simply VideoIP to the Linux platform.

  • Take Five Software announced the "SNiFF++ Penguin IDE," a development environment aimed at C and C++ developers on Linux. It is a "limited version," available for free (binary) download.

  • xgforce announced a Linux port of eCluster Server, which provides Network Traffic Distribution, Network Failsafe, and Large Network Management. Available for free download.

  • YARC Systems Corp. revealed details of the LINUX Color Server technology it has developed for the Digital Imaging industry.

    Products Using Linux:

  • Cobalt Networks announced the new "RaQ3" line of servers. One of the features claimed is a little disconcerting, though: "Bandwidth management (patent-pending)." Getting into software patents is not likely to help Cobalt's relations with Linux developers.

  • IndyBox Systems, Inc. announced two new series of Linux computers. The IndyBox R1100 class and the IndyBox R2200 class

  • Light Plaza and XML For All, Inc. announced the release of the Light Plaza BookServer, an Internet document server built around a Pentium-based Linux workstation.

  • Progressive Systems, Inc. will announce the giveaway of a personal use version of its Phoenix Adaptive Firewall on December 13.

  • Signiform announced the release of ThoughtTreasure 0.00022, a new version of its comprehensive natural language/commonsense platform for building question answering services, information extraction systems, and world-aware applications.

  • Technauts announced what it claims is the first commercially available failover technology for Linux systems.

  • Technauts announced a Linux-based Internet appliance.

  • The Internet Advisory Corporation announced it will offer Web hosting solutions utilizing Cobalt Networks, Inc. Linux-based server appliances.

    Java Products:

  • DataMirror Corporation announced transformation Server for PointBase.

  • Informix Corp. announced its strategic commitment to support the Java2 Platform, Enterprise Edition.

  • Intuitive Systems, Inc. unveiled Optimizeit 3.1 Professional, a Java performance tool.

  • Metro Link will demonstrate their home automation software at the CEMA Forum in Orlando, FL on Feb 7, 2000.

  • Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced Forte for Java, Community Edition, v. 1.0 beta.

  • The Sun-Netscape Alliance announced the iPlanet Application Server 6.0 software, providing a rich application development platform based on the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition standard.

  • Tendril Software introduced StructureBuilder 3.3 with ejbCreate, a complete EJB design, development and deployment tool.

    Products With Linux Versions:

  • @Manage announced the launch of its flagship service, @Monitor, a new Internet service.

  • Asante Technologies, Inc. is now offering two fast ethernet adapters, both of which will work with Linux systems.

  • AvantGo, Inc. announced AvantGo Enterprise Publisher.

  • Gadzoox Networks, Inc. announced that it has satisfied the rigorous interoperability test requirements of the "Tachyon Tested" Program from Agilent Technologies, Inc. for its SAN product.

  • GamePC, supplier of custom-built high-end computer systems, now offers the option of Red Hat Linux 6.1 Deluxe, pre-installed.

  • GMV Network unveiled EdgeServer, a streaming media distribution solution.

  • Interactive Software Engineering announced ISE Eiffel 4.5, a software development tool.

  • MediaQ Inc. announced that NEC Corporation will offer the first devices powered by the company's flagship MQ-200 LCD graphics controller. Linux device drivers are available.

  • MODCOMP, Inc. announced that its ViewMax Web-to-host solution now supports the Linux operating system.

  • Mortgage Builder Software, Inc. announced a new interface from its loan origination system, Mortgage Builder to Fannie Mae's MORNET Cash Delivery System, Freddie Mac's Midanet Delivery System and Ginnie Mae's Ginnie Net Loan Delivery System.

  • NARUS Inc. announced the availability of the NARUS Billing Mediation System 1.5.

  • RealNetworks, Inc. introduced RealServer 7.0 and RealProducer 7.0, the latest advancements to RealSystem G2, a cross-platform media delivery system.

  • Scriptics Corporation announced a beta release of Scriptics Connect v1.1, which provides support for the Red Hat Linux operating system and Netscape Enterprise Web servers.

  • Silicon Valley Research, Inc. announced that it has successfully ported all of its currently supported products to the Linux operating system.

  • Sybergen Networks announced that its Sybergen Access Server now features an integrated Virtual Private Network (VPN) router that supports individual client computers communicating with a wide variety of external VPN servers via individual VPN paths.

  • Track Data Corporation announced that it released several new versions of its myTrack software developers kit.

  • VSI (V-Systems Inc.) announced the latest version of its flagship product, VSI-FAX 4.0.

    Partnerships, Investments and Acquisitions:

  • Computone Corporation announced that its full line of remote access communications servers and high-speed multiport I/O boards has been added to the GSA (General Systems Administration) schedule offered through Gates/Arrow Distributing, Inc. This includes the IntelliPort II, a multi-port serial controller with software device drivers incorporated into the Linux kernel source code.

  • Digital Creations, creator of Zope, announced that it is partnering with Fast Engines, supplier of web server acceleration software.

  • Digital Creations is also partnering with Sybase.

  • eSoft announced a deal with Hewlett-Packard where HP will be distributing eSoft's (Linux-based) "TEAM Internet" software in Germany.

  • LinuxOne, Inc. announced it has signed an agreement with DATA BECKER Corp., a German book and software publisher, for distribution of LinuxOne Lite throughout Germany and other European countries.

  • Loki Entertainment Software announced an exclusive agreement with id Software to publish, package and distribute worldwide Quake III Arena for Linux.

  • MandrakeSoft announced that support for its upcoming distribution (called "Goldpack-2000," and due on December 10) in the UK will be provided by Enterprise Management Consulting.

  • MandrakeSoft announced that Prisma Opentech will be the first South American distributor of its latest Linux-Mandrake release, Linux-Mandrake GoldPack 2000.

  • ON Channel, Inc., an embedded Linux developer, announced that it has been acquired by Coollogic, Inc.

  • SAP AG and IBM announced an agreement to expand their global sales, marketing and development relationship.

  • TurboLinux announced bundling agreements with three Chinese hardware manufacturers.

  • YARC Systems Corporation announced that it has closed a financing which will provide a ten million dollar credit facility to expand YARC's merger and acquisition activities. YARC has been developing LINUX solutions for Internet based printing.


  • 3dfx Interactive Inc. announced the open sourcing of its Glide 3D programming API.

  • Amdahl Corporation announced that its "Enterprise Help Desk" service now includes Linux support.

  • Applix announced ApplixWorld 2000. "More than 500 customers from across the globe are anticipated to attend the conference scheduled for May 23 - 26, 2000 at the Boston Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center in downtown Boston, MA."

  • GraphOn Corporation announced that Ericsson (www.ericsson.se) has certified GraphOn's GO-Global software (soon to become part of GraphOn's Bridges product) for integration into its Standard Office Environment. GraphOn's Bridges is thin, server-based software that connects any UNIX, Linux or Windows applications to any display device over any connection.

  • IBM put up this page claiming interoperability between Linux and its S/390 system. "The added degree of openness enhances the value of the S/390 by extending file serving, data, print, and other services to Linux based systems throughout the enterprise." (Thanks to Boas Betzler and Dan York).

  • Linux Magazine announced the publication of its first annual "Linux Magazine 50" list of movers and shakers in the Linux community.

  • Magic Software Enterprises announced that Comput-Ability Inc. won its Magic for Linux Really Cool Contest with BuyInsulation.com.

  • No Starch Press released THE BOOK OF IRC, a comprehensive guide on using Internet Relay Chat.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet.

December 9, 1999


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