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Linux and business

The end of the party for Linux stocks? The decline in the prices of Linux stocks is not a new story - it has been a steady process for most of the year to date. A new milestone was reached, however, in last week's ugly market: shares of Caldera Systems, VA Linux Systems, Andover.Net, and Eon Communications all fell below their IPO prices. Linux stocks are no longer an instant fountain of wealth.

As LWN has said before, this return to earth is not an entirely bad thing. The stock values we were seeing back in December made very little sense. Was VA Linux really worth more than, say, United Airlines? Irrational valuations will, in the end, right themselves. Better sooner than later.

Having that amount of money flying around also distorts the Linux community in a number of ways. When cash seems to be raining from the sky, it's hard to concentrate on the code. A great deal of effort was going into press releases, acquisitions, and the all-important IPO. None of that will go away now, but perhaps we have at least seen the end of the idea that instant riches are a natural right of Linux companies.

It is also true, though, that a difficult market will make life harder for Linux businesses. Businesses need to raise cash to grow, and that has gotten harder to do. It remains to be seen whether all of the companies that are planning IPOs this year will be successful in going public; if not, some of them could find themselves hurting.

Linux, however, remains as strong as ever. Free software is a better way of doing things, regardless of what is going on in the stock market.

Linux deal-making proceeds, heedless of the movements of the markets. Here's some of what came out this week:

  • Corel has announced the taking of a 10% equity stake in Simply.com, which will be bringing its videoconferencing tools to Linux.

  • Oracle and TurboLinux have announced an agreement.. Oracle will take an equity position in TurboLinux and TurboLinux will make a version of its operating system optimized for Oracle8i.

  • LinuxMall.com has announced a cooperative marketing agreement with UserFriendly.org. Expect to see dust puppies on the LinuxMall site shortly.

  • Lineo has announced two separate acquisitions. The first announcement concerns INUP, a French company that deals with fault-tolerant, clustered embedded systems. Then, they have picked up FirePlug, the Vancouver-based providers of the ThinLinux embedded distribution.

  • VA Linux Systems has announced the completion of its acquisitions of TruSolutions and NetAttach.

  • LinuxMall.com and TheLinuxStore.com have announced a deal. The essence of it seems to be that TheLinuxStore gets the Linux-installed computers turf, while LinuxMall stays with the retail software, books, penguins, and dust puppies.

  • ZDNet announced the acquisition of LinuxDevices.com.

  • Red Hat acquired BlueCurve, a provider of Internet performance management services.

  • Atipa announced the appointment of Jeffrey Keenan as President. Mr. Keenan has a long resume; this looks like a classic pre-IPO appointment of a high-profile manager.
The business of Linux is still clearly on the move.

Expanded LPI certification exam incentive program. The Linux Professional Institute has announced an expanded incentive program designed to get people to take its second certification exam. A 50% discount will be offered until May 12; people who have already taken the first exam will be able to take this one for free. Those who pass both exams qualify for the LPI's level 1 certification.

Online PhotoLab launches. The Online PhotoLab has announced its existence.

Section Editor: Jon Corbet.

Press Releases:

    Open Souce Products

  • Lineo announced the completion of its first project with Cosource.com: an integration of htDig with Kdevelop.

  • PySol 4.0 is a collection of 173 solitaire card games, freely distributed under the terms of the GNU GPL.

    Commercial Products for Linux

  • Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (SAN JOSE, Calif.) announced that it will offer its verification software tools on Linux-based platforms.

  • The "Canvas7" graphics design package has been ported for Linux and appears to be available for download in beta form.

  • Continuus Software Corporation (IRVINE, Calif.) announced that it has begun shipping Continuus Change Management (CCM 5.0) supporting Red Hat Linux.

  • CopperZ has announced a line of rackmount Linux server systems with a large selection of preloaded software.

  • Csoft International and Neoware Systems (CHICAGO) will soon unveil an e-Commerce-based Linux point-of-sale solution, using Neoware's Eon information appliances running NeoLinux, an embedded version of Red Hat Linux, hosting Csoft iPos.

  • EBIZ Enterprises Inc. (SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) announced the launch of the Linux Internet Service Provider, LinuxWired.net.

  • eOn Communications Corporation (MEMPHIS, Tenn.) announced that Computer Telephony magazine selected eOn's Web Center software suite "Best of Show" at the recent CT Expo 2000 in Los Angeles.

  • eSoft Inc. (BROOMFIELD, Colo.) announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce has granted them permission to export stronger versions of its firewall and virtual private network (VPN) technology to international markets.

  • HancomLinux, Inc. (Korea) has completed development of an English/Chinese/Japanese Version Linux Word Processor.

  • Inprise/Borland (SEBASTOPOL, Calif.) announced plans to release Delphi for Linux (code-named Kylix).

  • KANGAROOT (Belgium, Antwerp) has opened a one-stop shopping point for all European linux -afficionados.

  • The Linux Business Expo has announced that it has "lead retrieval" software for the Linux system. This is a little package which allows exhibitors to capture information by swiping attendees' badges at the booths. It's been a long time coming for Linux, even though it doesn't seem like it should be that hard. The actual coding was evidently done by Linuxcare; no word on licensing...

  • Lynx Real-Time Systems, Inc. (SAN JOSE, Calif.) announced that the driver for the M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers Ltd. DiskOnChip is being freely distributed with LynxOS real-time operating systems (RTOS).

  • Neoware Systems, Inc. (KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa.) announced Neoware's Eon information appliance platform and NeoLinux embedded operating system are now available for online purchase via Red Hat's new site at www.redhat.com/marketplace.

  • Rt-Control (MONTREAL) announced the release of the latest uClinux system builder kit, version pre 5.

  • Speedware (MONTREAL) announced that it will provide its North American customers with Visual Speedware V2.00, its enterprise client-server development technology, for free.

  • Sphera Corporation (NEW YORK) announced Sphera HostingDirector 2.0, a software solution offering Web hosting providers a platform for deploying new services and applications.

  • Tripp Lite (CHICAGO) announced its PowerAlert UPS Management Software has been tested and approved by Red Hat to install and run on Red Hat Linux.

  • Vividata, Inc. (Berkeley, CA) announced new reduced prices for Personal and Not-for-profit users of its OCR Shop, ScanShop and PostShop software.


  • O'Reilly (Sebastopol, CA) announced the follow-up to the first collection of User Friendly comic strips, "Evil Geniuses in a Nutshell".

  • No Starch Press (San Francisco, CA) announced LINUX MUSIC & SOUND, an in-depth look at recording, storing, playing, and editing music and sound under Linux.

    Products Using Linux

  • Apropos Retail Management Systems and Informix Corporation (CHICAGO) announced the release of the Apropos E-Comm suite of products,

    Now Available At TheLinuxStore.com

  • Acrylis Inc. (Chicago) recently announced its Web-based WhatifLinux.com service that helps Linux Administrators monitor and manage open-source software assets helping them to increase service levels and system uptime.

  • 3ware, Inc. (PALO ALTO, Calif) announced a 3ware's high performance ATA RAID controllers will be available through TheLinuxStore.com.

    Java Products

  • Sun Microsystems, Inc. (PALO ALTO, Calif.) announced that it is shipping its Forte for Java, Community Edition 1.0 integrated development environment (IDE) for the Java 2 Platform.


  • AXENT Technologies, Inc. (ROCKVILLE, Md.) announced "Everything you Need to Know About Installing a Secure Linux Environment", the latest in a series of free Webcast seminars.

  • SkillsVillage.com (SANTA CLARA, Calif.) announced that it is working with three leading professional services companies to deliver its online IT Education and Training Center.

    Products with Linux Versions

  • Advanced Digital Information Corporation (REDMOND, Wash.) announced the introduction of StorNext, a family of innovative network attached storage (NAS) appliances.

  • Century Software, Inc. (CHICAGO) introduced HostML and ViewML, its new XML-based host access and rendering technologies.

  • Dell Computer Corporation (ROUND ROCK, Texas) announced immediate availability of Dell PowerEdge 6400 and Dell PowerEdge 6450 servers. Red Hat 6.2 versions are available.

  • IBM (RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.) announced new Netfinity thin servers designed to deliver the highest computing power per square foot on Intel based platforms.

  • ICL (CHICAGO) announced WebSTORE, a browser-based solution for retailers designed to integrate their in-store management, e-Business and Customer Relationship Management systems.

  • MathSoft, Inc. (SEATTLE) announced a promotion to offer free copies of S-PLUS for Linux to customers buying new UNIX licenses.

  • Novas Software, Inc. (SAN JOSE, Calif.) announced nLint, a new design rule checker for Verilog and VHDL.

  • Pervasive Software Inc. (TOKYO) announced that it has localized Tango 2000 for the Japanese market.

  • Pervasive Software Inc. (AUSTIN, Texas) announced that it will post its Tango Objects for Dreamweaver 3 on the new Macromedia Exchange for Dreamweaver site.

  • Smith-Gardner (DELRAY BEACH, Fla.) announced the release of Ecometry, an e-business application suite that offers customer relationship management applications fully integrated with back-office e-fulfillment functions.

  • Sundog Technologies Inc. (SALT LAKE CITY) announced Universal Update 1.6, a non-intrusive, data detection and distribution product that performs scheduled data replication across disparate database systems.

  • Toshiba (IRVINE, Calif.) announced the Magnia 3030 workgroup server.

  • Tripwire, Inc. (PORTLAND, Ore.) announced it is now shipping the Tripwire HQ Manager, a scalable, enterprise management product.

  • Verplex (SAN JOSE, Calif.) announced Version 2.0 of Tuxedo-LEC, a high performance equivalence checker.


  • Bristol Technology Inc. and SuSE Linux AG (DANBURY, Conn./HANOVER, Germany) announced a partnership to jointly promote Bristol's Wind/U for Linux cross-platform development software and Bristol's Linux Porting Center for SuSE Linux.

  • Corel announced four separate OEM deals, designed to get Corel Linux and Wordperfect Office for Linux onto many desktops. One with Conducent, Inc., another with Computer Technology Link Corporation, a third with Maxspeed Corporation, and the fourth with Polywell Company Inc..

  • Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. (WALTHAM, Mass.) announced that it has delivered the first version of Corel Linux for German, French and Dutch.

  • Synergy Microsystem, Inc. (LOVELAND, Colorado) announced that support for its boards is now included in Terra Soft Solutions' recently released Yellow Dog Linux Champion Server 1.2.

    Investments and Acquisitions

  • ADVA International Inc. announced signing a Letter of Intent to acquire all of the shares of Global Information Group USA, Inc. (GIG). GIG develops and markets applications software for the LINUX Operating System.

  • Eazel, Inc. (PALO ALTO, Calif.) announced that it has received $11 million from Accel Partners in first round funding.

  • Tricord Systems, Inc. (MINNEAPOLIS) announced that it has closed a $26 million capital investment in the company. The investment will be used to launch a new line of server appliances, and the initial products will be focused on Linux-based Network-Attached Storage (NAS).

    Linux At Work

  • Dunn Computer Corporation (DULLES, Va.) announced it received its first significant order for its fibre channel storage subsystem. The customer will use the products to run a Linux-based mapping system with large data and bandwidth requirements.

  • LinuxMall.com has chosen custom hardware manufacturer Workstation 2000 as one of several key vendors that will supply its Linux computing needs.

  • NetPort Hospitality Systems in Sydney, Australia hopes to connect hotel rooms and airport terminals to the Internet, according to this brief Newsbytes article. "Instant links to the Net at up to 100MHz are claimed, using Cisco switches and Linux servers."


  • Corel Corporation (OTTAWA, CANADA) announced the appointment of John Blaine, C. A., as executive vice-president and chief financial officer.

  • EBIZ Enterprises Inc. (SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) announced that Victoria Welch has joined its management team as Director of Investor Relations/Public Relations.

  • LinuxMall.com has put out a press release showcasing its management team.

  • Mission Critical Linux LLC (LOWELL, Mass.) announced the appointment of Bill Arvidson as the Company's Director of Customer Care.

  • OnCore Systems Corporation (HALF MOON BAY, Calif.), an embedded Linux company, announced the appointment of Phillip Parker to the post of Vice President of Marketing.


  • Applix, Inc. (WESTBORO, Mass.) announced its results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2000 with revenues of $12.4 million.

  • Bluepoint Linux Software Corp. (LOS ANGELES) announced that Hao Lee, one of the architects of the Chinese economic reform, visited Bluepoint Linux headquarters in support of the company.

  • IBM (CUPERTINO, Calif.) announced that its developerWorks has won the 10th Annual Jolt Productivity Award at Software Development West in San Jose.

  • Last week's commerce page mentioned a press release from IDC saying that Compaq was the #1 Vendor in Linux Server Market. We mentioned that companies like VA Linux Systems were not even on the list. This week IDC announced that VA Linux is a "brand-name" vendor after all, and has been ranked as the #5 Vendor in Linux Server Market.

  • The Linux Capital Group, Inc. (Albany, CA) filed this corporate profile. They are a business incubator, venture capital firm for businesses that deal with Linux and open source software.

  • The folks at LinuxMall.com have announced that they are sponsoring all four community hubs at the Linux Business Expo.

  • Magic Software Enterprises sent the winner of its "Magic for Linux Really Cool Contest" to Antarctica. This press release reads more like a travel log (with pictures). "When the World Discoverer docked, the passengers climbed into Zodiacs, the virtually unsinkable 12-passenger crafts designed by Jacques Cousteau, to investigate uninhabited islands and to travel up winding tributaries and get a closer look at marine life. One encounter was almost a little too close for comfort."

  • Mission Critical Linux (LOWELL, Mass.) announced that it has launched its presence in Eastern Europe and expanded its U.S. operations with a full-service operations center in California.

  • Motorola (MANSFIELD, Mass.) unveiled plans to expand its product line through DSL and Linux-based solutions that will support broadband communications and other platforms.

  • Penguin Computing Inc. (CHICAGO) announced President and CEO Sam Ockman's speaking engagements at the Spring COMDEX LINUX Business Expo at McCormick Place, Chicago, Ill.

  • The Server Software Division of SCO announced that it has ramped up its Open Source efforts with the release of key technologies, contributions, and initiatives to the Open Source Community.

  • Trend Micro Inc. (CUPERTINO, Calif.) announced that its Internet gateway and email groupware antivirus products, InterScan VirusWall for Linux and ScanMail for Lotus Notes, have been chosen as finalists for the Best of Show Awards at FOSE 2000 in the Workgroup/Departmental Software category.

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.

April 20, 2000


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