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Linux and business

Miracle Linux. Oracle Japan has funded the creation of a new Linux company, called "Miracle Linux," which will operate in Japan. There is a press release available for those who can read Japanese. Miracle Linux will be "doing development and sales of Linux OS, sales of Oracle's software for Linux, and support including Linux related consulting, education and maintenance."

The company, which is to commence operations at the beginning of June with 20 employees, has been funded with $2 million in capital. The plan is to top that up to $4 million soon, at which point the ownership will be 55% Oracle, 14% NEC, and 14% TurboLinux. The Miracle Linux distribution will use TurboLinux as a base. The company hopes to achieve about $2 million in sales in its first year, ramping up to about $12 million by the third year, at which point it would be profitable. (Thanks to Maya Tamiya of ChangeLog.net).

VistaSource launches. Applix has announced the spinning off of its Linux division into a separate company called VistaSource. "VistaSource will operate under a blended licensing model referred to as 'Source Access,' which is different from Open Source in that it is designed to empower the customer by offering a number of source licensing options, while still being commercial software."

VistaSource looks like a determined attempt to be a "half way" open source company. It has a few open source products, such as its SHELF scripting language. CoSource.com, acquired by Applix a while back, is also part of VistaSource now. But its flagship products, such as its office suite, will remain proprietary (though they make a big point of their use of the GTK toolkit within Applix). With this mix, they hope to be part of the open source world and make the money they need to thrive as a company at the same time.

The new company is currently wholly owned by Applix, but intends to do an IPO of its own sometime in the future.

VistaSource wasted no time in putting out its own press release announcing the launch of Applix 5.0. This version is based on the GTK+ toolkit; the word processor and spreadsheet will also be available as separate products.

Announcing LinuxSolve. A company called LinuxSolve has announced its existence. LinuxSolve is another vendor of Linux-based server appliances; their particular angle seems to be an especially strong emphasis on security. Their systems run the Immunix distribution, which gives some protection against buffer overrun attacks. They also offer the usual array of consulting and support services, of course.

Userland discussion on open and proprietary software. For a relatively (relatively!) low-heat discussion of an inflammatory topic, check out this Userland posting by Dave Winer regarding the split between free and proprietary software. "I think we took a wrong turn a couple of years back, all of a sudden every hard-working software guy is on the defensive, unless he's one of the O'Reilly-annointed gods of open source. Raymond's writing put us there. O'Reilly monetized it. It's irresponsible and hurtful and it stops progress."

There is a thoughtful response from Brian Behlendorf, among the others. "Pragmatically speaking, I think it's fine to have a world where open and closed source software speak - by far the most important thing is that the protocols and APIs be stable and open and free from encumberance, that the software source code is open is secondary. However I think we are approaching a future where in every software category there is an Apache equivalent, a tool that is good enough to do the job 90% of the time."

SecureNet PRO for Linux. MimeStar Inc. has announced that its "SecureNet PRO" intrusion detection system is now available for Linux. It's available as a software-only product; they also sell it bundled with a VA Linux Systems server.

Exile III: Ruined World. Spiderweb Software and Boutell.com have announced the release of "Exile III: Ruined World" for Linux. Exile III is a fantasy role-playing game; it is supposed to come out this spring.


Section Editor: Jon Corbet.

Press Releases:

    Open Source Products

  • Axis Communications (Lund, Sweden) announced the release of a journaling filesystem intended for use on flash ROM devices. It's thus aimed at embedded systems; it is licensed under the GPL.

  • Axis Communications (Lund, Sweden) also announced a Linux-based Axis 2100 Network Camera.

  • QNX Software Systems (OTTAWA) announced an initiative to promote its QNX OS. QNX is offering free downloads, and Linux compatibility, and will release source code for many QNX applications, drivers, and libraries.

    Commercial Products for Linux

  • Deneba Software has announced the availability of the second beta of Canvas 7 for Linux.

  • Loki Entertainment announced its newest Linux game "Heavy Gear II" is now available at SuSE.

  • NetSys Software Group AB (Gothenburg, Sweden) announced that its Message-Oriented Middleware solution VCOM supports the Linux computing environment.

  • Novadigm, Inc. (EMERYVILLE, Calif.) announced the availability of Radia client support for Red Hat Linux.

  • NovaStor Corporation (SIMI VALLEY, Calif.) announced the release of NovaNET 8 for Linux, a new version of its NovaNET tape backup software family.

  • Red Hat announced that its distribution has been named "product of the year" by Network Magazine.

  • Symantec Corporation (CUPERTINO, Calif.) announced a new version of Norton AntiVirus for Linux-based virus protection.

  • Entera, Inc. (FREMONT, Calif) has won DAVECENTRAL.com's "The Best of Linux Award" for its TeraCAST Lite, a standards-based media streaming server.

    Products Using Linux

  • eOn Communications Corporation (MEMPHIS, Tenn.) introduced the eNterprise 400 communications server.

  • Here are press releases from Caldera Systems, Red Hat, and TurboLinux about their distributions being offered preloaded on IBM's Netfinity servers.

  • Rackspace.com (SAN ANTONIO) a provider of Linux-based Advanced Internet Hosting services, announced that it will add the SecureGuard security system to its array of advanced Web hosting services.


  • Andover.Net (ACTON, Mass.) announced that Slashdot will publish Jon Katz' new book "Voices from the Hellmouth".

    Products with Linux Versions

  • Addonics Technologies Inc. (FREMONT, Calif.) announced the NetStor Combo Server, a plug-and-play, multi-protocol CD/DVD/Archive server.

  • Bristol Technology Inc. (DANBURY, Conn.) announced eSleuth, its transaction analysis software.

  • Dirig Software, Inc. (NASHUA, N.H.) released version 1.7 of Proctor, the company's flagship management suite.

  • ELSA, Inc. (NEW ORLEANS) announced ELSA GLADIAC, a new game for PCs equipped with Pentium II or later processors as well as AMD K6 and K7 enabled systems.

  • Flash Networks, Inc. (HOLMDEL, N.J.) introduced NettGain, a family of software- and hardware-based solutions that accelerate TCP/IP network performance.

  • Force Computers (SAN JOSE, Calif.) announced the CPCI-540 family of SPARC-based computers for a CompactPCI environment featuring Force's SENTINEL universal PCI-to-PCI bridge.

  • JNI Corporation (SAN DIEGO) announced the Unix DriverSuite, an integrated suite of software drivers for Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs) running under Red Hat Linux, and several UNIXs.

  • Mindbridge.com (PHILADELPHIA) announced its enhancement to its Web-based Groupware Solution IntraSmart, version 2.0 now supports Linux.

  • NEC Computers Inc. (SACRAMENTO, Calif.) announced the NEC Express5800/180 Ra-7 server, an 8-processor capable Intel Pentium III Xeon-based server.

  • NovaStor Corp. (SIMI VALLEY, Calif.) announced the release of InstantRecovery, an image-based disaster recovery and hard disk copying utility for any Intel-supported operating system.

  • Novell, Inc. (PROVO, Utah) announced that ScheMax 1.1 is now available as a free download from the Novell Web site.

  • Optibase (Herzliya, Israel) announced Linux support to VideoPlex XPress, its streaming media endpoint platform.

  • Progress Software Corporation (BEDFORD, Mass.) announced Progress SonicMQ 2000.1, a new version of its Internet messaging server.

  • Wombat Games Inc. (AUSTIN, Texas) announced Dark Zion, a massively multiplayer online world. Wombat Games will release parts of the game as open source, and has already released one library as open source (license not mentioned).


  • AmeriQuest Technologies, Inc. (WILLOW GROVE, Pa.) announced their partnership with Cobalt Networks, Inc. that will enable AmeriQuest to provide preferred partner pricing, support and services of Cobalt products to AmeriQuest's clients.

  • Arkeia (CARLSBAD, Calif.) announced that it has joined the Oracle Backup Solutions Program. Arkeia plans to introduce database backup and recovery solutions to customers with high-end requirements who are running Oracle on the Linux platform.

  • Cybernet Systems Corporation (ANN ARBOR, Mich.) announced the addition of reseller Zolar Information Technology Solutions in Hong Kong to its international distribution channel for the NetMAX product line.

  • Evergreen Internet Inc. and Caldera Systems Inc. (PHOENIX) announced a strategic alliance to deliver OpenLinux eBuilder, an integrated, open standards-based Linux for E-Business solution.

  • GoAhead Software (BELLEVUE, Wash.) and Intel Corporation are collaborating to provide a highly available communications infrastructure platform running on Linux.

  • Merlin Software Technologies International Inc. (ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla.) announced an agreement with Hanmi I & C Co. Ltd., Korean software resellers.

  • Merlin Software (ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla.) products are now available at LinuxMall.com.

  • Perot Systems Corporation and Rackspace.com (DALLAS and SAN ANTONIO) announced an agreement to jointly offer Internet hosting services to startup and mid-tier e-commerce clients.

  • Pervasive Software Inc. and Aperian, Inc. (AUSTIN, Texas) created an alliance to put Tango 2000 Application Server and Pervasive.SQL 2000 database on the Internet to provide an instant deployment environment for Linux and Solaris-based applications.

  • Protectix and Lynx Real-time Systems have announced a joint venture to develop a secure, embedded Linux distribution.

  • Quadratec and MandrakeSoft (PASADENA, Calif.) announced a partnership to deliver automated backup solutions for Linux.

  • TurboLinux, Inc. (SAN FRANCISCO) announced a sales and distribution agreement with Merisel, Inc.

  • The Wireless Developer Network (SEBASTOPOL, Calif.) announced that it has entered into an affiliate agreement with the O'Reilly Network.

    Investments and Acquisitions

  • Salon.com announced the sponsors of its Free Software Project; VA Linux Systems and TurboLinux.

  • TeamLinux Corporation (AUSTIN, Texas) announced the acquisition of Austin- based Three-Sixteen Technical Services.

  • WireX Communications, Inc. (PORTLAND, Ore.), a web-based supplier of custom, secure Linux server appliance software, announced that it has closed a $3 million round of venture capital funding.


  • 1mage Software Inc. (ENGLEWOOD, Colo.) announced that its first-quarter revenues and earnings were significantly improved over the first quarter last year.

  • SCO (SANTA CRUZ, Calif.) announced its second fiscal quarter and six month financial results for the period ended March 31, 2000.

  • SGI (MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) announced results for its third quarter. Revenue for the third quarter was $564 million.

    Linux At Work

  • DreamHost Webhosting (LOS ANGELES) announced the launch of their new domain registration system. Their servers all run Debian Linux.

  • VeriSign, Inc. (MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) announced that Red Hat has integrated VeriSign's 128-bit website digital certificates with Red Hat Linux 6.2 and Apache-based web server software, enabling secure e-commerce transactions.


  • Caldera Systems Inc. (OREM, Utah) announced that it has named Kenneth Bergenthal as director of Asia Pacific Caldera Linux sales.

  • Penguin Computing Inc. (CHICAGO) appointed to its board of directors, Pete Keeler, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Next Level Communications.

  • Piranha, Inc. (DALLAS) announced the expansion of Piranha's Board of Directors to six members with the addition of Mr. Arthur Tauder.

  • TimeSys Corp. (PITTSBURGH) announced the appointment of David Tannenbaum as the director of marketing. Tannenbaum will lead the TimeSys marketing strategy for the TimeSys Linux/RT and Real-Time Java products.

  • VA Linux Systems, Inc. (SUNNYVALE, Calif.) announced that it has named William Cobert as managing director of European operations. The company is currently in the process of establishing its operations in France, Germany, The United Kingdom and The Netherlands. VA Linux Systems' European operations will be headquartered in Switzerland.


  • Applix Inc. (WESTBORO, Mass.) announced that it has chosen Miller/Shandwick Technologies as its new public relations agency of record.

  • Enerdyne Technologies Inc. (SAN DIEGO) announced that it will demonstrate the LNX7000 Linux Communications Server, and other products at the ITS America Meeting and Exposition 2000 in Boston.

  • IDC (FRAMINGHAM, Mass.) announced results of a study, Server Workloads 2000 -- Understanding Server Deployment. The study revealed "surprisingly similar workload patterns between Windows NT and Linux."

  • LinuxMall.com (CHICAGO) has opened an international distribution center in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

  • This press release from Management Recruiters International (CLEVELAND) suggests that, "If a job requires knowledge of Linux, use that word a few times in your resume."

  • MontaVista Software Inc. (SUNNYVALE, Calif.) announced the opening of design centers in Arizona and New Hampshire.

  • TurboLinux, Inc. (SAN FRANCISCO) announced that it has established TurboLabs, a computing laboratory based in Santa Fe, New Mexico with a research and development focus on Linux and clustering for the enterprise.

  • TurboLinux, Inc. (SAN FRANCISCO) announced that retail unit sales of TurboLinux products in the United States grew 200 percent from January to March, 10 times faster than the overall market, according to PC Data.

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.

April 27, 2000


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