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Linux and Business

IDC predictions on server operating systems. IDC has issued this press release with its latest pronouncements on the server OS market. Shipments are expected to increase, but revenues will not follow suit. " Linux revenues will also grow faster than the rest of the market, increasing at a CAGR of over 23%. However, even with this high growth, Linux server operating environment revenues will barely exceed $85 million in 2004, and total Linux server shipments will remain second to Microsoft's Windows Server product family."

Ups and downs for Red Hat. Red Hat has put out a press release proclaiming the results of two recent surveys. The latest Netcraft web server survey shows that 72% of the Linux servers out there are running Red Hat, and a Sky Events survey of "Chinese IT professionals" shows that 56% of them call Red Hat the best distribution out there.

Also this week: Red Hat has released the source code for its Source-Navigator integrated development environment. "In addition to being a powerful tool used by developers to compile, edit and debug source code for their applications, Source-Navigator has many browsing capabilities that enable developers to do things like display class hierarchies and cross-reference relationships."

Red Hat might be riding a bit higher on all that news if it weren't for a couple of other things that have come along. For starters, Novell plans to sell 100,000 shares of Red Hat stock. The shares have an estimated value of $2.4 million. Every such sale can be expected to make another little dent in Red Hat's stock price.

The harder news, though, is the resignation of the company's chief financial officer, Harold Covert. Mr. Covert is moving on to a new job as CFO at SGI after less than five months in this position at Red Hat (his appointment as CFO was announced on March 6). It hasn't been all that long since the company lost its chief marketing officer; getting the high-level people to stick around is proving hard for Red Hat. (See also: Red Hat's announcement of Mr. Covert's resignation).

Go.com Open Sources web development tools. Go.com has released several of their development tools under an Open Source license, similar to the Apache license. Some reports (including Slashdot) have implied that the Go.com search engine has been Open Sourced. This is not correct. The tools now available include the Tea template language, TeaServlet template engine, Kettle IDE and the Trove library (which has been Open Source for a while).

The tools are Java-oriented and some, like the Kettle IDE, currently run only under Windows. This announcement is likely to primarily be of interest to web developers on very large sites who are dealing with the issue of getting up timely content while dealing with a large pool of technical and non-technical staff. One person on Slashdot commented that the documentation alone was worthwhile, because of the information and suggestions it provides for such large sites.

Why Open Source? These tools are part of a larger commercial package, so Open Sourcing the entry-level tools can bring in potential commercial customers. The technology is over three years old, so the benefit of holding onto it is minimal. Of course, the desire to pick up some extra, low-cost publicity ...

InterBase source now available. Inprise/Borland has announced that the source for InterBase 6.0 is now, finally, available for download. The code is covered under "a variant of the MPL." Head over to the InterBase web site to grab your copy.

European Commission call for proposals. This page on Bernard Lang's site describes a call for proposals from the European Commission's Information Society Technologies program; it is looking to fund projects in the area of "distributed development of software and systems." The IST program is already known to be friendly to free software, and the topic obviously fits well with free software development methods. It may be a good opportunity for funding for some enterprising European free software businesses.

The page also describes another call that will go out in September addressing the initiation of free software projects.

Big Blue Signs Billion Dollar Deal With German Firm. IBM has struck a deal with the German technology group Metall Gesellschaft (mg) Technologies. IBM will service the internetworking needs of MG Technologies across Europe. The European program involves IBM opening seven Linux development centers in Europe, as well as working with many third-party Linux companies to establish the firm as a major Linux vendor. IBM said it has employed the services of around 600 specialized Linux experts to assist it in the task. Also see this related article from cnet News.com.

ELC welcomes EMBLIX initiative. The Embedded Linux Consortium has issued an official welcome to EMBLIX, the new Japanese consortium for embedded Linux vendors. "EMBLIX's 24 members at launch and the ELC's 91 members send a powerful message to the global embedded computing community, demonstrating the unquestionable momentum and the long-term viability of the Linux operating system for embedded applications."

Also hinted in the welcome was the ELC's preference that EMBLIX actually become part of the ELC; meanwhile, they recognized EMBLIX as their "sister organization" and EMBLIX promised "cooperation" with the ELC. (Check the Distributions Page for the EMBLIX announcement).

Zero Knowledge releases Freedom source. Zero Knowledge Systems has announced the release of the source for its "Freedom" kernel interface. This interface allows for the interception of data flowing into or out of a system, thus allowing the application of encryption or other privacy-enhancing techniques.

Collab.Net sets up jobs site for the Oracle Technology Network. Collab.Net is moving away from just handling software development activies; it has now announced that it is adding a jobs section to the Oracle Technology Network. The source isn't entirely absent, though - there will also be an "examples" area for Oracle-based systems.

O'Reilly Convention Surmounts Expectations (O'Reilly). Carmel Noah from O'Reilly has sent this summary of the just-finished O'Reilly Open Source Convention and Perl Conference. ""What was unique about this conference is that we bring together a wide spectrum of those in the open source community, and as a result unexpected, fortuitous opportunities for new developments seem to happen." It was all about "people meeting, disputing, poring over problems together," noted CEO Tim O'Reilly."

'Building Linux Clusters' from O'Reilly. O'Reilly and Associates has announced the publication of Building Linux Clusters by David HM Spector.

Flatland announces the open source release of 3DML. Flatland has announced the release of its "3DML" 3D web publishing platform under the "Flatland Public License," a variant of the Mozilla license.

Axis Communications releases embedded Linux developer board. Axis Communications has announced the release of the "Axis Developer Board." This board contains the Axis ETRAX 100 processor and an embedded version of Linux.

Press Releases:

Open Source Products.
Unless specified, license is unverified.

  • Inprise/Borland (Scotts Valley, CA): InterBase 6.0 source available for download.

  • SuSE (Oakland, CA): partnership with Lutris to include Enhydra in 7.0 release.

Commercial Products for Linux.

  • Alias/WaveFront (Toronto, ON): will port the Maya 3D software product line to Linux. (Alias/WaveFront is owned by SGI).

  • Documentum (Pleasanton, CA): Linux support in Site Delivery Services.

  • Engineering Animation, Inc. (Ames, IA): availability of WorldToolKit for Linux.

  • Hewlett-Packard Company (New Orleans, LA): Linux support for HP VISUALIZE fx5 and fx10 graphics accellerators.

  • Integratus, Inc. (San Jose, CA): Ultra High Availability extension for EMC.

  • Macromedia (New York, NY): Macromedia Flash 5 player.

  • SigmaTel Inc. (Austin TX): release of "Red Hat certifiable" Linux host audio driver.

  • Softimage Co (Montreal): availability of "Toonz 4.4" animation software for Linux.

  • Virtio Corp. (Campbell, CA): virtual prototyping platform. "The speed of the Virtio solution was such that the development team was able to boot embedded Linux in less than three minutes."

  • WAVO Corporation (Phoenix, AZ): MediaXpress Website content delivery service will support Linux and Solaris.

  • Xcel Management, Inc (Tacoma, WA), availability of the "InterLynQ" internet appliance server for Linux.

Products Using Linux.

Products with Linux Versions.


  • Saba (Redwood Shores, CA), licensed Saba Learning to Red Hat for its global education services.


Investments and Acquisitions.

  • First Security Van Kasper (San Francisco, CA): initiating coverage of Caldera Systems with "hold" rating.

  • Pick systems (Irvine, CA): acquisition of Just Educational Services.

  • WR Hambrecht: Red Hat downgraded to "market neutral" after resignation of CFO.

Financial Results.

  • Computer Associates (Islandia, NY): first quarter results. A "difficult quarter."

  • eSoft, Inc. (Broomfield, CO): second quarter results.

  • IDG Books Worldwide, Inc. (Foster City, CA): third quarter results. Revenues up 33%.

  • Inprise/Borland (Scotts Valley, CA): second quarter results. Also this one on its annual meeting.

  • PCTEL Inc. (Milpitas, CA): second quarter results. "...another quarter of record revenues and net income..."

  • Perle Systems (Toronto, ON): fourth quarter results. An "inflection point" for the company.

  • Rave Computer Association, Inc. (Sterling Heights, MI): second quarter results. "...record increase in sales revenue..."

  • sangoma.com Inc (Toronto, ON): fourth quarter results.

  • SCO (Santa Cruz, CA): third quarter results. "We are disappointed that revenues in our channel continue to be depressed from our pre-Y2K levels. Additionally, a number of large customer deals did not close as expected and were delayed past the end of the quarter."

  • SGI (Mountain View, CA): fourth quarter results. Revenues down 36% from previous year.

  • Splash Technology (Sunnyvale, CA): second quarter results. They brought in $22.4 million, earning $0.14 per share. Splash sells Linux-based printer servers.


  • Extended Systems (Boise, ID): addition of John Katsaros to board.

  • IBM (Armonk, NY): Samuel J. Palmisano named as president and COO; John M. Thompson as vice chairman.

  • Moonlight Systems Inc. (San Francisco, CA): appointment of Eric Winner as VP of engineering.

  • Sendmail, Inc. (Emeryville, CA): appointment of David Anderson as president and CEO.

  • TimeSys Corp. (Pittsburgh, PA): appointment of William Grab as VP of finance.


Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.

July 27, 2000


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