The markets take a dive this week as investors lose confidence in the U.S. Federal Reserve; Hewlett Packard admires Debian; and more Microsoft bashing. This was a light week for Open Source and related stocks; it was a light week overall for Wall Street. Trading volume was extremely light today, and analysts caution that any moves made in such a market shouldn't be given much credibility. The markets did, however, close down from last week.
In fact, both the Dow and Nasdaq indexes dropped every day this week. That ended at the bell with the Dow at 10,821.31, down 89 points for the day, and 130 points from last Friday. The Nasdaq index closed at 2107.43, down 21 points for the day, and 84 points from last Friday.
Last Friday's good news might have been this week's not-so-good news. Last week at the bell, the markets closed up on faith that the Fed would cut interest rates; this week, tech stops slid a bit as investors guessed that those cuts might not be as much as expected. We'll know for sure next week, when the Federal Reserve will announce what, if any, reductions will make.
Independent market analyst James Philburn is still optimisitic. "We're still doing better than we thought we would be doing at this time of the year; consumer confidence is better now than it was at Christmas. I don't think people want another bubble, they're still being cautious, they're still skittish, these dips are normal."
HP loves Debian
Hewlett Packard this week announced that the company will use the Debian distribution as its base of future Linux development. HP chose Debian for a number of reasons -- not the least of which is the fact that it's a Linux distribution not under anyone's commercial control. In a message to the Debian developer mailing list, Open Source advocate and HP employee Bruce Perens said: "Hopefully, this announcement will make your day. It sure made mine."
Apple sets a date
Apple will open the doors of its very first retail store next week, in McLean, Va. A special sneak peek will be given to seedy media types and special invited guests on Tuesday.
Caldera this week formally completed its acquisition of The Santa Cruz Operation's Server Software and Professional Services distributions. This gives the company the reins of UnixWare and OpenServer. It also makes Caldera the largest Linux company in the world, according to company PR, with representation in over 82 different countries.
Here's how some Open Source and related stocks did this week:
|Company Name||Symbol||5/11 Close||5/4 Close|
|VA Linux Systems||LNUX||4.57||4.88|
|Wind River Systems||WIND||22.54||25.52|
After last week's outburst, Microsoft is learning more than it ever wanted to know about the laws of unintended consequences. From CNet to ZDNet to NewsForge, there's no shortage of columns and pundits predicting that Microsoft actually helped more than it hurt the Open Soure community when v.p. Craig Mundie shot his mouth off in New York. Even a former top MS executive says Linux is the future.
Another source of unlikely cheerleading comes from Consulting Times, who reports that a Survey.com poll of 2,092 IT professionals found that 68% of their companies plan to boot up at least one new Linux system. IDC said Linux was second in server OS shipments last year, with 24 percent of the market.
Not bad for a "weak and unstable" operating system, is it?