October 14, 2002

Weekly news wrap-up: The great Linux giveaway, Red Hat's latest is easy to use

-By Grant Gross -

Two stories really caught our readers' attention this week -- a review of Red Hat 8.0 from Timothy Lord of Slashdot and Robin "Roblimo" Miller promising to match Microsoft's offer of free Windows products to some schools and government agencies.

Let's look at the Red Hat review first: Timothy calls 8.0 the new Linux champ for ease of use and power. "Red Hat 8.0 is clean, responsive, and has given me a desktop system I'm happy to keep," he adds, although dozens of the comment writers disagree.

The price of Linux

Robin, of course, can promise free Linux to match free Windows products because Linux has always been free to download. So what's the benefit of Microsoft giving away Windows when you have to pay to license it again in a couple of years?

Still, the comments are again interesting. One poster asked, "How can Linux.com afford this?" News at 11: Linux is still free, and you don't need any special offer to get it free.

Meanwhile, Microsoft says it's not planning to cut prices to compete with the new $199 Lindows PC being offered at Walmart.com.

Can I return Windows XP to the store?

Well, the theoretical answer is yes, if you buy a computer with Windows on it, but replace it with Linux right away. But Daniel P. Dern reports that efforts to get Windows refunds have been slow and somewhat unsuccessful lately.
Oddly enough, shortly after that article ran, the site WindowsRefund.net was announced.

Odds 'n' ends

ZDNet UK reports on Apple pitching OS X to the Linux faithful at Linux Expo UK.

Distrowatch offers an interesting look at various Linux distributions in its "Linux Distributions -- Facts and Figures." The information includes what countries Linux distros originate in, what Linux distro others are based on, etc.

Success story of the week

eWeek.com notices how retailers are moving toward Linux. The trend includes Papa John's, which is using Linux on its point of sale machines, plus movie theater chain Regal Entertainment Group Inc. and Brazilian retailer Casas Bahia.

Newly released

Snort 2.0 was released this week.

KDE 3.0.4 was released this week.

The Xbox Linux project announced a version of Mandrake 9.0 that will run on the gaming console.

Newly reviewed

OSNews has yet another review of Red Hat 8.0, this one saying its not ready to be the desktop of an average computer user.

OSDir offers several reviews this week, including Scoutplans and Oggasm.

Windows magazine WindoWatch.com checks out Libranet 2.7, the Canadian Linux distribution, and gives it 4.75 out of 5 stars.

Linux Orbit reviews Phoenix 0.2, the lightweight browser based on Mozilla.

OSNews reviews the new SuSE 8.1.

New at NewsForge/Linux.com

Among the other stories we reported first this week:

We talk to DigitalConsumer.org's Joe Kraus about how to get involved in fighting laws like the DMCA.

Tina Gasperson reports on how a UK company is using Lindows and Ximian to push Linux on the desktop.

Stock news

The Nasdaq actually closed up for the week, after six straight weeks of falling, closing Friday at 1,210.47. That's up from 1,139.90 October 4. It was a mixed week for our 11 Open Source-related stocks, with five down for the week.

Here's how Open Source and related stocks ended this past week:

Company Name Symbol 10/4 Close 10/11 Close
Apple AAPL 14.03 14.51
Borland Software Int'l BORL 7.98 8.509
Hewlett-Packard HPQ 11.45 12.02
IBM IBM 56.60 63.92
MandrakeSoft 4477.PA e2.20 e1.94
Red Hat RHAT 4.36 4.12
SCO Group (formerly Caldera) SCOX 1.2103 1.10
Sun Microsystems SUNW 2.42 2.77
TiVo TIVO 3.50 3.90
VA Software LNUX 0.80 0.745
Wind River Systems WIND 3.01 2.63
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