April 15, 2002

Weekly news wrap-up: Lindows faces off with Free Software Foundation

- By Grant Gross -

It was another interesting week for fledgling desktop OS company Lindows, which has been sued by Microsoft for alleged trademark violations. This week, Lindows heard from the other side of the software philosophical spectrum, with the Free Software Foundation asking where the source code is for its first two beta releases.
It all started with our own Tina Gasperson reviewing the second preview release of Lindows, Linux desktop OS that's supposed to run Microsoft applications. Later in the week, the Free Software Foundation began asking questions about why Lindows hasn't released its source code. Lindows CEO Michael Robertson said the source code will soon be released, and he criticized the FSF for "eating its young." That story, also by Tina, has 150-plus comments and counting.

Robertson's comments prompted an open letter from Open Source/Linux advocate Bruce Perens, who told Robertson releasing the source code was part of the partnership agreement that developers of Free Software make with each other. Perens' letter has 40-plus comments itself since we published it Saturday morning.

Still, the Lindows project can't beat the attention it's been getting over the past several months. Whether that's the sign of a worthwhile project and solid business plan, or 15 minutes of fame for the latest technology fad, it may be too soon to tell.

Marching on D.C.

Generating less controversy, at least in the Open Source/Free Software community is two veteran Linux advocates' plan to start a lobbying organization as a way to combat the huge lobbying budgets that companies like Microsoft and Disney throw at the U.S. Congress. The effort is just getting started, but it'll be interesting to see how the plan for the American Open Technology Consortium works out.

Mozilla 1.0: Coming shortly

A couple of stories noted the imminent release of the 1.0 version of the Mozilla browser suite after project leaders announced Release Candidate 1.

More Loki trouble

As Linux gaming company Loki Software makes its way through bankruptcy court, LinuxandMain.com tries to explain what went wrong.

Newly released

The openMosix clustering platform Open Source project was announced.

The Linux Test Project test suite LTP-20020408.tgz was released.

The Linux distro tomsrtbt version 2.0.9, what's being called a major release, was made available this week.

Enterprise Volume Management System 1.0.0, was also released.

Linux Labs released a beta version of an Open Source browser for Palm devices.

Version 1.0.2 of Rekall RAD DBMS tool for Linux was also released.

Newly reviewed

LinuxPlanet found a bumpy install but smooth ride for KDE 3.0.

MSNBC "raved about" Lycoris Desktop/LX. Monolinux.com also ran the second part of its Lycoris review.

Success story of the week

A Crossnodes story notes how a school district in British Columbia is saving money using Linux.

New at NewsForge/Linux.com

Among the other stories we reported first this week:

In a mid-week commentary, Professor Sandeep Krishnamurthy advocates more marketing, and less selling by hate tactics, for Linux.

A new survey of Linux developers by Evans Data Corp. found that 78% of them weren't aware of any unwanted attacks on their systems and 94% said they'd never been hit with a virus. What are we always saying about Linux being more secure than Windows?

Stock news

The Nasdaq ended the week at 1,756.19, down from 1,770.03 April 5. Our list of Open Source-related stocks had a mixed week, with five posting gains for the week. One of the big losers for the week was IBM, which had its stock fall more than 5% Thursday upon a report of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. The stock partly rebounded Friday when an SEC spokesman said the investigation was closed shortly after it was opened.

Red Hat this week named CEO Matthew Szulik chairman of its board of directors. Its stock was up 9 cents for the week. Meanwhile, NewsObserver.com made a case for Red Hat being "bitten" by Linux's low cost.

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

Company Name Symbol 4/5 Close 4/12 Close
Apple AAPL 24.74 25.06
Borland Software Int'l BORL 11.78 12.27
Caldera International CALD 1.32 1.03
Hewlett-Packard HWP 16.99 17.80
IBM IBM 97.25 85.60
MandrakeSoft 4477.PA e2.25 e2.65
Red Hat RHAT 5.01 5.10
Sun Microsystems SUNW 8.71 7.97
TiVo TIVO 5.00 4.91
VA Software LNUX 1.43 1.25
Wind River Systems WIND 12.88 12.64
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