June 18, 2001

Weekly news wrap-up: Linux advocates dispute Microsoft-backed server study

Author: JT Smith

- By Grant Gross

The big news in the Open Source world this week was the Gartner Group's release of a study of software being used on Web servers. The survey, funded in part
by Microsoft
, said that Linux accounted for less than 9 percent of the U.S. server market, contradicting other studies putting the Linux market share at about 25 percent.

Of course, there were questions about Gartner's methodology, especially how the tech analyst counted what operating system is running on servers. One example of the difference between counting installed OSes, as opposed to purchased OSes, was written by NewsForge's editor in chief Robin Miller. He used his home systems as a case study of different ways to count operating systems in use. Also, NewsForge business columnist Jack Bryar questioned the way tech analysts put together their reports in general. His advice: Don't rely just on an analyst to make your IT decisions.

Microsoft: The never-ending attack

While there wasn't a lot of new rhetoric out of Redmond this week, there was an analysis that Microsoft's new campaign against Open Source and for bundling its programs together seem to be a move away from the "kinder, gentler" Microsoft of last year's antitrust trial. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft's attacks on Open Source and the GPL are backfiring, as many companies see that MS is spreading, at best, half truths.

That's the point Open Source advocate Bruce Perens makes in a column, that Microsoft apologists are name-calling and exaggerating in their efforts to discredit Open Source and Free Software.

If you want to see how the other side thinks, check out a ZDNet AnchorDesk column, Want Linux on your desktop? Nine reasons to forget about it. One reason: Too many zealots. Really, read it and see if that makes sense.

Here comes embedded

In other tech analyst news, a study released by VDC predicts the embedded market for Linux will "explode." Watch out for flying embedded parts.

In other news, a new and improved MP3 format was released this week. I think I need to buy a CD burner.

New in NewsForge

Stories only available in NewsForge this week:

Hardware reviewer Jeff Field takes the Seagate Cheetah 36XL SCSI drive for a spin in Linux.

News editor Tina Gasperson finds VMWare first saying it'll pass out Linux at a Microsoft conference, then backing off. Hmmm, curious.

Remember our new feature, the Open Source stock report, by news editor Dan Berkes. Check on how your favorite Open Source stock is doing. (Generally, at the moment, not so well.)

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