November 30, 1999

Weekly news wrap-up: Microsoft loses Lindows fight, Sun to charge for StarOffice

- By Grant Gross -

A judge has ruled against an injunction Microsoft is seeking against, the company that's trying to make more Microsoft programs work in Linux. Microsoft alleges that Lindows is violating its Windows trademark, but our own Jack Bryar notes dozens of other cases where Windows or Windows-like names are used in company products.

Looks like Microsoft either has dozens of trademark violation cases to sue over, or much more likely, will be told by a judge that if it wants a trademark, it should come up with words less common than windows, word or office. But don't hold your breath -- when was the last time you saw Microsoft do something truly innovative?

In other business-related news, there were several reports this week of Sun Microsystems' plans to start charging for its popular StarOffice suite, an alternative to Windows that opens most Microsoft-formatted documents. The Open Source project for OpenOffice will continue, however.

Disney buys a bill

Sen. Fritz Hollings -- who's from South Carolina but gets a sizable chuck of money from Disney and other large copyright holders --finally introduced a version of his Security Systems Standards and Certification Act, now going by the name the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act. The proposed law would require electronics manufacturers to embed copy-protection controls in all PCs and consumer electronic devices sold in the United States, pretty much squashing any kind of fair use rights the public has on copyrighted works, and further limiting legitimate reverse engineering done by Open Source developers and others.

I'm not sure how much good a few thousand signatures will do against the corporate resources of Disney and and the motion picture industry, but there is an anti-SSSCA petition available. The petition had more than 70,000 signatures as of Sunday evening.

Linux at federal trade show

Linux continues to be in the background at the FOSE technology-in-government trade show, but don't blame the efforts of the Northern Virginia LUG. Members were hoping to pass out 1,000 Linux CDs at the three-day event.

Several government agencies are using Linux and Open Source, however. On Friday, the Cyberspace Policy Institute at The George Washington University announced a plan to gain an international security rating for the U.S. National Security Agency's Security Enhanced Linux project.

Also this week, Internet architects at the U.S. Census Bureau detailed how Open Source software is being used on several agency Web projects.

Newly released

Mandrake 8.2 was release, but some users reported some installation problems.

Netscape 6.2.2 hit the download sites this week.

One reader says we should "prepare to fall in love with KDE 3. The was released this week.

Newly reviewed . "Defiantly a must have for you system administrators!"

Linux distribution, but says the OS isn't quite ready for the desktop.

New at NewsForge and

Other stories that NewsForge and reported first this week:

Tina Gasperson , a Linux training curriculum for everyone from new users to big business customers.

Robin "Roblimo" Miller from development based on Internet Explorer to Mozilla, now that AOL is planning to use the Mozilla engine as its default browser.

Stock news

The Nasdaq ended last week at 1.851.30, down ever-so-slightly from the 1,868.30 March 15 close. It was the second week in a row the Nasdaq fell. Of our index of 11 Open Source-related stocks, 10 fell, with only MandrakeSoft rising a week after because of a cash crunch.

Red Hat saw its stock price tumble 17% Wednesday . The company did , despite what was called "weak" sales.

Hewlett-Packard's merger with Compaq , but even that didn't .

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

Company NameSymbol315 Close3/22 Close24.9524.0912.2611.992.051.6119.0518.15106.79105.60e2.89e3.007.105.959.068.865.325.181.891.7213.7312.53


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