February 4, 2002

Weekly news wrap-up: More ties than T-shirts at LinuxWorld

Author: JT Smith

- By Grant Gross -

Several commentators attending the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in New York this week noted that it was all business. Our own Tina Gasperson noted IBM's "Linux is real business" campaign, but suggested that more business converts to Linux isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Others called the conference a "yawner," or suggested the geek types were "bored out of their minds." The popular Golden Penguin Bowl still went on without a hitch, but many of the Linux faithful seemed disappointed that the show didn't feel more like a state fair midway.

Among the announcements at LinuxWorld this week:

The Open Source Development Lab set up a "carrier-grade" working group for using Linux in the telecom industry. The lab's heavyweight board of directors will also "give guidance" to developers in that area, Gasperson reports. Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard suggested that Linux is the future of telecom, and HP CEO Carly Fiorina delivered the conference keynote.

The Free Standards Group released two standards designed to "allow true interoperability between Linux distributions and better internationalization capabilities."

IBM's love affair with Linux and other stuff

IBM suggested it has nearly recouped its $1 billion investment in Linux, and one senior executive there said Linux has saved its server business.

Meanwhile, IBM teamed with MandrakeSoft and a couple of other companies, to pitch a small business server package in Europe, reported Bruce Tober for NewsForge. The official announcement is expected Monday. Also, IBM has expanded its relationship with SuSE, to work on the Linux company's server operating system.

Not related, but still interesting was the suggestion by one kernel hacker that Linux creator Linux Torvalds might be a bit overloaded. Rod Landley suggested the kernel hacker team go with a penguin patch lieutenant system to get patches integrated faster.

Gasperson reported on desktop company Ximian's shift away from the GNU GPL for some of the class libraries in its Mono project.

The Register reports that Linux is in the running to power the world's biggest computer, a huge server farm connected to three U.S. research centers.

The Agenda VR3, one of the first Linux-powered handhelds to market, is apparently not being marketed in the United States anymore. It received lukewarm reviews at best, even from Linux media outlets, when it was released last summer.

New releases

See the stock report below for a couple of releases from Red Hat and Caldera, but a new version of the Ximian Evolution email/calendar program was released this week. This version: 1.0.2.

New at NewsForge and Linux.com

Other stories that NewsForge and Linux.com reported first this week:

Robin "Roblimo" Miller, following up his column, Why bother to use Linux?, wrote Some reasons not to use Linux, which generated a bit of controversy for its critique of some functions of Linux that are not yet ready for prime time, in Robin's mind.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols looks at Sun's decision not to continue supporting its Solaris OS on Intel-based computers and what that means for Linux.

Gasperson reports on a LinuxWorld session with Linux security expert Jay Beale, who reminds us that Linux can have security problems, too.

Stock news

The Nasdaq ended the week at 1,911.24, down from 1,937.70 January 27 and down 22.79 points on Friday. Our list of 11 Open Source-related stocks didn't get a boost from LinuxWorld, instead following a similar course as the Nasdaq, with only Apple and Borland rising for the week.

Several companies, including at least two on our list, used LinuxWorld to announce new products, however. Caldera shipped both Volution Manger 1.1, a Web-based management and administration tool, and OpenLinux 3.1.1, its workstation and server operating system.

Red Hat unveiled a new version of its Red Hat Network aimed at enterprise customers.

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

Company Name Symbol 1/25 Close 2/1 Close
Apple AAPL 23.25 24.41
Borland Software Int'l BORL 15.65 16.91
Caldera International CALD 0.87 0.83
Hewlett-Packard HWP 22.47 22.00
IBM IBM 109.28 108.00
MandrakeSoft 4477.PA e4.44 e4.00
Red Hat RHAT 8.56 8.45
Sun Microsystems SUNW 11.16 10.37
TiVo TIVO 6.76 5.86
VA Software LNUX 2.42 2.315
Wind River Systems WIND 18.13 18.05
Click Here!