October 6, 2002

Weekly news wrap-up: New options for Linux desktop users, Exchange replacers

-By Grant Gross -

Linux users, especially ones using the Open Source operating system on the desktop, have several new options. Red Hat 8.0 and Mandrake 9.0 have both come out recently, and the first reviews of both Linux distributions are trickling in.

Robin "Roblimo" Miller checks out the download version of Mandrake 9.0 and finds it pretty and smooth to install. But it also has some little frustrations that he hopes will be fixed in the boxed CD version.

Linux Orbit also found some annoyances in the new Mandrake version.

Reviews of Red Hat 8.0, with its controversial Bluecurve desktop theme, have been a bit mixed as well. OSNews
suggests Red Hat's expertise on servers
isn't matched by its desktop offering yet. A second OSNews commentary says Red Hat 8.0 is frustrating for new users.

OSNews seems to have a multiple personality thing going on, though, because a third reviewer calls Red Hat 8.0 "nothing short of stunning."

If you're looking to use Linux more on the backend than as a desktop OS, Robin also reports on efforts by a company called Stalker Software to market a "Microsoft Exchange killer." Stalker's product isn't the only one, but it looks promising.

Lindows vs. AOL

Desktop centered Lindows 2.0 also came out recently, and reviews are still coming in. Extreme Tech gives it a thumbs up, saying the install went very smoothly. eWeek.com also gives Lindows a generally positive review, saying it integrates Wine better than other Linux distributions.

All was not happy in Lindows land this week, however. AOL told the company to retract its claims of creating an "AOL Computer." Lindows came back and said employees there really have collaborated with AOL. I guess the ball is back in AOL's court.

Odds 'n' ends

Where'd the KDE League disappear to? Apparently, KDE's answer to the Gnome Foundation didn't pay its franchise tax and was disbanded, at least in the eyes of the state of Delaware. Founder Andreas Pour says the problem is just a clerical error.

Linux veteran Jon "maddog" Hall has joined the staff of SGI.

Success story of the week

A group of tech companies opened a Linux software and services shop in London's financial district. The group, including Red Hat, Intel and Oracle, promised a 30 percent cost savings to investment banks and insurers.

Newly released

Qt# 0.5 was released this week.

KDE 3.1beta2 hit the download sites.

The Mozilla project released version 0.2 of its Phoenix lightweight browser.

Lunar Linux released its 1.0 version.

Newly reviewed

Linux Orbit calls Libranet GNU/Linux 2.7 "Debian with a kick."

OSDir.com checks out Buddy and Remote Clip.

OSDir also reviews Mailfilter,
the "spam killer."

LinuxPlanet takes the open beta of UnitedLinux's distro for a spin.

New at NewsForge/Linux.com

Among the other stories we reported first this week:

Robin looks at Firebird, an Open Source database spawned from InterBase.

Daniel P. Dern talks to Guardian Digital about how the Linux security company is finding success in this economy.

Stock news

The Nasdaq fell for the sixth week in a row, closing Friday at 1,139.90, down from
1,199.16 September 27. The Nasdaq is at its lowest level in more than five years. Of our 11 Open Source-related stocks, only two -- SCO and TiVO -- rose for the week.

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

Company Name Symbol 9/27 Close 10/4 Close
Apple AAPL 14.72 14.03
Borland Software Int'l BORL 8.46 7.98
Hewlett-Packard HPQ 12.03 11.45
IBM IBM 60.36 56.60
MandrakeSoft 4477.PA e2.20 e2.20
Red Hat RHAT 4.78 4.36
SCO Group (formerly Caldera) SCOX 1.201 1.2103
Sun Microsystems SUNW 2.67 2.42
TiVo TIVO 3.33 3.50
VA Software LNUX 0.8473 0.80
Wind River Systems WIND 3.57 3.01
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