October 20, 2002

Weekly news wrap-up: Red Hat not waving any flags, OpenOffice.org's birthday

-By Grant Gross -

A controversy over Red Hat removing the Taiwanese flag from its code continued this week, but the debate took a different turn than the past sniping at the company. First, Robin "Roblimo" Miller asked if political and religious debates really help move Linux forward.

Later in the week, Robin reported that Red Hat is removing all national flags from its code. But that didn't exactly stop the protests.

OpenOffice.org at age 2

The Open Source office suite celebrated its second birthday this week, and we caught up with marketing dude Sam Hiser to ask him about the future of the project. Sam gave some interesting answers about how he thinks OpenOffice.org can compete with Microsoft Office.

Odds 'n' ends

From the "no kidding?" files: Microsoft's Steve Ballmer sees Free Software as enemy No. 1. He really said so.

Red Hat is hitting the road with a two-week Linux promotional tour across the United States.

Success story of the week

The Washington Post notes how Linux is going mainstream. The Post suggests that despite the aforementioned Ballmer running down Linux, many companies are looking for alternatives to Microsoft products.

Newly released

The Mozilla 1.2 beta hit the download sites this week.

Security-focused Openwall GNU/*/Linux (OWL) 1.0 was also released.

Newly reviewed

Olug.org reviews the $200 Microtel PC available at Walmart.com, saying it's not too slow to accomplish most things you need to do with a computer.

OSNews checks out Mandrake 9.0, giving it a 7.6 rating out of 10.

Linux and Main shares its impressions of SuSE 8.1.

eWeek.com says Red Hat 8.0 tops the desktop class.

New at NewsForge/Linux.com

Among the other stories we reported first this week:

An anonymous reader weighs in with a column asking if it takes a geek to love Linux.

Robin talks to ActiveState about how the company balances Open Source and proprietary concerns.

Stock news

Woohoo! The Nasdaq closed up for the week for the second week in a row. Is economic recovery just around the corner? The Nasdaq closed Friday at 1,287.86, up from 1,210.47 October 11. Seven of our 11 Open Source-related stocks rose as well.

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

Company Name Symbol 10/11 Close 10/18 Close
Apple AAPL 14.51 14.34
Borland Software Int'l BORL 8.509 10.28
Hewlett-Packard HPQ 12.02 13.09
IBM IBM 63.92 74.25
MandrakeSoft 4477.PA e1.94 e1.90
Red Hat RHAT 4.12 4.48
SCO Group (formerly Caldera) SCOX 1.10 1.34
Sun Microsystems SUNW 2.77 2.74
TiVo TIVO 3.90 4.23
VA Software LNUX 0.745 0.875
Wind River Systems WIND 2.63 2.18

A number of Linux companies are still struggling, as are a number of tech companies in general. But I believe we're about at the end of the weeding out period after that initial stock-market love affair with Linux -- most of the companies remaining have business plans as solid as any other tech companies at this point. The Red Hats and UnitedLinuxes of this world look like they just might make a go of it.

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