June 25, 2001

Weekly news wrap-up: Red Hat profits, AOL aims at AIM-like programs

Author: JT Smith

- By Grant Gross

The big news, in case you weren't paying any attention this week, was that Linux company Red Hat posted a $600,000 profit in its last quarter. So why did one of the first profitable Open Source company see its stock rise only 11 cents, to $4.62, this week?

One answer, according to NewsForge business columnist Jack Bryar: Red Hat's profits came mostly through investments and cutting costs, and company officials didn't give analysts any "guidance" on where the company will find its profits next. But still, it's worth celebrating that the Open Source business model can work, at least for one quarter. And if Red Hat can do it, maybe some other Open Source companies can get out of the red.

Taking AIM

The America Online Time Warner mega-media empire has decided that anyone using "AIM" besides AOL Instant Messenger would cause confusion among the general public. AOL has recently been sending threatening letters to programmers using "AIM" in their AIM-like products, and this week, the founder of the Open Source phpAIM project received one of those letters. Sometimes, it's easy to cheer for AOL when it gets in pissing matches with Microsoft, but AOL doesn't act any more enlightened about a lot of issues.

Speaking of Microsoft, his Billness himself answered a couple of questions about his views on Open Source in an interview with ZDNet. He called the mixture of Free Software and commercial software a "healthy ecosystem" for customers. Is Gates not as rabid as his co-workers who have recently called the GPL a "cancer" and Open Source anti-American? Or is he simply more of a politician?

At the intersection of politics and Microsoft, we have a story this week saying some state attorneys general are considering a new lawsuit against Microsoft for introducing new products that could hamper competition. However, the attorneys general of Iowa and Connecticut later denied reports of a second lawsuit.

New in NewsForge

Stories reported first in NewsForge this week:

News editor Tina Gasperson reports that part of Microsoft's The Zone gaming site is happily running Linux and Apache, despite recent pronouncements from the mother ship that Free Software is bad, bad, bad.

Gasperson also has a short story about Philip Greenspun, founder of sometimes Open Source company ArsDigita, and his decision to leave the company after a long legal battle.

Hardware reviewer Jeff Field tests how various amounts of RAM affect the speed of a Linux kernel compile, and explains how more RAM can help you in other ways.

And in case you were wondering what happened to NewsForge, Slashdot, freshmeat and a couple of other OSDN sites this weekend, editor in chief Robin Miller has an explanation of our outage.

Click Here!