Weekly news wrap-up: Running all kinds of Windows software on Linux


Author: JT Smith

By Grant Gross

Sometimes, it seems Open Source and Linux news is fused to news from that closed-source software giant from Washington state. This week especially, some of the biggest news about Linux in particular was about ways to make parts of it work with Windows.

Early in the week, TransGaming and MandrakeSoft announced a partnership to provide subscriptions to the WineX project and to sell the Mandrake Linux Gaming Edition, which the companies promise will allow Linux gamers to run Windows games on their machines. The plan isn’t without its controversy, though, as Scott Draeker of the Linux game porting company Loki Entertainment questioned why Linux users would want to run Windows games in the first place.

Later in the week, MP3.com founder Michael Robertson announced the ambitious LindowsOS project, which he says will run both Windows and Linux programs. The operating system is due out shortly; we’ll be interested to see how it works.

Of course, it was hard to ignore the release of Windows XP this week, even though we tried. But some security and privacy concerns are already surfacing. XP’s anti-piracy features have already been cracked, and a first-day accessory for XP was 20 MB of security and glitch-fix updates.

MSN: We don’t need no stinkin’ non-Microsoft browser

Microsoft also made news this week when its redesigned MSN.com locked out Mozilla, Opera and several other browsers that aren’t named “Internet Explorer.” Microsoft later backpedaled, but not before some anti-Microsoft groups brought up that nasty “antitrust” word again.

Anti-terrorism bill gives U.S. police broad powers

Among the groups protesting the passage of the “anti-terrorism” Patriot bill, which gives U.S. law enforcement broad powers to conduct searches without warrants, both online and off, was the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The Free Software Foundation’s Richard Stallman can say he warned you about this law.

Gartner comes around?

IT analyst Gartner Group hasn’t been the biggest supporter of Linux and Open Source software for a long time, although a new report seems to have the consultancy inching toward a more positive view. From the report: “Linux is at a crossroads. Gartner has detected serious interest from large enterprises. Yet, most IT executives also recognize that Linux works on a different model and that whatever gains they can achieve will be dependent on the support relationships with vendors and the breadth of application software — not just system infrastructure.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but, hey, some people see the light more slowly than others.

New in NewsForge

Stories reported first in NewsForge this week:

  • Tina Gasperson’s story about the Disney Channel using its The Proud Family cartoon as propaganda against online music trading got a load of readers. Some readers suggested Disney’s tactics smack of dirty pool.

  • Also worth a look is Mike Newlands’ comprehensive look at the “flood” of Linux PDAs coming out of Asia. This story is a complete roundup of what’s coming from Japan, Korea, and China.

  • Robin “Roblimo” Miller comments on the Mozilla project’s mistakes and how other Open Source projects can avoid them. Too much corporate influence may spoil the soup.