September 3, 2001

Weekly news wrap-up: A subdued LinuxWorld

Author: JT Smith

- By Grant Gross -

Late August is the time for the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, the west coast edition, and it's supposed to be when all companies interested in Linux showcase their interest. This fall, LinuxWorld had its share of press releases and product announcements, but observers said the conference seemed more subdued than in years past.

Sure, you could see IBM's peace, love and Linux advertisements on San Francisco city buses and on billboards on Highway 101 between San Francisco and San Jose. But several reporters at the conference noted things just weren't the same as in the past. NewsForge's own conference veteran Robin Miller noted there was less swag, fewer exhibitors and fewer attendees this year, although there were some cool products being pitched. LinuxWorld.com's Joe Barr suggested the show was "downsized" because of the general economic condition.

Of couse, there were still dozens of companies releasing new products at the show, as NewsForge's Dan Berkes wrote. And if you get tired of all the corporate spin, the people at the .org pavillion keep showing up and winning awards.

Other LinuxWorld stories worth mentioning:

IT-director.com says Linux seems to be gaining a firm foothold in the enterprise.

Mathew Szulik, president and CEO of Red Hat, pitched Linux to cash-strapped public schools.

The DreamWorks movie studio showed off its Linux animation tools used to create movies such as Shrek.

Microsoft, of course, kept a close eye on what was happening at LinuxWorld and spun the events to its advantage.

Torvalds: Hailstorm not a threat

Speaking of Microsoft, a story that got a lot of attention this week was Linux creator Linus Torvalds' comments on Microsoft's plans for its centralized Internet product Hailstorm. Torvalds says Internet users shouldn't worry because governments won't let Microsoft take over the Internet.

Criminalizing programming, part 1,396?

Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov and his employer pleaded not guilty this week to violating U.S. copyright law. Earlier, Sklyarov and employer Elcomsoft were indicted on charges of trafficking and conspiracy to traffic in a copyright circumvention device, alleged violating the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a law that itself could very well violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Signs of the times

CNet Networks is shutting down AppWatch.com, a directory of Open Source distributions and applications, less than a year after acquiring it.

Corel sold its Linux distribution to a U.S. startup, meaning the sometimes Microsoft partner looks to be leaving Linux behind.

New in NewsForge

Stories that appeared first in NewsForge this week:

Dan Berkes reviews the CodeWeavers CrossOver Plugin 1.0, which allows most browser plugins for Windows to be used in Linux. It works quite well, he says.

Business columnist Jack Bryar examines the fall and future plans of VA Linux, NewsForge's corporate parent. Will building a software services model around SourceForge be enough?

In a bit of shameless self promotion, we note NewsForge turned 1 year old, and hey, we're still here!

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